My wife (Hema) and I went on an eleven-day tour of Bosnia & Herzegovina, from 06/10/2017 to 17/10/2017, which we deem as a great time of our lives.
All our apprehensions about going to a place that is generally known in India as not a usual place to visit vanished as we were still in the air approaching the runway in the airport in Sarajevo on 06/10/2017! The spectacular topography of the region around Sarajevo, that was visible from the aircraft, removed all apprehensions and fear in our minds.
The passport/visa verification and the Customs check were smooth. People at the desks appeared welcoming.
We were received well by our travel agent and by the manager of the accommodation in Sarajevo. No attempt to cheat or defraud the foreign tourists that we were!
In brief, we experienced the cosmopolitanism and secularism in the post-conflict Sarajevo; the pursuit of the citizens of Sarajevo to build a modern, vibrant, welcoming and an economically strong city; the thoughtfully maintained pieces of art & museums that reminds us of the war and the 'Seize' without provoking aggression; the fusion of Austro-Hungarian with the Ottoman; the mystery of the Visoko Pyramids and the exciting tunnels beneath it; the appeal to humanity that one instantly feels during the visit to Potocari - Srebrenica and the failure of the UN to prevent the genocide there; the fairy-tale-like old town of Travnik and the soothing Plivsko lake in it; the pristine water-falls and the water-bodies in and around Jajce; the nature at Strabacki Buk national park; the memories of Ivo Andric at Visegrad and the feelings attached to the bridge there; and, the breathtaking Kravice water-falls, the Dervish House (wish I lived in a house like that), the spring of the river Buna, the unforgettable and romantic bridge at Mostar old town and the eye-catching old town of Pocitelj and more in our tour of the Herzegovina region. Not to forget the vineyards there.
We also hiked in the snow-capped mountains and woods at Mountain Bjelasnica and Sutjeska National Park, which even included a visit to the traditional Bosnian village of Lukomir.
In brief, Bosnia & Herzegovina offered us snow, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, churches, mosques, cities, nightlife, shopping, amazing people and lot of things to cherish forever.
We appreciated the Bosnian food immensely and have become an addict to the Bosnian coffee!!
For not even a second did we feel unsafe in any part of Bosnia. In fact, my wife and I enjoyed many late-evening walks in the places that we visited. No one, whether the travel guides or the restaurateurs or the cab-drivers or the waiters or anybody, misbehaved with us or tried to deceive us.
The only sad part was to leave Bosnia for our home! We left Bosnia with a promise that we would go there many more times. In fact, my wife even explored buying a small apartment in Sarajevo but she was dissuaded by the fact that one needs to form a company to buy property there!!
Cheers to all those who went there, are there and will be going there!!