Click on the colored areas of the map to access a travelogue. The colors indicate different regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original map comes from the CIA World Factbook)
Introduction. Bosnia and Herzegovina was an experience I will never forget as long as I live. Although I had very little opportunity to venture around during what was a long seven months away from home, what I did see was plenty enough.
Most of my time was concentrated around Sarajevo, the capital city, once the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics and a darling of the former Yugoslavia. Now it is a city still divided, in a country still divided. Two republics were formed as a result of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended a horrific civil war in 1995 -- the Republika Srpska (primarily Serbian Orthodox) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly Catholic Bosnia Croats and Bosniac Muslims), shown in the map. Most of the border between the republics was heavily mined (demining operations have taken years to complete, and are still not yet done).
Knowing what I know now, I wish I took more pictures and could remember more of the details of what I saw. I toured Sarajevo extensively during my stay in 2000 and 2001, and much of the war damage was still visible. Cities such as Mostar in the south and Banja Luka in the northwest were still hostile locations, with the city sharply divided between two former warring factions and the peace tenuous, helped by the multinational Stabilization Force led by the United States.
On the other hand, there were plenty of encouraging signs, not least of which was the successful rebuilding of Sarajevo itself, and the sincere attempts to submit the city as a candidate to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Bosnians (at least a portion of them) tried very hard to re-establish the arts, build high-tech industries, and start tourism.
History will tell whether whether or not this country will overcome its bloody past and integrate with the rest of Europe. It will take time. For now, the main destination I would recommend is Sarajevo, which is actually not a bad place to visit. Mostar is a strong second, a prominent river town with a rich history.
For now, I only have one travelogue to offer... of Sarajevo. Someday, I hope to publish more of my memoirs of my Bosnian experience, and perhaps find a reason to go back someday and see how things have progressed.
Travelogues. The coloring of the locations on the map above indicate different regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as shown below.
Links. The below links connect you to external sites in a new window. All links are official sites sanctioned by the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated. These links will open to the English-language home page is available, otherwise a Serbo-Croatian-language page which will offer an icon or link to an English-language section (normally limited content). If an English language link is not available, click on the "Turist" link. This is for the tourism page, which should have English content available. Links updated 29 December 2005.