By raft or by car, you can't beat the views
Trip Start Jun 24, 2011
21Trip End Jul 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
Porto Bello Hotel
Nearly two hours driving wove through some absolutely spectacular landscape, during which time we crossed the border and into Montenegro. It should be noted that this area is the world's penultimate canyon system, getting the silver behind Colorado's Grand Canyon; needless to say the spectacular views would be just as incredible from the water.
We arrived at the drop-off and were hastily in the water with no breath spared for instructions; thankfully, I was not tasked with a paddle (with all the directions being in another tongue) and so I was allowed to soak up the magnificent views and snap away with the camera.
After lunch at the camp it was time to hit the road once more and set off for Trebinje. Driving back through Tjentiste I was finally given a view of the Sutjeska area, which was more than worth the wait. Taking a precarious winding mountain road (surprise) I was afforded some more amazing views of many other mountain landscapes (one would imagine there is a limit to this, but apparently not in BiH) and recklessly sporadically stopping on the road I was able to get some impressive views and photographs before leaving the mountainous Sarajevo area and heading into Herzegovinian territory.
Again I must tritely repeat my previous endearing sentiments; this country is utterly fantastic and breathtaking in its landscape. I had enjoyed the mountainous region but getting back into the sweeping plains and valleys was a pleasure. It is with a heavy heart that I reflect on the decision to keep a travel diary; no flair of language or photographic skill could properly document the unbelievable beauty of this area and I am apologetic for failing to describe the countryside to the degree it deserves
This leg of the journey saw me pass through some small towns and bigger cities that reminded me I was truly in the Baulkans; decrepit concrete housing and abandoned industrial sites were interspersed with traditional agricultural existences that spoke of a diverse and varied existence.
Outside of these urban areas the natural landscape continued to change and every square mile was loaded with character and intrigue. Some large clear lakes shaped the landscape and crafted a smooth winding path that was a delight to drive.
It must be noted that the drive was indeed a breeze (compared to previous experiences) and the Salmon ate up the asphalt with was tenacity; three narrow escapes from traffic police did little to slow my rapid progress through the country - it was just too damn enjoyable to drive.
After more than three and a half hours I emerged over a peak to look down on the beautiful city of Trebinje, nestled on the banks of the Trebisnjica River. The fortresses and ancient churches dotting the peaks of the hills that surrounded the town promised another spectacular experience of medieval European architecture.
Fortunately the city was more English friendly than Foca and I was able to discover a map that would point me in the direction of a hotel - there would be sleeping in the Salmon tonight
A late return to the hotel after another trip through the old town convinced me that this gorgeous place deserved another day - with Dubrovnik a short drive away tomorrow would be a seaside excursion followed by more of Trebinje in the late afternoon.