Sunday, 20 July 2014

Walk to Lukomir, Bosnia’s highest village A 4 hr walk to an old summer village, evening in Sarajevo.

We started with an hour long transfer past the village built for the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Samir is very proud of these Bosnian landmarks.

Our walk started next to a group of old wooden mills driven by water.

We walked through the beech forest and then came to the edge of a canyon, then up and along a ridge to a small ancient village. The village had been there since the 14 c, outside the village were typical ancient tomb stones, these date back to pre-Ottoman times here and are pentagonal in cross section and weigh about 2.5 tons and nobody knows how they are made or what the represented. They are typical of the Bosnian, Serbian Croatian region and may yet be granted UNESCO protected status. The village comprised about 30 stone houses with wooden shingle roofs, but now many of the roofs are protected with tin instead and this is rusting and lacks the beauty of the wood. The houses are very simple inside, one woman cooked us lunch of a typical potato and cheese filed filo pastry like pie. we also drank coffee from tiny cups. The village is now abandoned in winter and the inhabitants move-down to stay with children who live in the outskirts of Sarajevo. I wonder what the children make of the move and how they cope with the arrival of sheep and hens. The village still feels very self-sufficient, there were potato patches, sheep grazing and hens pecking around. The women knit socks and I bought a pair of multi coloured socks with a geometric pattern on them which I can show off in winter. The men carve wooden items. The village is growing in different ways, some new houses are being built, a bar has opened and the mosque is being repaired and there were about 20 people there on the building site , inside and beyond the building was a working prayer hall with a mirab, green pulpit and carpets facing Mecca. The village is opposite an area of heavy forests but also quite inaccessible. We then drove back over the bleak rocky landscape. it was also v hot., it has been the first day when it has not rained.

In the evening we then walked down to Sarajevo for an excellent supper in an old brewery where the beer was better than anywhere else so far; it has been very bland and I also enjoyed a dark beer, the only one I have seen in Bosnia. Also had nicer beer than before. We ended the evening with Sarajevan ice cream.

Today’s contrasts were between the socialist architecture of the 1960s Olympic village and the stone buildings in Lukor. This village had the timelessness of high mountain locations. It was especially interesting to see this village because there were no villages in the Sujtska national park.

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