Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide
Celeb Travel / Angelina Jolie / Brad Pitt / Budapest Travel / Sarajevo Travel / Movie Set Travel / → All Tags
Angelina Jolie may be one of the most beautiful and influential women in the world, but even she had a hard time convincing Bosnian officials to let her film in their country.
Angie recently started shooting her directorial debut, a love story between a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman that is set in Bosnia during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. But she's not actually filming in Bosnia. Instead most of the movie is being made in Budapest, with only a few weeks of filming planned to take place in Sarajevo next month.
Travel Bans / Celeb Travel / Budapest Travel / Bosnia Travel / Movie Travel / Angelina Jolie / → All Tags
Uh oh, it looks like other countries are finally getting sick and tired of letting US actresses do with them what they will. Japan recently kicked out Paris Hilton due to her pending drug charges back in the States, and now Angelina Jolie has been denied entrance to Bosnia...but because of a matter far more delicate than drug charges.
Where is Angelina Jolie now? She's filming that movie already, just in Budapest, Hungary. It's the film that's got Bosnia worried, as it's about a "Bosnian muslim woman who falls for the Serbian soldier who rapes her during the bitter Balkans war." Women's groups, Muslim groups and war victims groups are all outraged that someone would want to film this in their country while the people who experienced the trauma are still very much around. Plus, to have A-lister Jolie throwing her weight behind such a project? Yea, Bosnia is mad. The Daily Mail even quoted a Bosnian official as saying, "With one film, Angelina Jolie is in danger of restarting the war all over again all by herself."
We know Australia loves making insanely oversized replicas of everyday objects in the hope of getting a few tourists to drive by (witness the ugly big koala and the giant slide rule as just a couple of hundreds of pretty dumb examples). But maybe it works, and the Bosnians are about to try it out for themselves.
If you travel through Bosnia, you'll learn that cabbages are important--they're healthy, nutritious and found in many kinds of local cuisine. Bosnians in the town of Bijeljina have decided to honor their favorite vegetable Australian-big-things style. Yep, they've got plans to build a giant cabbage monument. The big opening should take place during 2007--we'll be sure to bring you the first great glimpses of Bosnia's first giant cabbage. Hold the reprint on those guidebooks, because a monumental new tourist attraction is on its way!
· Homage to Cabbage [Edmonton Sun]
· Koalas--Cute When Small... [Jaunted]
· Australia's Geekiest Big Thing [Jaunted]
We're not the only ones who see formerly war-torn countries as the new hotness. Red Bull agrees with us. Sort of. Check out this video--it looks as if it's from last summer, as March is not a month for shirtlessness in Bosnia--of people diving off the rebuilt Stari Most in Mostar into the river below.
The original bridge from the 16th century (Stari Most means "Old Bridge") was destroyed in the 90s during the war in Bosnia. It was reconstructed in 2004. We're just glad to see that politically significant projects can be combined with vile-tasting energy drinks. Cheers.
Is there anything Richard Branson can't sell?
Virgin Railways is set to unload 160 obsolete coaches from the UK to Bosnia--they're clearly preparing for a tourist influx after that New York Times article--in the coming year. Virgin is replacing them on the London-Glasgow route with Pendolino trains--the same ones that are giving the Czechs such problems--and is selling the old trains to avoid the cost of recycling them.
The Bosnian rail network was destroyed during the war and is just now getting back on its feet. Their number of international routes went from 104 to six after the war. Most importantly, the trains are likely to keep their red seat covers and red paint jobs, Virgin's trademark.
The upshot to all is that now even Bosnia offers a higher quality rail service than Amtrak. Anyone want to buy an Acela?
[Image via Night Owl City/Flickr]
· Keeping the Railways on Track [Jaunted]
· Bright Bosnian Future [Jaunted]
· A Balkan adventure beckons for Britain's railways [The Guardian]
It's become a well established rule of travel writing these days that formerly war-torn countries are the new hotness. Forget Cambodia--for quality ethnic strife, choose the Balkans. With that in mind, Sarajevo gets the full treatment in the New York Times Travel section.
The article itself is remarkably restrained, and forgoes any mentions of fusion cuisine. It gives turbofolk (one of its biggest stars, Ceca, is pictured above) too much credit for a deeper meaning. Turbofolk is considered a musical scourge of the entire region, cobbling together two genres that are meant to be kept as far apart as possible.
Sarajevo is doubtless a fascinating place, but it may be too soon for the glossy treatment, even in an article evaluating the damage wrought by war in relation to the tourist industry. Croatia is so popular because all those islands and beaches are essentially history free. How many tourists are genuinely ready for the complete Balkan experience?
· Going Out in Sarajevo [Gridskipper]
· Sarajevo Reclaims its Lost Innocence [NYT]