BiH – BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – Two Names One Rugged Country

Rugged landscape of BiH

25 May – Mostar and Sarajevo – Tito’s official birthday

Left sunny Adriatic to enter the Dinaric Alps. Only 8 % of land is below 300′ as I weave through canyons amid mountain peaks between 2000-6000′. Every plot of flat land has a garden or grape vines. What a landscape in which to fight gorilla wars!  Tito marched thru these mountains fighting the Nazis, Ustaše, Chetniks, and Italians with little more than rifles and horses. Here, respect remains high for the partisans. Landscape is rugged and daunting. Bosnia is mountainous primeval forest while Herzegovina coast was denuded of forests used for shipping and naval lumber by Turks and Venetians. Goggle Maps only shows a big white blank dotted with major cities.  (more…)

The Balkans

Dubrovnik Croatia

I graduated from Purdue University a history major. Yet, what I know of the Balkans could be counted on one hand 1) where it is 2) Tito lived there 3) Milošević was there 4) the Saracens, Mongols, Huns, Manichæans, Romans, Byzantines, Christian Crusades, Venetians, Ottoman Turks, Napoleon, Italians, Austrians, Hungarians, Nazis and Communists sacked and pillaged at their pleasure over the centuries, and 5) if Franz Ferdinand had stayed home instead of traveling to Sarajevo in 1914, the world could have waited a little longer before plunging into World War One. Therefore, my goal before I dock there in May is to read as much as possible and arrive less ignorant.  If I offend any Croat or Serb in this process, it is out of my ignorance, not out of my efforts to understand a complex situation.