Hiking on Trebević mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“What are you doing for Christmas? Where will you be at New Year’s Eve? Do you have plans for your birthday?” Same questions every year. More or less same answer every year. “Don’t know, I’ll see.” For me the holidays aren’t anything special. I’d be totally fine hanging out in a hut, shovelling snow, making fire, walk a little, read a little. But to be honest this year I did feel like spending time with friends. Maybe I could do this walking, fire- making and snow shovelling stuff wíth friends?

Continue Reading "Trebević Tales #1 “The Wild One & Me”"

In Sarajevo I met up with Sabina, a sweet sweet friend ánd crazy-cool outdoor buddy I met three years ago. We stayed in touch and try to meet at least twice a year. Whenever we see eachother we go for a hike. Mostly in the mountains. This time Sabina took me to Trebević, thé mountain above Sarajevo. We made our way up from old town to mountain hut Jure Franko. Although Sarajevo is one of my favourite cities, I prefer breathing fresh mountain air. Especially during the winter Sarajevo is extremely polluted. Unfortunately.

Continue Reading "Hiking from Sarajevo to Jure Franko WINTERVLOG #1"
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It’s the fifth time that I’m in Sarajevo. I’ve seen pretty much every season, from bloody, bloody hot to freeeezing cold, I only did not see any snow. Until two weeks ago. Caroline, a friend who came to visit me, saw it first. ˝I see something falling from the sky..˝ I got out of bed to check, but couldn’t really see anything. ˝Well, I think it’s the reflection of the light on the dirty windows.˝ The next morning everything was white. No dirty windows, (hmm well also dirty windows) Caroline was right. Snooooow in Sarajevo!

Continue Reading "Snooooow (and other stuff) in Sarajevo!"
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What to do with Christmas and New Year Eve… Same question every year.. Well, since I’m not home or walking home for Christmas, I thought it would be best to escape the city and plan a little trip to the mountains. Apparently I’m not the only one who liked the idea of getting away, my oldest friend from Amsterdam, Caroline, flew to Sarajevo and accompanied me on this beautiful, but freezing cold winter holiday in the Bosnian mountains. The great thing about Sarajevo is that within thirty minutes you’re in a complete different world. Vukov Konak, a traditional Bosnian Mountain Inn, was the destination.

Continue Reading "Into the White"

Dobro jutro! While kneeled down in front of my guest bed rummaging through my bag I suddenly feel two small arms around my shoulders and a small body pressed against my back. The eight-year-old girl whose room I’m sharing this week, has come to hug me good morning and disappears as suddenly as she came in.

When I’m left alone in the room after the hug, I feel my heart pounding, my stomach fluttering and my eyes water. Soon tears stream down my cheeks. A liquid smile through every fibre of my body. And at the same time pain, a subdued haze that I could call sadness. It is something that is hard to explain, but for me maybe the most valuable feeling there is. Experiencing extremes, let it wash over you, influence each other and reinforce. Connecting.

I’m staying at a young couple’s house in Sarajevo. For a few of days I am a part of their lives and they are a part of mine. At first their daughter looked at me with suspicion when she saw my bags next to her bed. A stranger speaking a different language and sleeping in her bed, she didn’t seem to know what to make of that.

Continue Reading "Princess of the Mountains"

While cycling up a tough mountain in Una National Park last summer, I came across a group of touring Bosnians. Just like any other passers-by, they wondered why on earth I was travelling on my own, by bike. It struck me that they didn’t ask why I chose to spend my holiday in Bosnia or the Balkans, but why I didn’t just take a car. Explaining my passion for cycling and solo travelling remains difficult, and perhaps it’s a cultural difference.

Continue Reading "Sarajevo; a Concrete Gem Amidst Mighty Mountains"

After a night on an airplane, a transfer and another flight I arrived at Sarajevo airport mid morning. As forecasted it was a rainy day with low clouds so I did not see any mountains. Somewhat disappointed and tired from travelling I tried to figure out my next move, but before I could worry about where to go next I saw a girl with a sign reading: “ Eva Smeele Via Dinarica.” Smiling I went over and introduced myself.

Continue Reading "Between Two Worlds"