Travel Diary: Bosnia & Serbia, Part 2February 08, 2014
If you missed out on Part 1, check it out HERE.
This post will be a compilation of photos I shot from 2 separate days in Bosnia (we spent 3 days in Bosnia, then 4 days in Belgrade, Serbia and then back to Bosnia for 1 day before leaving to get back to Switzerland). So these photos are from one day before our Belgrade trip and from one day after that trip.
My boyfriend (I'm going to call him S from now on) came to Switzerland with his parents and sister (one other sister stayed behind to finish up school) around 1994. The Bosnian war had been going on since 1992 and honestly, I know so little about it. I definitely need to read up on this topic. His parents, like many others from Bosnia, emigrated to Switzerland in search of a job and a better life. S and his sisters are all settled in Switzerland and don't plan on moving back to Bosnia. Their parents, on the other hand, left Switzerland after around 32 years and moved back to Bosnia to the house and little town where S's father grew up. He owns a lot of land there, including forest, and they have a farm which generates some kind of income for them. (Jobs are very rare for people coming from little towns like this one. Most men go around the villages asking if they can do any physical work on someone's farm, etc. The salaries are horrible there. A typical salary is around 450 Euros. And if you compare that to the prices of shoes and clothes in the stores, it's ridiculous. Most people end up paying in instalments for just a pair of boots, for example. CRAZY.)
^Here you see S's father and his barn, where about 30 sheep live.
S's father also makes his own honey. He basically just read up on how to do it, bought a few supplies, and voilà. His honey is organic and so delicious. The bees "live" in those blue boxes pictured above in S's parents' front yard.
Aww, the lambs were so precious. There were actually a few newborns during our stay.
^This is Bobby, S's parents' dog. Such a cutie and so sweet!
^They also have a pig pen on the opposite side of the house than the barn with sheep. I only saw one piggy though because as soon as you walk up to the pen all the pigs run back inside. I guess they're scared of getting roasted - I can understand...
^Here's a very typical scene in Bosnia. We were taking a drive into town and all of a sudden you'll see a herd of sheep in the middle of the street.
^You'll see a lot of stray dogs in Bosnia and Serbia. This one was hang in' out at the gas station we stopped at. It breaks my heart! You see them searching for food, or limping because they got hurt. Ugh, poor things.
So, the following photos are from after we got back from our city trip to Belgrade. The weather was absolutely gorgeous - and this on January 2nd! We went on a walk through S's father's forest to find a tree to cut down for them to burn in their furnace on Christmas. The Serbs in Bosnia are Orthodox Christian and celebrate Christmas on January 7th (you also have many Muslim in Bosnia, but S's family are Serbs).
Tradition is, you go find a tree, cut it down yourself, and you put some money in your pockets before you leave the house which means you'll be wealthy / you'll have enough money for the upcoming year. (I'm still waiting for all that money to come flowing in...)
It was SUCH a beautiful day and this walk was the perfect outing.
^I absolutely love this photo I shot of S.
^And here I am trying to take an "artsy" selfie...and failing miserably haha...
^Yay! The men were successful in finding a tree and cutting it down. I just thought it'd be fun to pose for a picture with an axe in my hand.
^Another tradition is to wedge a coin into the stump of the tree you just cut down. This is also meant to bring good luck and to make you filthy rich (still waiting...).
So beautiful and peaceful. I really like going to Bosnia to visit S's parents because their lives are so different than ours. When you're there, how you dress or how your makeup looks isn't important at all. What's important and cherished is spending time together, sitting around the kitchen table talking, eating and eating and eating some more (I can't complain, obviously...). It's just a breath of fresh air to spend a few days there.
^S's mom with the cute wittle babies!
^S on a tractor. And yes, after I shot this photo, we rode on the tractor together, my first time. I got freakin' scared and got off after 30 seconds because I thought I was going to fall off. I guess I'm not really that much of a country girl, but I try ;)
And to finish up this post: me holding one of the wittle lambs!! So precious.
Stay tuned for Part 3, the final part of my Bosnia & Serbia travel diary!