Craig and I had been traveling in Dubrovnik, Croatia (which is amazing) and we had finished most of the sighting and activities we had planned to do and we had some extra time. I began looking at the map to see what was close by, and realized that both Montenegro and Bosnia were both near Dubrovnik.
Both he and I prefer to do traveling on our own rather than with a tour group. You can take your time and go slowly and really take in what you see. We also think it’s better to interact with local people, so you can learn more and get a different perspective on your travels.
Enter Dragica. She was our AirBnB host; a certified tour guide and she had a car. We didn’t really want to drive ourselves because renting a car can be annoying, and it also runs the risk of getting lost and losing time. Since we were short on time and had some extra cash available we asked her if we could pay her to drive us to some locations in Bosnia that we thought looked interesting. She agreed to join us on our adventure, and an adventure is was indeed.
Dragica is a 62-year-old fireball with flaming red hair and a penchant for making friends everywhere she goes. She was born in Serbia, has a Bosnian mother, a father from Montenegro and lives in Dubrovnik.. She is a little eccentric, slightly ridiculous, and has a name tag that hasn’t been updated since 1990’s glamour head shots were all the rage. But none the less she is fun, and anything you do with her will be an adventure.
Our adventure started at about 7am with her reminding us in heavily accented English to bring our “swimming costume” (bathing suit), a change of clothes, and our passports. As we set out for the boarder she began blasting Serbian music and telling us about the war between Croatia and Bosnia.
We had started our adventure with the intention of going to the Vjetrenica caves which looked awesome. Sadly though the caves didn’t open until 10 am and it was only 8:30am at that point. We agreed to move on, so unfortunately the caves will have to wait until next time.
Fianlly, we jumped back into Dragica’s car to start to make our way to the Kravice Falls. Since we left so early in the morning, none of us had eaten anything so we were all getting a little hungry. While we were driving through the valley along old dirt roads full of vineyards Dragica suddenly stopped in front of one. She then got out of the car and told us to follow her explaining in her accented English, “We will eat some grape.” We followed her onto the path and as I watched her take some grapes from the vine. I asked, “isn’t this considered stealing?” She responded with a fully hearted laugh and “It’s ok, we only take a little”
We followed her into the vineyard and started snapping some photos. We thought her lack of interest for the law was hilarious and yet foreign to us. If this were in Canada or the United States the police would have picked us up for trespassing and theft . That was when we heard the farmer. He sounded angry.
Dragica started waving and yelled something back in Bosnian and stuffed her pockets with grapes and told us to do the same. Once we were back in the car I asked what she said to the farmer and she told me “oh, I just told him we were taking some breakfast.”
Then she sped off onto the dirt roads blasting her traditional Serbian tunes.
Travelling with Dragica is truly an adventure. It can’t be describes as anything else. She drives incredibly fast, doesn’t really seem to know where she’s going, makes some random stops for roadside vegetables and always has the windows down while blasting Serbian music loud enough to make the car vibrate. What’s amazing is that she always manages to find her way somehow, I guess it’s because she is so friendly. The many times we did get lost she just rolled down her window and asked the locals. And then proceeded to have a 15 minute conversation with them.
Although Bosnia is an absolutely beautiful country…. It’s freaking hot!! In August the temperatures soar to 40+Celsius. Being Canadian I have to say I am not used the kind of heat. Luckily, though it isn’t that humid, it is a dry heat… but so dry even your eyeballs feel it.
After driving through the countryside for a few hours and munching on stolen grapes, we finally arrived at our much-awaited destination, Kravice falls. It’s a beautiful set of waterfalls, and it is just starting to become well known in the tourism community. Luckily for us that means there aren’t too many tour buses yet and we were surrounded by mostly locals.
When we arrived we had to buy some tickets and walk down a long set of stairs to get to the falls. At the bottom of the stairs there is a liquor stand where you can try some Bosnian Liquor. Dragica was on that, and quickly had us with shots of liquor in our hands. After the tasting we continued down another ramp to the falls.
We were met with two large waterfalls that are absolutely beautiful. When you first get in the water it feels like it’s freezing, but once you’re in it is soooooooooo refreshing.
If you are a little brave you can climb the rocks around the falls. On each layer of rocks there are small pools of water that you can sit in. The water from the falls can fall on your back allowing you to get a massage from nature. We climbed up to several different levels of the falls and enjoyed the refreshing water and mist. Let me tell you, when it’s that hot outside these waterfalls are incredible.
After about an hour of swimming in the refreshing water we met with Dragica again and she introduced us to “Cockta” the Yugoslavian version of Coca Cola. I personally thought that it tasted a bit like cherry coke, but less acidic and milder. I usually am not a fan of soda pop, but I did like this one. It didn’t seem to be as heavily carbonated and it was smooth with just a hint of cherry coke.
We didn’t end up staying for lunch, because we wanted to move on to Mostar, but food is available at the restaurants located next to the falls. If you really don’t want to walk up the long ramp and set of stairs to get to the top again, you can pay for a train to take you to the top of the hill for 1 Euro. If you are lazy and don’t like the heat, like me. This is a good option for you.
If you go to Bosnia, I would highly recommend you check out these waterfalls. They are so refreshing, and just generally nice to spend an afternoon at. At the moments it’s a really great place to check out because it isn’t over run by tourism yet. You can really just enjoy a quiet day there, without massive amounts of people.