Thursday, 28 July 2016

Thurs 28 Jul 2016. Sarajevo to Grabovica, Lake Busko Jezero

Thurs 28 Jul 2016. Sarajevo to Grabovica, Lake Busko Jezero
A misty overcast morning in a field of dripping trees and awnings - what a change from the greetings of a hot rising sun. Took the highway north to do a loop of rural Bosnia and some of the Dinari Alps, before saying Dovidenja! 

First stop was Visoko (the village had cemeteries of different religions almost side by side). We wanted to check out claims of Bosnian author Osmanagic, that he had unearthed the oldest man-made pyramids on earth - turned out not too much to see. A couple of pointy hills (Pyramid of the Sun, and Pyramid of the Moon) the former said to have been "stepped" through archaeological work. Investigating the claims, global geologists, archaeologists and scientists concluded the hills are natural formations known as "flatirons". Apparently, the debate continues in funding circles and at the UNESCO level. 

Lithograph effect showed up mountain's "pyramid" shape

Followed a delightful (sometimes brown) running river, bypassing Zenica. On the outskirts of Travnik took a 3km detour off main road to see if we could spot the Necropolis for the victims of Fascism, where 700 victims were executed during WWII, 12 megalithic sculptures chiselled from Bihacite stone. We'd heard farmland had encroached and they'd not been maintained - alas it proved too difficult to find from flimsy descriptions, not to mention in overcast, rain and misty conditions. Another non-event. Oh well, onwards we went. 

Travnik was probably the most overtly Muslim town we have been to this trip. Minarets abounded, and many women were fully clothed in long black niqab, with only slits for their eyes. The castle and old town dominated the entrance to town. One lonely Christian church (Gosprino Vrilo) was located outside of town itself. 

We turned SE towards Bugojno, passing an ancient Muslim cemetery judging by the age of the headstones, then drove the pretty mountain road to Kupres with its enormous Basilica (Svete Obitelji). 

The Basilica at Kupres is ENORMOUS!!

Out of town we were surprised when the land opened out to an enormous plateau, with its scores of burnt out, shelled or bullet-holed farmhouses, obviously the scene of bitter fighting in the past. Thanks to water, fertile soil, green grass and grazing animals, "normalcy" seems to have resumed for some.

Took the road to Tomislavgrad towards Lake Busko Jezero, and with a storm approaching felt fortunate indeed to spot a road down to the lake past a gutted, deserted building. Arrived just in time to put up the roof before the rain worsened. It might have been early by a wristwatch, but the dark and rain was just the right atmosphere to sit inside with sundowners! GirlRob backed up recent photos. After the rain BoyRob cooked a pesto pasta and Wanderoos sat outside watching the changing brilliance of the sunset. 

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