It’s Not What You’ve Seen on CNN
Due to the savage conflict that followed Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the early 1990s, most westerners still associate the names of its former republics with gaunt refugees, sniper alleys, and ethnically driven violence. However, those days are long-gone in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the legions of paramilitaries have been replaced by savvy tourists eager to take advantage of this nation’s pristine ski slopes and rich cultural heritage. Arriving in Sarajevo will put you within easy reach of both: all five major mountains surrounding this historically rich capital reach at least 5,000 feet above sea level. In warmer weather, options include hiking to the Pliva Waterfall near Jajce; relaxing in Neum, the center of this nation’s tiny but beautiful Adriatic shoreline; and rafting down the River Una, which flows along Bosnia’s border with Croatia. Stari Most, a spectacular 16th-century bridge that spans the River Neretva, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge was destroyed during the civil war years, but rebuilt in 2004 –a symbolic effort to reconcile the Bosnian communities.