There are many places in south Bosnia and Herzegovina that offer themselves up for a great day trip. Places like Blagaj, Kravice Waterfalls, Pocitelj, Stolac, and so on. Most of them are well known and tourists swarm them, especially in the summer. But when you really want to escape to crowds there are other places where it feels like it's the end of the world. Small villages, like Zijemlje, located an hour drive up the mountains from Mostar. I have visited this village before during the winter, and always wanted to come back when the trees are green and maybe even at sunset. Luckily for me, I accomplished both of those things this past Saturday.
This is a multi part photo series. Other parts include:
Part 1: The Village on the Edge
Part 2: Sunset in the Valley
Part 3: Tombstones in the Mountains
Mountain Roads...It was around 4 o'clock in the afternoon when we descended into the valley of the village Zijemlje. In order to get there you have to drive up Rujiste mountain and take a turn for Zijemlje which is clearly marked. Once you get up on the mountain the main road vanishes and a gravel road takes its place. This is very adventurous travel, so be prepared. A mile outside the village, the mountain road turns back to being paved which makes driving a lot easier. Once you are in the valley you can see animals roaming around freely as well as the odd person here or there that lives in the village (actually we only did see people on our way back home, as I said this is a very desolated place).
Exploring ZijemljeWe parked our car at the side of the road and stepped outside to take a walk. Beni was with us, on his leash at first, until we eventually let him explore the surroundings by himself. We didn't do much here, since there isn't much to do, so we kept on walking, enjoying the fresh and cool air (it was 10 degrees difference between Mostar and the mountains).
Views from the ValleyThe sweeping views here leave you stunned. Especially during this time of day as the sun started slowly to set (actual great sunset shots in parts 2 and 3!). You can see the village in the background, houses tucked away in the edge of the valley. Only a few people live here, and I suspect that even they only come by once in a while. Some houses are even empty and destroyed. But it's interesting to observe life here, since there is some. We saw some children playing soccer, walking in the fields as well as older people rushing by in their cars.
Nature in the Mountain ValleyThough the valley is pretty much barren, there is some vegetation here and there. Small strips of greenery are usually accompanied by fences or the narrow dirt road. Mostly the fields are used for agriculture, but the vast majority is simply free from any kind of usage. The only thing that is piercing the fields are electric wire posts going through the mountains, bringing power into Zijemlje, then leading it away into the distance.
End of Part One
To be continued...