I want to introduce you to my hometown, Banja Luka. Most of you have probably never heard of this beautiful town in north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since I came to Graz, I've only went there once and then realised how much I’d actually missed it.
Banja Luka is is the largest and capital city of Republika Srpska * and second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina after Sarajevo. It lies on the Vrbas River and is surrounded by many hills. The weather is usually quite weird. For example, last week in Banja Luka was 25 degrees, which is certainly not typical weather for November. Anyway, there is either too much rain or it is too hot or too cold. The city is also famous for Fortress Kastel, ćevapi, rafting, the Orthodox Church of Jesus the Saviour, Banj Hill and many other sights.
* one of two political entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other entity is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Fortress Kastel was built by the Romans and then fortified again by the Ottomans. It is the oldest cultural monument in Banja Luka. The fortress lies on the banks of the Vrbas River, which makes it even more astonishing. It often hosts outdoor concerts, but it is usually very peaceful place.
Ćevapiii! Well, for those who don't know, there are few sorts of ćevapi. The most popular ones are Banjalučki ćevapi from Banja Luka and Sarajevski ćevapi from Sarajevo area.The main difference is in their appearance, but also in meat content. Banjalučki ćevapi are served in connected tuples of four, whereas Sarajevski ćevapi are served of 5-10 pieces. The dish is usually eaten with chopped onions, but also other vegetables and served in flatbread called lepinje. Below are the pictures of both sorts.
Raaafting! Vrbas river is a mighty fast mountain river with a numerous wild parts, which makes it perfect for adventure water sport such as rafting. The water is veeeeeery cold, but in summer the temperature is ideal for refreshment.The Vrbas River was home to the 2005 European Whitewater Rafting Championships and World Championship 2009. However, I must admitted I have never went to rafting. It's really a shame, as this is certainly a Must Do in Banja Luka and I actually live there, but I'm definitely planning to try it next summer. Rafting is possible during the whole year, but I'm quite afraid of the cold water.
The Fortress in winter
This clock is actually not working. Therefore, it is called "The wrong clock". It shows the exact time when there was a devastating earthquake in Banja Luka in 1969.
The song above is called "Good Evening, Banja Luka". I really love this song. You are probably not going to understand it, but there are some nice pictures in the video.