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The Balkan is a peninsula in South Eastern Europe which may (or must not) be confused with the Baltic and the three countries that we will be visiting on this trip, were a part of one until two decades ago. That country, Yugoslavia, no longer exists, but now there are seven new countries where it once was. Our journey will not be a trip down memory lane, but we will see a lot of historic sites, from the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Austro Hungarian and recent communist past. We will also see remnants of the recent conflicts in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. Our trip is for people who are active and curious. It involves hiking so you need to be reasonably fit, but you will always have the option to replace hiking with site seeing because we will have private transport at our disposal.
Visiting Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia in 9 days!
This is a journey to three of the Former Yugoslav Republics - Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, all situated in the Northern Balkan region.
It is a region that has always been a cultural crossroad between the East and West, and a subject of interest and the strategies of the great kings and warriors, from ancient times till current days. Empires have clashed on Balkans and even today it is seen as a strategic point both by US and Russia. The EU has been accused of ignoring it and it then went to war over it...
For those of us who like mountains it also represents a heaven for hiking and it offers a variety of places, stories, sights and experiences. The history and the politics of the region inspire topics for intellectual discussions.
Belgrade, the Capital of Republic of Serbia
Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dubrovnik, the "jewel" of Croatia / the shore of Adriatic Sea
On the 8th of June we fly to Belgrade, which is the capital and largest city of Serbia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbia). It was the capital of Yugoslavia too, and during the NATO military campaign of 1999 it suffered some destruction. To read more about the campaign go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia
Nowadays, Belgrade is a modern continental city but it holds an aristocratic charisma. We'll be spending the first day there, and on the second day we'll go for a hike in a hilly natural resort Divchibare, near Belgrade. In the afternooon we'll be heading to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia's citizens are mainly Bosniaks, but also Serbs and Croats, and it is a mixture of cultures and religions. The culture is a result of centuries of influences from the East and West, Islam and Christianity so it is very interesting in many aspects: art, music, architecture, cuisine etc.
Historically Sarajevo is often mentioned as the place where the First World War began, with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. To read more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Archduke_Franz_Ferdinand_of_Austria
But in the early nineties, the break up of Yugoslavia brought another horrifying war in Bosnia, and some of the most popular sights in Sarajevo which we'll visit are sites that viewers around the world watched on the news for a good part of the early nineties wondering "how a war could break again in Europe?". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_War
More recently Sarajevo was nominated one of Top 10 cities to visit in 2010 in the 2010 edition of Lonely Planet's BEST IN TRAVEL. That is due to the Old bazaar, named Bash-carsija that we will explore in great detail.
We will have the opportunity to hike with local guide in the National Park Sutjeska - home of the only rainforest left in Europe, and also full of breathtaking sights, as the one from the highest peak Maglic which we'll hopeffully reach.
After spending two nights in Sarajevo, we'll continue our journey to Mostar, a charming little town known for the medieval oriental bridges. We'll spend another two nights there, exploring the nature of Bosnia by day, and the ethno-bars at night, sampling traditional recipes of food such as Bosnian kebab, burek, and drinks such as boza and sljivovitza, a plum based brandy which oils the palate and stimulates discussions about where, when, who and why.....
Our tracking adventure rounds up at what is often known as "the pearl of the Adriatic Sea" in Croatia, the town of Dubrovnik. We'll spend the first day exploring the narrow stone streets and the medieval fortress of the Old town of Dubrovnik, and the second day we'll enjoy swimming in the clear and warm waters of Adriatic sea.
Split, where we're flying from is around two hours away from Dubrovnik, so we'll leave the hotel early in the morning.
The price is £445.00 per person
The price includes:
8 BB in **/*** hotels in Belgrade (1), Sarajevo (2), Mostar (2) and Dubrovnik (3 overnights) Tourist minibus with a driver available 24/7
The price does not include:
Flight tickets Entrance tickets for National parks, museums, clubs or other places Professional mountain guide for the hiking Other meals except breakfast Transfer to places that are not included in the itinerary
If you are interested in joining this trip please buy your flights immidiately. Prices do go up. There is also a deposit of 200£ that should be payed by 15st of March, and the rest of the sum of £245 should be payed up to 1st of May.
If you want to stay in a single room a supplement of £160 is required.
London to Belgrade - Fri 08 Jun 12 Dep: 08:25 Arr: 12:10 Price: 33.99 GBP
Split to London - Sat 16 Jun 12 Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:45 Price: 39.99 GBP
To book your flights please go to the Wizz Air web site http://wizzair.com/
This is a trip for those of you who want to discover new European destinations and is a non-commercial trip. The London European Club is not a tourist agency and this trip has been prepared by using my knowledge and local contacts in the areas we're visiting. Do not expect to be "looked after" I am not a holiday rep. This is also my holiday and I want to enjoy it. Please arrange your own travel insurance and send me the insurance details. Please refrain from joining this trip if you cannot handle unexpected situations or unable to keep a positive attitude when things go wrong. If you are a drama queen/king DO NOT join this trip. If you can't handle group dynamics, please do not join us. If on the other hand you want to have an experiance of a lifetime in the company of Europeans and are prepared to learn/see something new, come and meet us and we'd love to travel with you.
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