Travnik and Karaula, starting to forget about time

Trip Start Apr 19, 2008
Trip End May 03, 2008

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Where I stayed
Motel Aba

Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina  ,
Friday, April 25, 2008

I arrived in Travnik by bus from Sarajevo, which was not very comfortable. The bus looked like it could still drive, but the gasses from the exhaust pipe were all over the place. I was coughing a lot and at one point covering my face with my jacket.

I looked up some motel at bh tourism and found 'Motel ABA' was the cheapest. 17,50 euro a night including breakfast. The rooms are very private and include satellite TV. :)
Travnik is a small city located about 1 1/2 hour from Sarajevo. (up north) The big attraction is the old Ottoman castle up on the hills, but Travnik is also known for it's cheese and 'blue water'. My main purpose was not the castle or other attractions. It was locals time again. Today (25th) i visited two good friends in Karaula. (a small village about 25mins from Travnik) I met Selma and Azra last year when i was doing charity work for a school. Selma (16) was studying there and Azra (24) was living next to the school and is studying at the university of Mostar.

I went to Karaula by bus where i first met up with the kids and the teachers from the school. As soon as i showed my face i was -BOMBARDED- (but this time in a good way) by children who were curious who i was and what i was doing here. Very funny, but in the end my head started to hurt because of the many questions. (most young children/teenagers in Bosnia can talk English because it is learned in primary school)

I met up with Selma and Azra, was invited inside her house, got some more Bosnian music, had a nice tea inside a Bosnian cafe, had a nice talk and then Azra and i went to Travnik for a small tour. We saw Stari Grad (old town) and some of the city center. Once again the Bosnian people proofed hospitality is one of their key points. Azra did not disappoint.

Btw. I am starting to get used to Bosnia. During my stay in Travnik i noticed i had to ask myself several times what time and day we are in. It is not important. Relaxing is what counts.... I will be in big problems when i get back in Hollandija :)

Just like Sarajevo people are begging on the streets. But unlike Romania they won't go away when you tell them you are not interested. Sometimes they keep following you, which is annoying. In Sarajevo i ran into a store to get rid of them, but even then i couldn't loose them. Luckily they will be send away by the store owner soon enough. Many are begging, from children to old people. It is sad to see.

I said good bye to the very sweet and friendly Azra (of course you are great too Selma!) around 6 and went to 'The internet Club' near the Travnik bus station. It is an internet cafe and bar in one.

Just five minutes ago a band from San Francisco started playing (and again we swapped mailaddress... more friends... ahhhhh Bosnia!)
I asked how they ended up here. Just like me they wanted to see more of the great Bosnia.
The place is packed with Bosnians, so it is time for some local Bosna party!!!


26th of April:

Ouch, the Bosna party cought me a little too much. My head hurts because of the Sarajevsko Pivo. The Bosnians really know how to get a party going. They kept asking the band to play more. The concert kept going for two hours and in the end some Bosnians came on stage to sing one of their own songs, with the band playing the instruments. (i have a nice video of that and will put it online when i get back)

I was getting ready to go to Mostar, but first i wanted to look around in Travnik a bit more. I went to the old town again (close to the Ottoman castle) to see some more of the austro-hungarian buildings, or at least what's left of them. Many are damaged. Azra told me that before the war everything looked great and nice. "Nowadays many buildings are damaged and dirt is everywhere. There is not enough money to repair and many people just don't care." I also went to famous blue water from the river 'Lasva'. They say you can drink it without getting sick. They changed the place into a small touristic area. If you look on the map, it is located east of the city close to 'Stari grad' (old town)

I finished my trip in Travnik with a Bosnian dinner at 'Konzum'. It is a big supermarket (where you can get anything from clothes to dinner) in the center. Dinners are sold upstairs for just 2,5 - 3 euro's. I had some nice lasagna with Azra the day before and now 'Cufte u Crvenom sosu', which according to the waiter was traditional and means meatballs with sauce.

I quickly bought a souvenir and nearly got ripped off again. Watch your step when you are in Bosnia people. As Azra told me: "please, when you are at the restoran with me, don't say ANYTHING. They will charge you two times as much". If i have to name one negative point about Bosnia, it is this... They charged me 11 euro (22 KM) for the souvenir. I think not. I got it down to 7 euro. (14 marks)

I say bye to Travnik, Karaula, Azra and Selma ( i am going to miss you girls! Hvala!) and head to Mostar.....
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mickey23 on

Yo Chrissie
Hey Chris,

quickly read your stories. Good to hear from you and your exciting adventures. I just had the cremation of my granddad. I read some poetry and everybody liked it :) It was not as bad as I thought, it was a happy and sweet goodbye, like grandpa was... May he rest in piece.

Hope you have lots of fun there and I'll hear from ya. xx

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