The weather was absolutely perfect each day and I was able to visit Blagaj, the Eko Centar (where Jake is working), and Medjugorje.

Here are some photos that Gretchen took when she visited me in Mostar last week.


Herceg Novi, Montenegro


Kotor, Perast, and Our Lady of the Rocks in Montenegro (July 19-21)


Top Left: Gretchen at the Tekija in Blagaj.

Top Right: Gretchen and I went to a vineyard just outside of Mostar.

Middle Left: Popovo Polje, a karstic plain that we drove through on our trip. I thought it was really a cool place geologically and environmentally.

Middle Right: View of Dubrovnik from a distance.

Bottom: Swimming in the Adriatic Sea in Slano.


Montenegrin Excursion

Life has been good lately. Gretchen visited for a couple days last week. It was great to show her around Mostar and Blagaj. I was at work during the day, but we still manage to see and do quite a bit. I even got to give her a little tour of the Eko Centar!
On Thursday morning, I was picked up for my weekend travels. My supervisor, Adnan, and a couple of friends had to travel for work and so he said Mary and I could hitch a ride with them down to Dubrovnik. We planned to make our way to Montenegro from there. On the way to Dubrovnik, we decided to stop for an afternoon swim in the Adriatic. We ended up staying in the town of Slano until after dinner. Upon arriving in Dubrovnik, however, we realized that the last bus of the day to Kotor had left 4 minutes earlier. After a couple phone calls, I found a room for the night and went out to enjoy an evening in the wonderful city of Dubrovnik. This turned out to be a pleasant mishap. Dubrovnik is not a bad place to get stranded. 
Mary and I caught the first bus to Montenegro the next morning. Our first stop was Kotor. Kotor is a city on the Bay of Kotor. It is surrounded by mountains. The old city is spectacular. There is a fortress on one of the mountains which overlooks the city and the bay. It is such a gorgeous location. If you took southern Italy and combined it with the fjords of Norway, you would get Montenegro. That is certainly the vibe I got while I was there. While in Kotor, I explored the old town throughout, spent some time on the beach, and tried a few great Montenegrin wines. I also walked up to the fortress which gave some remarkable views. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was a boat ride though. Mary and I went on a 2.5 hour boat ride on the bay. We stopped at Our Lady of the Rocks, a church on a man-made island. We also stopped at Perast, another town on the bay. It was fun to be out on the water again. It made me feel like I was back at my cabin on Woman Lake in Minnesota. Well, sort of…
Herceg Novi was the final stop in Montenegro. Herceg Novi is another awesome city on the bay. We spent one night there. When I asked people about Herceg Novi, everybody always raved about the beaches, but didn’t have much else to say. I was a little worried that the city itself wouldn’t have much to see. I was pleasantly surprised. The old town is small, but still historical, vibrant and enjoyable. I can attest to the fact that the beaches are great, as well. 
This excursion might end up being my last weekend trip during my time in BiH, and it certainly was a memorable one. I am excited to see what my last couple weeks in Mostar have in store.
Good Morning from Kotor!

Good Morning from Kotor!


Busy Days Ahead

It seems like there is so much going on and so little time to get it all done. Every day has been (and will continue to be…) packed full with events, travel, meetings, work, and spending time with friends. As of now, I am totally booked until Sunday night, but that is fine with me.

I am finally getting in for a hair cut after work today, and then I’ll be going out for dinner and drinks. Tomorrow I am getting a special visitor. Gretchen will be spending a couple of nights in Mostar, so I will get to show her around my city a bit. On Wednesday I am helping at a conference on sustainable agribusiness which is being put on by Nešto Više, another local NGO. I also have tickets to go to the Mostar Blues and Rock music festival which starts Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, my boss is picking me up from my apartment for some weekend traveling. He just happens to be going to Dubrovnik and I just happen to be going to Montenegro. We will likely hang out in Dubrovnik with friends for a bit before I head out to visit Kotor, Herceg Novi, and maybe some other city in Montenegro. I’ll be in Montengro until sometime on Sunday.

I am not sure what next week has in store yet, but you can be certain that it’ll be crammed with more activities. As my days here become fewer and fewer, I get the urge to do more and more with each day that I do have left.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Montenegro, here is a picture of Kotor (Photo taken from Wikipedia)



Weekend Trip

I went Dubrovnik this weekend. Wow… I know I say it a lot, but Dubrovnik is one of the coolest cities I have ever visited. The city has such a charm about it. It is so much fun to just wander the streets of the old town.

After work on Friday, I caught a bus to the city with Mary. Sadie was supposed to come, as well, but unfortunately she wasn’t feeling well so she stayed behind. By the time Mary and I got to Dubrovnik, it was already quite late in the evening, but the city was very lively. We explored for a bit before finding a place for a late dinner and some wine tastings. As a side note, wine from both Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina is grossly underrated. It is very affordable and high quality. 

The next morning we got up early so we could see the city and get some pictures before the streets were completely overtaken by tourists. After a nice breakfast, we walked up onto the wall which surrounds the old city. You can walk along the wall around the entire city. The walk provides some insanely cool views of both the city and the sea. After that we started hitting up museums. I think we made it to 4 or 5 before getting too tired of reading to continue. We had a quick lunch and tried a little more wine from Dalmatia, Istria, and continental Croatia, before resuming our exploration of the city. Sadly we only had about 24 hours in the city before we had to head back to Mostar, but that is the way it goes. I will be back in Dubrovnik for a few days at the start of August though, so all is well. I am already looking forward to it.


For dinner, my roommates and I made sirnica. Sirnica, or cheese pie as it is often called here, is a popular food in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the rest of southeastern Europe. This is my first time making sirnica. I made another type of pie called zeljanica a few months ago and it turned out well. There are many different kinds of pie. Some of the most popular fillings besides cheese are meat (burek), spinach (zeljanica), potato (krompiruša), and zucchini (tikvara). My favorites are spinach and zucchini, but you can’t really go wrong with Bosnian pies of any kind. They are delicious and inexpensive. Plus they are easy to find because most bakeries and grocery stores, as well as many restaurants, sell pies.

We stopped in Neum for a coffee break on the way to Dubrovnik. Neum is the only Bosnian town on the Adriatic Sea. BiH has just a few kilometers of coastline.

We stopped in Neum for a coffee break on the way to Dubrovnik. Neum is the only Bosnian town on the Adriatic Sea. BiH has just a few kilometers of coastline.

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