Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trebinje, BiH

Our first stop in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) is Trebinje, one-hour by direct bus from Herceg Novi, Montenegro.  When I first picked Trebinje last fall, it wasn't even listed in our old Lonely Planet.  John was very skeptical -- do they have hotels?!  It turns out that later editions of LP do include Trebinje.  During our trip research at home, we watched Circles (2013), which happened to be based on a real event that took place in the square in Trebinje and it was the best movie we watched all last year; powerful though harrowing.

Border crossing was super easy.  We didn't have to get off the bus at all.  Passports were handed over and passed back in the bus.  Trebinje is set in a picturesque valley with a river going through the middle.  We arrived in a light rain in the square - it is exactly how I remembered from the movie.  Remembering what happened in the movie, I felt a little shiver (no spoilers here).   We ended up staying in a big corner room overlooking the square, the same one Monica Bellucci stayed in when she was in town....

Today Trebinje is a peaceful town.  If we had been here in warmer and sunnier weather, I probably would have said cheerful.  There is virtually no sign of destruction.  There is a fair amount of building going on; new houses, new apartments, new churches....  There is a concerted effort to develop tourism, a mere 32km (driving distance) from Dubrovnik.  Vineyards are pervasive.  We happened upon them twice in one day, walking.  Yet I find it hard to let go -- what were these people thinking during 1990's Bosnian War?!  The answer is always the same -- they were not thinking.  I wonder how the town's people really think and feel today....


Trebinje.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Relaxing in our hotel room just after arriving in Trebinje.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Square from our window. Normally it's busy with a market on the far side and folks sitting in the sun drinking coffee
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

And a normal morning on the square.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Old Town along the banks of the Trebisnjica River.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Five way gate/arch in the Old Town.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The asymmetrical Old Bridge is scenic to say the least.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

New Orthodox Church.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tufahija, a Bosnian dessert, is a poached apple stuffed with walnuts and topped with whipped cream. Plus a shot of loza (grape brandy) to wash it down.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

We walked 4kms out of town to Tvrdos Monastery where the monks have started a winery.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Here's their church.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The New Town.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Muslim section of the cemetery.
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina


4 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

Jaw dropping! Absolutely jaw dropping! First off, your hotel room is lovely. Secondly, I'm assuming the square has recovered substantially since the war. Thirdly, the wine casks are beautiful. Fourthly, the colors in the church are yet more beautiful, I'm sure you took more than one photo, I await the rest when you return, er, ah, if you return, if you don't die of those desserts. I don't see Monica Bellucci in the cast of Circles, you know of her in something else?

john said...

Ed,

Thanks!

All the Trebinje photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/meckleychina/sets/72157642872049894/

We know Monica Belluci from Malèna.

-john

Crash Eddy said...

You Flickred these photos in meckleychina, not meckleyearth. Did you intend to do this?

john said...

Ed, For flickr meckleychina is correct. Although we spun off another blog named meckleyearth, I never started another flickr acount preferring to have just one.