Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I want to start October with some scenic landscapes from my country. This is a two-parter, shot on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's one country, but the north and south are geographically divided into Bosnia (north) and Herzegovina (south). 

Our road trip begins on the top of the mountain Ivan. The M-17 road, which connects the capital city Sarajevo and my hometown Mostar, offers numerous opportunities where you can park at the side of the road, and take in the scenery. So let's go on a road trip!

This is a two-part post:
Part One: The Drive up the Mountains
Part Two: In the Valley and Down the Hills

click on the images for a bigger view

Somewhere in the distance a railroad tunnel can be seen. Some houses are dotted throughout the landscape, but it's mostly nature up here.

The M-17 road looking north to Sarajevo.

The woods here have only slowly started to change color.

The Ivan Mountain is 1,534 metres (5,033 ft) tall. And this is the highest point accessible by road.

Dark clouds are on the horizon, moving swiftly in land.

These mountains (including Ivan Mountain) here are part of the Dinaric Alps.

The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides form a mountain chain in Southern Europe, spanning areas of Italy Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania.

My car is waiting for me to head down the mountains, south towards Mostar.

End of Part One
To be continued...

Come back on Friday, for Part Two, in which we will be driving into the valley and down the mountains. In this part you saw Bosnia and in the next part, as we drive south, we will enter Herzegovina.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today I will show you a historical monument of an important World War II Battle that went on in these regions. In World War II, the so called Case White, also known as the Fourth Enemy Offensive, was a combined Axis strategic offensive launched against the Yugoslav Partisans (The National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia).

Since its final stage took place on the Neretva River, the operation was known in Yugoslavia as the Battle of the Neretva, or as the Battle for the Wounded.

In today's post we will visit one of the most important places of this battle, which nowadays is a national monument.

click on the images for a bigger view

The site is located in the town Jablanica.

A sign welcoming you to the monument.

A memorial museum has also been built here. It houses many important artifacts from Yugoslavia and the World War II period.

The battle that was being held here was one of the most significant confrontations of World War II in Yugoslavia.

The Axis (nations that fought in the World War II against the Allied forces) operation prompted the Partisans, with Tito in the lead, for the drive toward eastern Herzegovina.

In order to do this, Tito formed the so-called Main Operational Group, which eventually succeeded in forcing its way across the Neretva in mid-March 1943, after a series of dramatic battles with various hostile formations.

"We shall not leave the wounded behind" - Tito

In the last days of February 1943, Tito's Main Operational Group found itself in a critical position with no open road remaining.

Tito took the tactical command in his hands.

He ordered the Pioneer Company to destroy all the bridges across Neretva, which was done between 1 and 4 March. 

 In order to see the most important part of this post, I had to cross the relatively new bridge.

The bridge had been destroyed so that enemy forces couldn't pass through.

By the end of March, the Germans claimed to had killed about 11,915 Partisans, executed 616, and captured 2,506. Despite these heavy losses and a tactical victory for the Axis powers, the partisan formations secured their command.

You can spot the white bunker on the other side. This is where enemy forces were attacked.

The next major World War II operation in Yugoslavia was Case Black.

Thanks for stopping by.
This here is a very condensed version of the whole tactical procedures.

It's a very interesting story. Even a Academy Award Nominated movie has been made about this. I hope I evoked some interest in the happenings here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

As we look around us, we will undoubtedly notice changes in nature. It's a cycle that comes and goes, but no matter how many times you have seen it, it's always fascinating to witness it again.

In preparation for this post, I went back to the question of why and how leaves change their color in the fall season. I won't bore you with many details, but a few notes might be of interest.

click on the images for a bigger view

This here is only of course the start of the fall season. Much more intense colors are sure to follow.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter.

During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves.

As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

I want to end this post with a sneak peek!
Tomorrow we are going on a field trip to a National Historical Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I won't say much, but the next image is only a part of it.

So come back tomorrow for the whole trip.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

During a recent drive I stopped by the Jablanica Lake to take some images of the reflecting scenery in the lake. The sky was menacing and grey the whole day, but in this particular spot the clouds parted and the sun gave some great light to the landscape.

Jablanica Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Herzegovina. It's shape changes constantly. In this spot it's very narrow, but in others quite wast.

click on the images for a bigger view

I love the reflections created on the lake, and the glimpse of the small village on the other side.

A railroad bridge on the far left from where I was standing.

This spot is located on the M-17 road, a couple of miles south from the city Konjic.

A parking spot can be found right under the bridge, which provided me with an opportunity to take the next photo.

Another angle on the bridge.

I wish you a harmonious start into the weekend (and I hope these images could help a bit).
See you on Sunday for more images, from another place.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Fall Season has started and heavy rains have rushed over the lands. But in the middle of all that havoc and rain storms, nature is actually still blooming. We have been waiting for a long time for the tangerines to ripen in our orchard. And the first signs of ripening have showed up!

click on the images for a bigger view

The tangerines have started to get their familiar orange color.

Some are still green, with signs of promise.

The flowers in our garden are still in bloom.

Some of them are even coming into bloom!

When life gives you a rainy day, play in the puddles...

And if you need some help to brighten up the gray days...
click here for a Tutorial I did on fixing grey landscapes, that can help!

Monday, September 22, 2014

I love fresh and crisp early fall mornings. The air is cold, but not too cold, and still the promise of a sunny day lingers in the sky. Whenever I get the chance to get up early (i.e. can't sleep) I love to take photos of the dawn. Furthermore, I like the time, when the sun hasn't shown up yet.

This was taken on our mountain cottage. You can see the plums on the trees. Fall is really here.

click on the image for a bigger view

Thank you for visiting. I wish you all a happy start into the new week.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

We finish off our journey to the south on the river Trebizat. Trebizat is 51 km (30 miles) long and is the second largest losing stream in Bosnia and Herzegovina that drains into the underground and reappears several times. In terms of length, it comes right after the Trebišnjica river which is the largest river of this kind in the world and also a tributary of the Neretva watershed.

We also had lunch on the river in the Restaurant/Motel called "Most", which translated means "Bridge". The lunch was excellent, but we had to wait some time, before our order arived, since the place was jam packed.

This gave me some time to explore the surroundings. Enjoy!

This is a multi-part series, other parts include:
Part One: Mogorjelo, the Roman country house
Part Two: The Kravice Waterfalls
Part Three: The River Trebizat and Lunch

click on the images for a bigger view

The Trebizat river is the only underground river in Europe which sinks into the ground and emerges again a total of 9 times. This is a river with nine names, full of travertines, with amazing landscapes and a meandering stream, which waters the surrounding fertile fields.

 A sign, letting the drivers know, that they are crossing the river Trebizat.

While the others waited for lunch, I took a walk around the motel to see what I could find.

There is a nice park area here.

Another small restaurant is located here, and it belongs to the one we were visiting. This one here is not currently used.

 This river flows through an area of remarkable ecological value, hosting protected areas such as the travertine-formation around Kravice Waterfall.

You can even freshen yourself up on the cold river stream.

It was time to head back for lunch.

Everything was delicious.

We payed our bill and headed back home. It was a wonderful day spent in the south.

The End
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