I promised myself that I would do mini adventures every other day until Travis’ return, and so far, I’m sticking with it. Today I had one of those “eyes bigger then your stomach” moments, and planned three towns when one was clearly more than enough. Not to worry, the town I choose turned out to be nothing short of spectacular and now I have two more mini adventures to the other towns to look forward to!
First, I got the ideas for which places to visit in BiH by asking on my favourite travel FB group, Girls Love Travel. I received loads of advice on places not to miss and I compiled them into a list that I am working my way through. Jajce was suggested multiple times, and being only about 75 mins from Kupres, seemed like a good choice for today’s mini adventure.
Jajce is a “large” (for BiH) town situated between two major rivers, the Pliva River and the Vrbas River. The rivers meet right at the foot of the town, where the Pliva tumbles in to the Vrbas creating one of the most stunning waterfalls I’ve ever seen, with the town as its backdrop. It’s not often that you get to see a waterfall IN a town, and this town is literally brimming with them! There are waterfalls welcoming you in, waterfalls bidding you farewell, and even more accompanying you on your stroll through the streets. I was a rubbernecking pro as I drove around stopping at every turnout trying to get photos of as many as I could!
While I probably could have spent all day just waterfall watching, Jajce has more to offer. A 14th century fortress still graces the top of the mountain, and makes for an incredible photo op. You can walk up to the top for views of the whole town, but I had Wasi with me, and had to make the call that it might be a bit too many stairs for his ten month old hips (one of the realities of traveling with and working a still growing Assistance Dog in training). Instead, Wasi and I went to visit Bear Tower (I couldn’t read the signs to figure out why its called that) and the catacombs.
I wasn’t actually expecting to be allowed in the catacombs with Wasi, since the sign clearly said no dogs and as I’ve mentioned before, Assistance dogs aren’t really a thing in BiH. But the lady at the ticket stand was so nice, and there weren’t any other visitors, so she let me go on down. This was Wasi’s very first trip underground, which can be very challenging for dogs; many underground tourist attractions throughout Europe are completely off limits to Assistance Dogs, even Guide Dogs, because many dogs find being underground so uncomfortable they can’t perform. Wasi walked down the first flight of stairs and into the upper chambers without seeming to notice, but hesitated when I started down to the lower chamber. Despite being fairly well lit, even I was pretty creeped out, and would have turned back if Wasi wasn’t willing to go any further. Before I could turn around though, Wasi walked down the stairs and strolled past me. Sometimes I think we are getting no where with his training, and then he does something like this and reminds me that just because he’s slower then Nefsi, doesn’t mean its not all getting through.
Wasi and I didn’t linger in the catacombs, but took a few photos and then hurried up only to be blinded the moment we stepped back outside. The weather today was absolute autumn gold, with shining sun and cloudless sky and the last of the warm temperatures so I’ve been warned. I took advantage by strolling along the town’s cobblestone streets and taking photos of everything from the ruins to the new mosque to (of course) more waterfalls. Since I had Wasi, I decided to skip another solo meal (with some relief admittedly). The entire adventure in town probably only lasted around two hours, but once I was back in the car, I knew I had expended all the energy I had for solo adventuring that day and opted to head back to Kupres instead of continuing to the next town on my list. All in all though, I consider it another successful day of being on my own and not hiding out in the cabin, so definitely a win!