If you’re visiting the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo, you have to go to Lukomir. This is the highest mountain village in the country, at an elevation of 1,500 km.
It also has some Instagram worthy sights (Just look at the amazing cover photo!)
I had Lukomir on my bucket list for quite some time now and the occasion was perfect. We saw on Facebook that a local organisation, Avantur, was organizing an “iftar” in Lukomir. (Iftar is the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan).
But before I jump into it, let me tell you how irresponsible I am. I hurt my ankle in the Dominican Republic a few weeks earlier. The ankle was still swollen and the doctor recommended strict rest. And what did I do? I still went on hiking to this mountain village with my walking support. The result? The leg hurt more after that. The moral? Be responsible, don’t be me.
Ok, so back to Lukomir. My first surprise was the fact that it is, wow, quite a ride away from Sarajevo. Over an hour and half, to be precise. And the journey takes you 15 km over a dirt road (as if I didn’t have enough of dirt roads in the Dominican Republic).
But it is worth every second of it because even on our way there, we were surrounded by breath taking nature.
From time to time cows and sheep would block our road.
We took the time to talk to a shepherd. “You just missed the storm”, he told us. But how was that even possible, it had been unbearably hot the entire day in Sarajevo without a single rain drop (Random fact: We are experiencing some of the hottest summers in Bosnia!).
I wished we had more time to stop and look around because the views here were really something. But we were already running late and since all of us had been fasting the entire day, we were quite looking forward to see food on the table.
THIS VILLAGE IS A MOVIE SET
We arrived to what looked like a movie set and yet it was all genuine. Some data suggest it has been populated since the 15th century! Today, during the summer time there are around 20 families living here. In the winter the village is abandoned because it gets too cold and it snows too heavily.
Our first encounter was with a (extremely) persistent old lady. She insisted on showing us her handmade socks. She was quite the business woman, I must say. You see, I had no intention to buy anything and then I ended up with red wool socks. In the midst of summer. Yes, I’M THAT NAIVE.
The villagers were very open to talk to us. And this grandpa even made grandma sit in his lap for us🙂
One lady even they let us hold her dearest possession: her baby sheep (Yes, I’m the daughter of a veterinarian and I say baby sheep because I don’ know the exact term:D).
BOSNIAN FOOD AT ITS FINEST
The “restaurant” where we ate is called Ljetna bašta (“Summer terrace”). It is not what you expect. What you get is basically sitting in someone’s dining room, while the host brings the food from the kitchen right behind your back.
It is open year around and you don’t have to call for reservations.
Our menu included topa (various sorts of melted cheese – an inevitable entry during Ramadan in the Sarajevo region), begova čorba (the traditional Bosnian chicken cream soup), zeljanica and sirnica (spinach pie and cheese pie), and for dessert – hurmasica (like many of our traditional sweets, basically sugar and flour in solid form covered with more sugar in liquid form. I love it).
AMAZING LOCAL EXPERIENCE
While we were eating, the neighbours came in and it all felt more like a family get together than a restaurant visit. We would call it a “sijelo” in Bosnia: when you’re visiting friends/family at their house and you end up sitting, eating and drinking until very late at night.
After the “sijelo” around 12 am (“Please stay longer, we don’t mind”) we jumped on our orange minivan and then the next adventure began: getting back in the middle of night. By the time we were in Sarajevo, Nerko and I made new friends and had a wonderful day.
It really isn’t about how much time you have for new experiences but what you do with it.
I am explicitly naming the organisation Avantur here because we had a wonderful experience with them. We are not getting any commission from advertising them. But we do get the joy of promoting a beautiful initiative by a local who truly believes that our country has a lot to offer. We wish Avantur all the best and hope to enjoy their trips in the future – as soon as my leg is fully recovered, I promise!
HAVE YOU BEEN TO LUKOMIR? DID YOU LIKE IT?