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Lukomir Ethno Village: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Blast From the Past
There are few things in life that can show you the beauty of our world. Hiking to #Lukomir will definitely bring you back to the past and see how peaceful everything was. If you are planning on visiting #Bosnia and #Herzegovina, you should definitely consider this unforgettable #hike.
Our first day’s hike of nearly 9 kilometers took us to a Bosnian Ethno Village said to be a ‘blast from the past’, a place where life continues just as it’s always been. Led by Superb Adventures, the same guide who’d met us the night before in Sarajevo, we scaled scrambled and sauntered to the town of Lukomir. The mountain town is reachable at nature’s discretion. Sunny day? Everyone’s welcome. Rain? You better be wearing good hiking shoes and a durable poncho. Snow? You’re in or your out, there is no back and forth.
Hiking Day Bjelasnica - Lukomir - Etno Village
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We began the hike in the clouds’ shadows, and continued in high hopes for better weather as we passed to the area’s highest peak.
A sharp crest standing high above the surrounding valley and winding rivers, it is a place of serenity where those who dare to climb to the top can see all but can barely be seen from below.
Nearing the highest peak, we passed through grazing fields. A drove of sheep noshed on ample grasses as their shepherds sat nearby. As they tended to the goats and sheep, their bodies exuded a passive authoritarianism while their voices spoke to the herds in loud Bosnian curses. Not a one of them seemed be in any real hurry nor under a foreboding stress. Their life seems simple though strenuous: a daily repetition of tracing and trekking from dawn until dusk.
Their life seems simple though strenuous
After an elevation change of 700meters from our starting point, we felt accomplished whilst rushed for time. One thousand and one photo opportunities had slowed us down (remember, this is a tour of travel bloggers!), and heavy clouds were bearing down on us.
We suited up as rains began to pour down on the land. Some of us were better equipped than others, and I found myself at the back of the pack. Initially trying hard to walk quickly in my street shoes, I gave up once I’d reached the fully soaked stage and realized rain could do no more harm. Instead, taking time to walk carefully would be the best way to compensate for the lack of good hiking shoes.
We each reached Lukomir at times directly corresponding to our skill level and attire. One by one we found our rooms at the town’s only public accommodation and shred off drenched outfits, exchanging them for toasty showers. Once warm and in dry apparel, we arranged shoes, socks, clothing and bags in front of the wood burning stoves and joined together in the common room.
Decorated with local handicrafts and maintaining the village’s simplistic style, the space is open and warm. Our hosts were ready to feed us with local organic fare. Sitting around a low circular wooden table placed in the middle of the floor, multiple homemade courses were brought out for our 5pm lunch. The main dish? Pita, freshly baked in the wood stove which was now simultaneously heating the room and drying our clothes. It was our second meal and second time eating pita that day, but this was even more heavenly, as the fresh spinach stuffed inside was rich in flavors.
Five of us managed to finish the entire dish and follow it up with a sweet chocolate treat afterward. Before we’d cleaned our dessert, our hostess energetically came to the door.
“What time would you like dinner?”
We moaned at the idea of fitting more into our bellies, but knew when tempted by savory Bosnian food, we would somehow manage. It was agreed upon to eat at eight. Two hours later. And guests would join us!
“The couple from the village, they are coming. They are very funny, you will laugh. You must use the toilet before they come,” we were warned, our hostess implying that laughter may get the best of us otherwise.
In the meantime, we four laid on the floor and couches fighting off sleep. Occasional bouts of laughter and empty conversations were passed across the room.It was just after 6pm, and we were wiped. What great ‘adventure travel bloggers’ we were!
We made it through the evening thanks to copious amounts of coffee, enjoyed yet another delectable homemade meal, and were brought back to life by the radiating couple who visited us after dinner. They spoke in Bosnian, so I did not need to worry about having any laughter ‘accidents’ but it was evident from their mannerisms that after over fifty years of marriage, they are filled with love and light.
The next morning we took a quick tour of Lukomir and were invited into the home of an elderly woman. A stove and sink sat in one room, a table and sofa in the other. She showed us hand knit socks, meant to keep toes warm through bitter winters and cold nights. Even in June, locals wore the socks, keeping them under rubber clogs when outside and wearing them as slippers indoors. The same herds of sheep we’d passed the day had once again been freed from their pen, and farmers sat hillside lost in a deep discussion.
Bosnia’s highest village is a blast from the past indeed. If not for its joy and charm, authenticity and simplicity.