Mark, you cannot have any idea of how happy these two sets of pictures make me! Only twice in my life have I had the opportunity to climb all the way up into similar fortifications. Once I was entirely alone and the other time with no other people very close by. Both times are favorite memories because of the absolute pleasure of being high enough up to survey everything below. Fumobici wrote:
they clearly could have skipped the whole 'building extensive hilltop fortifications' and gone straight to the 'became unnecessary' part
But no! They absolutely had to build the giant thing on the hilltop because who wouldn't want to have one?! Obviously it's even cooler if you are the ruler and everyone can see the big stone crown on the highest peak is yours, all yours.
Totally envious of your day out, even though I'm panting just from looking at the pictures.
In reply #20, in one of the pictures of the steps there is a person with bad hair & an umbrella. Is he or she selling clothing? hanging it out to dry?
I do have an attraction to abandoned fortresses, strongholds, castles and also enjoy them. I'd much rather go around these than the still used or renovated ones that seem to have little atmosphere. One imagination game we have played as a family and with friends is an adaptation of the 'if you were a vegetable, what would you be?' - but if you were a building. You have to see if what you think is the same as what is suggested by those who know you. I tend to end up as a fortress, Mrs M as an old classical library, one friend is a drop in social centre, another is a mutli-ethnic restaurant, one is a sports centre etc etc.
The reports so far actually cover one day and part of the morning of the next, there's a little more to come for the rest of that second day. The woman on the steps is a Roma and she is selling trinkets like fridge magnets, key rings, bags and materials. I've not yet seem photos of the village, of those steps, where there isn't her or someone similar doing the same.
We’d obviously had quite a while looking through the village and we decided to stop for lunch before we took anything else in. It would have been easy enough to call in any of the towns and get a restaurant meal. Most had seating outside anyway so the restrictions for eating inside due to covid hardly mattered. The area is famous regarding eating for trout and as we both enjoyed that we stopped at a hotel/motel/old water mill and restaurant on one of the other rivers.
This one – best jump to 1:38 until 1:56 and then 2:17 to the end. Not my video –
We sat on the island to have our meal. Very pleasant. Mrs M is sitting patiently by herself waiting for me –
Yes, tasted good. Even the green leafy thing. Seasoned just right. Cost equivalent to about five euros -
Even though we’ve had lunch, I’ll take you to another lunch spot where we could have had a bite to eat. As the last post was quite short I’ll add this also in here for today. It’s called Koćuša waterfall and is in the village of Veljaci (in the municipality of Ljubuški), on the river Mlada. But it is on the same river as the first post, Kravice waterfall, which is on the river Trebižat. The problem is that even though the river is just 51km long, these are the names it goes by in different places –
“Because the Trebižat River disappears and reappears various times and places, the people used to call it different names. At least nine names are regularly used, and few other are known to be used as well - overall some thirteen names are known to be used at different point in times and/or by different communities along its course, at various locations and for different sections: the Vrljika (from its original wellspring at Proložac to Kamenost (Podbablje)), the Matica (from Kamenmost in Croatia to Drinovci in Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Tihaljina (from wellspring at Peć Mlini to Mladi), the Mlade (from Mlade to Perila), the Stari (Old) Prokop & the (New) Prokop or the Kanal (from Perila to Jegetina), and the Trebižat (from Jegetina, through Ljubuško Polje, till confluence with the Neretva in village Struge near Čapljina); also at various places the river is called Brina, Culuša, Ričina, Suvaja (at Posušje), & Rika.”
We stopped for a walk round and a quick after lunch coffee but we didn’t stop too long as it was threatening rain later and we wanted to get to our last place of the trip before that came down. You can see there is absolutely nobody there at all. The lack of tourists is really killing that section of the economy in the country. The restaurant we had lunch at was busy because it isn’t a tourist place as such, it is frequented mainly by locals, who still naturally go out for lunch. I’d certainly stop here in better times though.
The waterfall is only about 5m high but is about 50m long, so not as spectacular as the other one, but definitely scenic –
This last photo will no doubt stretch the screen so I'll just post it by itself.
