This past weekend we had the amazing experience of traveling to the town of Bihać in northwestern Bosnia and to Plitvička Lakes National Park in Croatia. Here’s a map just for reference. Bihać is in the top left corner, and Plitvice is just across the border.
We (the Americans plus our coordinators Selma and Luljeta) joined a trip organized by Nahla, a group that works to empower women. The organization is Muslim-based, and everyone was incredibly friendly. We met one woman whose daughter and grandchildren live in California, and so she talked with us several times.
The bus ride to Bihać was about 6 hours, over mountains and on very narrow, winding roads. I was a little queasy by the end, but the views were stunning. We arrived in the afternoon, ate ćevapi for lunch, walked around Bihać, explored a castle nearby, and then went to our hotel for the night.
The next day we went to Plitvice National Park, just half an hour across the Croatian border. We spent the day walking a few trails, riding a boat across the lake, admiring the incredible display of waterfalls (which were plentiful due to spring flooding), and just enjoying the natural surroundings. I met someone from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who was now living in Croatia doing church work. I might have been overly-enthusiastic, but I’m sure he understood. I saw another very American-looking guy ahead of us on the trail who was also wearing a University of Wisconsin-Madison shirt, but I thought it would be weird if I chased him down to chat. We returned to Bihać late in the afternoon for dinner, then stopped at an ethno-village on our way home. The ethno-village was essentially a traditional farm that had been preserved as a museum, with a restaurant added on. People can plan a vacation there which includes biking on the trails, horseback riding, and learning how farmers lived.
As we did a lot in a very small amount of time, I thought it would be best if instead of recapping all the events in words, I just displayed my pictures with captions. Enjoy!