Formally part of Yugoslavia (along with Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Slovenia) Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence only 20 years ago, meaning that like several countries on our itinerary, it has been slow to develop in comparison with western Europe, which has been able to develop for centuries. The country has been through sheer turmoil in the shape of a bloody civil war after Yugoslavia fell apart. There have been tensions ever since the 90s between the Croat-Muslims and the Serbs, however, the two groups now live alongside one another more or less peacefully. Although the country has one central government in the capital, Sarajevo, and one currency, the convertible Mark (KM), the country is still very much divided.
Bosnia is a magical country of rivers, mountains, green pastures and waterfalls, but having had our nature fix in Slovenia, we are going to head straight for the capital. Sarajevo is a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant nightlife and a good variety for shopping. The capital is still clearky marked by its history; you may find empty shopping centres inhabited by artist colonies, which we recommend visiting for the artwork on display. The city is so diverse that at least a couple of days should be spent soaking up the different atmospheres.
A last word of warning: if travelling outside main cities, special care must be taken as the government is still in the process of clearing the 5 million active landmines left after the civil war. Also, due to the different religious differences, make sure you know what you're getting into should you start a debate with a passionate local.Ljubljana and the Alpi Giuli, Slovenia Becici, Kotor Bay and Perast, Montenegro