Tod, just put your tap on. It'll be about the same. K2, yes, I think over the years they've altered and adjusted with a bit of rock cutting and judicious use of local rocks cemented together. I expect to prevent flooding. But seventh photo up from the bottom, the one with the blue benches to the right - and the old car axle attached to the rock - I think it's likely they stick a bit of a water wheel on one end and a whole sheep/lamb on the other somewhere to make a spit. I'd like to see that.
Our last visit of the trip (trip of the trip?) was to a place near the town of Blagaj. After seeing virtually nobody we were a little surprised to find that for some reason, this place was busier than we thought it would be. I can’t attribute it to any accurate reason, but it seemed we’d found where the tourists were – though I doubted they were anything other than local Bosnian ones. We knew it was going to rain at some time as it was forecast and had clouded over which was a bit of a bummer because I wanted the classic photo of this place which needs sunlight. It’s well photographed and I missed out on that but the following will serve.
At the source of the River Buna is a Dervish Monastery. More of just a house really. The River Buna flows down to join with the Neretva river not too far away, around 9km. Above the town of Blagaj is another fortress of the same man as before that I already had photographed and had a walk round. This one here we didn’t go to, it was a possible visit but with the weather closing in we knew it wasn’t a viable option.
The monastery would be better called a Sufi Lodge but also includes a guesthouse (musafirhana) and mausoleum (türbe). It was built during the Ottoman rule and somewhere around 600 years ago. Due to damage from rockfalls and general dilapidation is has been rebuilt a couple of times, the most recent being 2012. It is a pilgrimage site and generally has quite a few visitors.
We approached by walking up one side of he river to take in the majority of the view but swapped over sides later. The first proper view was this –
You can see the cliff face above it –
Looking back downstream –
Then general views of the location whilst we retraced our steps –
Crossed over a small footbridge and you can see how high the water is at the moment and washing over where there would normally be restaurant tables. It didn’t appeal to us to stop for a drink –
The other side where the lodge is but with little to see. Neither of us were bothered about going inside –
We walked back to the car past the souvenir stalls as it began to rain. We hesitated for a moment trying to decide if we’d make it before getting soaking wet or best to have a drink somewhere and wait for it to stop. I decided we’d make a break for it because there was no guarantee it would stop – and it didn’t. We got to the car as it started to heavily come down and lasted until the next morning –
That was it for now. The next morning we returned to Sarajevo, called on the way in to the city for me to have a PCR test for my flight to Germany the next day.
The flooded restaurant area confirmed a thought I already had about the other place where you had lunch -- there are times when these places have to close due to the river level.
I think the location of the lodge is spectacular, but I bet that every time a boulder comes crashing down from above it could cause a panic even if it misses. I wouldn't want to stay in a room on the top floor. Nevertheless, the cliffs above must still be quite solid or they would have had to abandon that location long ago rather than it being fixed each time. I suppose that the periods of "dilapidation" can last for decades, though, because after a major catastrophic rockfall they must think "it's just not worth it this time" until a new generation decides that it won't happen again. (ha ha)
As regards clear water, I've not really come across a polluted river yet. You can see everywhere I've reported on has clear water. I'm sure there is pollution near, for example, a town called Zenica to the north of me. But I've not yet seen anything of note because I've no need to go to an industrial place.
Are the domes decorative or functional do you know
Both in a way. It is the Islamic building style and probably with local materials quite easy to do as long as they are not too big. But to add to that, the 'house' is the 'Han' which is the Inn cum caravanserai, so more than likely they are just separate rooms, or were, to stay in.
Correct, a bridge being built for the new motorway. Though if we come back in ten years I bet the view will still be the same the way the motorways progress here. There are a couple of dual carriageways but mainly single carriageways winding and bending through the hills and valleys. Very scenic but not good for commercial transport.
I have always enjoyed your hikes and day trip posts Mark but more so now. Even though I do not hike much at home, I do when we are on holiday. After viewing this thread a few times I now have plans to hike a gorge near here once the black fly season is over.