Bosnia – Heaven on earth

An unexpected and unplanned trip turned to one of my favorite travel adventures of the year. I was invited to visit Bosnia and Croatia by Velvet life, a highly personalized luxury travel boutique based in Bosnia.

Yellow cabi

There are a number of airlines that fly to Bosnia for example FlyDubai, Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines. I travelled with Turkish Airlines as it had the shortest transit time. The flight from Bahrain to Istanbul was delayed for an unknown reason. The captain didn’t even apologize or mention the delay which I thought was rude. I was nervous because I knew I had a short layover till my next flight. When we arrived I had less than 30 minutes to pass the security check and locate my gate. I started running and reached the gate on final call. I made it but sadly my bag didn’t make it to the flight. Fortunately there were another flight to Sarajevo that day my bag arrived later. I reached Sarajevo around 8 am. I was greeted by Velvet Life’s representative Selma. I stayed at Radon Plaza hotel which was very close to the airport. The hotel was good, the staff were nice and the room and toilet were spacious. The breakfast buffet was basic (not bad but nothing special) but I did enjoy the restaurant’s menu at night. I actually had dinner there most nights. The view was just amazing.

Bascarsija market
Bascarsija market

After checking-in my room and resting for a little while. We were off for a quick tour in Sarajevo’s old town market called Bascarsija. The Bascarsija market is a lovely pedestrian area full of traditional cafes and souvenir shops.

kebab
Bosnian Kebab

The water fountain sebilj is one of the most famous landmarks of old Sarajevo. It is believed whoever drinks water from the sebilj is to returns to Sarajevo! We had Bosnian kebab (Ćevapi)  for lunch then we went to have Bosnian coffee in a café on top of the hill (White Tabi). It was really the best views of the city.

 

Bosnian Coffee from white top capi
Bosnian Coffee from white top cabi

It was the first moment I realized how pretty Sarajevo is. My first day in Sarajevo was short and relaxed since I didn’t sleep the earlier night.

 

Sarajevo tram
Sarajevo tram

 

Next morning I was off for an adventure with Samir from Velvet Life. Samir took me on a tour to the mountains and we visited some of 1984’s Olympics sites. We started at mount Igman. On the way we stopped to visit a mosque made from wood in the forest that was built by the soldiers during the war. The mosque is now a tourist attraction.

 

On the road to mount Igman
On the road to mount Igman
Igman wooden mosque
Igman wooden mosque
Inside the mosque
Inside the mosque

 

After that we drove to mountain Bjelasnica (only 20 minutes from Sarajevo) to visit the biggest Ski resort. Samir was a ski trainer so he was the best guide to make anyone visualize how the place looks like in winter season. We were lucky to find the ski chairlift running in the summer.

Bjelasnica ski resort
Bjelasnica ski resort

 

Though I am a bit scared of heights but I’m so glad I overcame it and went on the ride. I would really recommend it to everyone visiting Bosnia. The views from the top are just stunning. I’m sure it is even more beautiful during winter season.

 

Bjelasnica ski resort cable car
Bjelasnica ski resort chairlift

Bosnian coffee at hotel han in Bjelasnica is a must. I was told the Bosnian famous dessert Tufahija is really good there.

Bosnian coffee hotel han
Bosnian coffee hotel han near the ski resort

We ended the day at “Vrelo Bosne” the real garden of Eden natural springs at the heart of Ilidža in Sarajevo area. Make sure to bring an empty bottle of water and fill it with fresh water from the springs.

The beautiful natural springs
The beautiful natural springs
Ottman/greek bridge
Ottoman/greek bridge
The next day was very different. We started at the train station I wanted to see the old trains and they were really old ! Then we walked to Avaz tower the highest skyscraper in Sarajevo for amazing view. The access to the top is cheap only 1 KM ( 200 Bahraini fils or $0.57) and there is a café on top.

 

Sarajevo from the top of tower
Sarajevo from the top of tower

 

From there we walked to the war museum. The gallery on the second floor with the war installations were very emotional.

A beautiful gallery of a photoshoot taken during the war
A beautiful gallery of a photo shoot taken during the war
War Museum in Sarajevo
War Museum in Sarajevo

 

We had a surprise waiting for us after lunch. Selma arranged for a city tour in a vintage car replica of the famous car that witnessed the assassination of prince Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo that triggered the start of the first World War. We toured Sarajevo in a car handmade by our driver Mr Edo. It was really a special experience.

Vintage car

I’ll stop here and I’ll blog about rest of my trip to Bosnia in the next posts so stay tuned for my first day of Ramadan in Sarajevo, natural wonders, beaches and waterfalls!

Breathtaking beauty
Breathtaking beauty

 

For more information and to book your tour contact Velvet life

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Follow Velvet Life on Instagram @velvet.life

Notjustaphoto was a guest at Bosnia courtesy of Velvet Life, however my opinion is as always, my own.