The original plan is to drive all the way to Stolac, or even further west. Driving down the empty mountain landscapes south of Sarajevo, in the Republica Srpska, I enjoy the views of snow-topped mountains, pretty villages amidst green fields full of flowers, and easy to drive, empty roads. Things are going well, and I am advancing pretty easily. I decide to take the road that appears okay on my map, and that ensures the fastest possible connection to the main road leading south. I drive through a small village, and where I was driving on a good asphalt road before, I suddenly notice that the road has become a mere track, and I am driving slowly, zig-zagging on the road to cautiously avoid rocks and potholes. At first, it feels like adventure, but after half an hour, I realize the road is not going to improve at all - on the contrary: it is getting always worse. The scenery is great, but I am so concentrated on driving that I can hardly enjoy it. Then, the road starts to climb, and becomes very muddy; I now have to be very careful not to get stuck because I would not know how to get the car out all by myself. Then, suddenly, I realize that driving down the road is not an option: the risk of the car breaking down, or getting stuck in the mud, is simply too high.
When I reach the asphalt again, I am happy, but it is not over yet: instead of driving all the way back to where I know the main road runs, I decide to take one more inside road. You can call me heard-headed. The road turns out to be slightly better, and, driving slowly, I reach the highway to the south after half an hour. Where before I had plenty of time on my sleeve, I now realize that I have lost two precious hours. There is a police check, and a little further on, an accident has happened; when I reach a mountain pass, I get out to finally have something to eat while enjoying the view of the mountain landscape with a herd of sheep. when I finally reach Trebinje, the sun has already sunk behind the mountain range, I need to take fuel, I clean the car, and after some thinking, I decide to stay here instead of driving west, into the night. I quickly install myself in one of those old, big hotels, cross the river Trebišnjica, and walk into the old town of Trebinje. Where before I was a little disappointed for not having made it further west, I am now content with this unexpected opportunity to explore the old town of Trebinje, and I decide to come back the next morning.
Even before the alarm clock wakes me up, I am out of bed, get ready, and I make it to the bridge to the old town again before the sun. There are a lot of clouds in the sky, but there is enough light to reflect off the houses lining the river bank. When I arrive in the old town, I am the only one around. I walk the narrow streets and alleys, some of which are accessed through arched gateways, the small squares with stones and trees, past churches and mosques, until I reach the city gates at the other side. Trebinje was a walled city, back in the Middle Ages. After cruising all the streets, I cross the bridge again, and walk to the Ottoman-era stone bridge, a ten-minute walk along the banks of the river Trebišnjica. From a distance, I see the double-arched Arslanagić bridge reflected in the waters of the river; walking past it, the view is even better because the sun shines on it. When I am back at the old town again, the sun finds a hole in the clouds and throws its merciful rays of light on the medieval houses on the other side; their reflection on the water of the river is warm.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Trebinje (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Trebinje.
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