I wanted to represent how each part of the world is affected by human-made disasters. War was one of them and the country that came in my mind was Bosnia. But apart from war Bosnia has a rich history and culture. Below is the excerpt from my book, followed by some interesting facts and photographs about the places and things I have mentioned in my book.
The Leap (pp. 78-79). Kindle Edition.
“Oh, don’t you worry. I’m strong enough to handle all this. I’m not afraid of anything,” he boasted, nibbling his favourite Krofna, a type of filled doughnut that Natalia had brought for him.
They were all alone at the river that day, without their parents watching over them, something rare in those days of war in Bosnia. Stefan’s happiness knew no bounds, as he had long yearned for such a situation, where he could be all alone with her. She was the most beautiful and sweetest girl he had ever met. It seemed like a fairytale, he the prince and she his precious little princess. In the sunlight, her yellow hair band sparkled like a crown against her glossy pitch-black hair, which was parted down the middle.
“Not even of war and soldiers?” she asked, walking alongside him, her big eyelashes guarding her fairy-blue eyes.
“No, not at all. In fact, I’m waiting for my call. And once I’m asked to join, I’ll blow all the enemies away,” he blurted excitedly.
She raised her eyebrows and frowned. “You shouldn’t think like that. Fighting is bad. War is bad. People die.” She was facing him now, her cheeks cherry red under the sun.
Her troubled face and tone made Stefan realize the blunder he had made. He knew she was soft and full of compassion. He shouldn’t have talked about war with her. He had to do something fast to save their special day.
“Oh, yes, you’re right. Wars are no good. Let’s not talk about them,” he said walking toward Arslanagica Bridge.
It was one of Stefan’s favorite hangouts. Many a times he had been there with his father fishing. The bridge was adorned with several arches, a few of which rested on the banks, creating a nice sitting area. It was open from both sides and had a raised platform on which to sit. Stefan climbed up the bricks and then pulled her up gently. He sat with his legs dangling, while Natalia folded her legs and supported herself on the side walls. The translucent Tribisnjica flew by silently below, and they stared at the pristine green water. Watching the reflections of square houses and tall trees lined at the opposite bank of the river, Stefan imagined the day when they would grow up and finish their studies. Then he would then bring her there, kneel down on one knee, propose to her, and then put a ring on her finger.
The Leap (pp. 78-79). Kindle Edition.
Arslanagica Bridge :
Since the Kingdom of Bosnia was under the Ottoman rule, many cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina hold plenty of architecturally significant buildings created by the Ottomans, following their traditional architectural style. Arslanagica Bridge is one of them. This bridge, built in 1574, by Mehmed-Paša Sokolović, a member of the Arslanagić family is one of the most beautiful Ottoman bridges in the country and is defined by two large and two small semicircular arches. And the most amazing fact is that in the late 1960s, due to the necessity of the Grancarevo dam to prevent the waters of Trebisnjica River from destroying the bridge, it was moved, stone by stone into the old centre of Trebinje.
Tribisnjica: Trebišnjica is one of the longest sinking rivers in Europe. Diving and fishing in its clean and clear water are quite popular. It is home to some endemic species, such as ‘gaovica’ (species of ray-finned fish) and famous “olm”, an aquatic salamander which lives in underground river streams. There are also many picnic places along Trebišnjica banks, like Studenac and Lastva.
Krofna: These are sweet and airy doughnuts made with a yeast-activated dough. It’s a New year delicacy. They believe that as the yeast feeds on the sugar, the dough rises and so will your good fortune! Always round in shape, krofna symbolize that we have come full circle and are about to start anew.
– Nita Bajoria
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