In return, Jajce has surprises in store for us in the early morning. The first reveals itself to us in the form of a scorpion that happily crawls through our room.
Our first shock quickly turned into sensational lust and we keep all available cameras on the stray animal. But we are not looking for contact. We pack our things and notify the owner of the arrival of a new pet. We do not follow his suggestion to kill the scorpion.
The next surprise shows us on the streets of the city. Suddenly everything is decorated and masses of people gather. We find out that today is the anniversary of the city’s liberation in 1995.
There are many schoolchildren among the onlookers, including a group with the German title “Culture, Youth, Nature”. Strangely enough, nobody could explain to us why they gave themselves a German name.
The event is carried out by soldiers and politicians of the Bosnian army and units of the “Croatian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina” and the army of Croatia, which at the time committed some war crimes against the Bosnians.
We are also surprised that the Croatian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina still exists.
The Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (Croatian: Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna) was an unrecognised geopolitical entity and proto-state in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was proclaimed on 18 November 1991 under the name Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (Croatian: Hrvatska Zajednica Herceg-Bosna) as a “political, cultural, economic and territorial whole” in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, proclaimed in northern Bosnia on 12 November 1991, was joined with Herzeg-Bosnia in October 1992. In its proclaimed borders, Herzeg-Bosnia encompassed about 30% of the country, but did not have effective control over the entire territory as parts of it were lost to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) at the beginning of the Bosnian War. The armed forces of Herzeg-Bosnia, the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), were formed on 8 April 1992 and initially fought in an alliance with the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims). Their relations deteriorated throughout late 1992, which led to the Croat–Bosniak War.Source: Wikipedia
We visit the fortress and the old town and leave Jajce.
Shortly behind the town there is a small village made up of little houses that are all watermills in themselves.
Then we immediately go to the next strange nation. We are entering the autonomous and incredibly unknown Republic of Srpska. Serbs live here who do not want to have anything to do with the Bosnians and who manage themselves.
Immediately after the national border sign, we interpret the poor condition of the road to mean that it doesn’t seem to work that well.
Republika Srpska is one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its largest city and administrative centre is Banja Luka, lying on the Vrbas river.
The entity encompasses most of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina-populated portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina situated in the north and east of the country. Formed in 1992 at the outset of the breakup of Yugoslavia, Republika Srpska, following the Dayton Accords, achieved international recognition as part of a federal Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Today, Republika Srpska maintains a parliamentary-style government, with the National Assembly holding legislative power within the entity. Republika Srpska is relatively centralised, although it is split into 2nd-level administrative units—municipalities, or opštine—of which there are 64. The legislature holds 83 seats, and the current session is the ninth since its founding.Source: Wikipedia
We follow our feeling for remote roads again and find a visitor center in the middle of the landscape.
Apparently the area is for climbers, but the season is over and we are invited for beer and coffee by the friendly operator.
The road into the unknown leads us even further, but at some point we have to admit that our Opel Crossland unfortunately does not live up to its name and does not manage the steep slope of the gravel road. We turn around and follow the main road through the mountains during sunset. On the way we collect a Polish hitchhiker who wants to meet his family in Croatia.
We don’t go that far today and put it out again near the border before we go to a remote Etno village and camp there. The village only consists of a wooden building and a few huts for guests. There is local food from the kitchen, great wine and a guitar on the wall that is put to the acid test by Chris and me after a certain alcohol level.