Really wanted to see these post-yugoslavia post-tito countries... how did this nonaligned country of "partisans" who fought Hitler's army descend into the ethnic violence and how are they doing now?
Short answer: a very hopeful/vibrant populace of young people fully embracing the 20th century and their neighbors and secular progress! Their warmth and friendliness and rich history and landscapes overwhelmed and thrilled us to no end!
Visiting ancient but stlll inhabited Lukomir Village in the Bosnian Highlands with our wonderful guide Semra and having lunch with her grandparents after a wonderful hike in the green "sound of music" style hills. Surprised to hear about the nostalgia for Tito's benevolent dictator days from Semra during our long drive back! I do hope democracy takes root and addresses the peoples concerns!
Walking Ferhadija street and seeing muslim, christian and jewish places of worship and the bustling shopping and eating places; Ate lunch with Serbian christian family in a roadside cafe in Sarajevo and felt no overt animosity with the muslims of bosnia
Visiting scenic Mostar and watching a jump from the historic bridge!
Partying and Celebrating ...dancing and singing with the Croatians in main plaza of Old Town Dubrovnik after they lost World Cup Soccer ... the defeat paled compared to the pride in making it to the finals for this lilliputian country of 4 million people only!
Walking on top of the the periphery wall around Old Town Dubrovnik ... this is the City of Game of Thrones!
Met a young bosnian muslim teenager working in "game of thrones" store in Dubrovnik amongst the croatians; heartening to see this after the extreme violence unleashed by the Croatians against the bosnian muslims about a decade ago
Visited the Plitvice Falls ... arriving after 6 pm we were still let in by a kind security attendant and hiked into an area surrounded by multiple waterfalls
Ljubljana is a must visit ... what a wonderful wonderful old town with a beautiful plaza accessed by "triple bridges" and at the toe of a palace/fort over a hill.
A luxurious stay at Grand Union Hotel after the rough and tumble of the Air bnbs in Bosnia and Croatia!
Salzburg is truly a delightful City ... birthplace of Mozart and provider of the delicious Mozart chocolates and equally tasty/creamy ice cream!
"Sound of Music" tour was really good ...Zebi was just totally thrilled and singing with the others in our tour bus while we went around the countryside, the mountains and little towns and chalets ... scenic locations of the famous movie!