The village Zijemlje is so small, and consists of so few houses, that you can almost drive by, without even noticing that you are inside a populated place. And the phrase "populated place" is stretched very thinly. There are about 30 houses in the village. Some of them are lived in, while only the outer structure remains from the others.
In 1991 Zijemlje counted 153 inhabitants, but I don't think that more then 70 people live here now, at least by the look of it all. But there is a political background to this place as well. It is also known as Serbian Mostar, and was created from a part of the pre-war municipality of Mostar (the other part of the pre-war municipality is now in the city Mostar, where I live today).
What the village lacks in people, it certainly makes up by it's rugged and rustic charm, and the surrounding fields of the valley are more then inviting for any visitor.
This is a multi-part travel series. Other parts include:
Inside the VillageWe came to the end of the road that leads to the village. There is a turning point here to go back, and a small side road that leads up another mountain (we went of course up the other mountain, which you will see at the end of this post). Some agricultural fields were in front of us, loosely divided by brown picket fences. I stopped my car at the side of the road, and we took a walk.
The vast valley was spread in front of us, seemingly nothing between us and the foothills of the surrounding mountains. Snow was to be seen on the mountain Velez, on the left side of this next image. But those are only the mountain tops that are covered in the white of snow. The rest of the slopes are enjoying the sunny times.
On the LookoutTaking in the sights inside the valley was the highlight of the trip. There is just so much to see and take in. Maybe having all of these images in front of you right now is overwhelming, but I do encourage you to enlarge the photos and slowly go through them. There are many details that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The next image is a black and white shot of the valley. I think it works well, since there were some clouds in the sky and because of the angle. Through it I can imagine what this place must have looked like many years ago.
Nothing but Calm on my MindThe calming effects of nature can be quite striking. Here, on these open roads, the feeling of freedom is very strong. You can go for miles and not encounter a living soul. I can only imagine how beautiful the valley must be when snow falls.
The Journey Goes OnAs we left the village, the sight of the valley started to fade, and soon we were back in the mountain slopes on the other side. This stretch of unpaved road leads to Nevesinje, a small city, just 29 kilometers (18 miles) away. Of course we didn't go to Nevesinje, but we drove up the mountain to a nice look out spot, from which I got a great view of the valley looking north.
End of Part Two
To be continued...
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