Everyone in Bosnia smokes; or that’s how it seems. Our cigarette smoking hotel owner said his mother gets through four packets a day. Walk into any public place be it a restaurant, bar, café or service station and the air will be a toxic fug of tobacco smoke. Why do Bosnians have such a universal disregard for their health? Perhaps the answer is partly due to the tragic recent past? Why too is the Bosnian countryside empty; villages and small towns devoid of inhabitants? Urban migration is happening all over the world but there’s more too it here. The scars left by the 92-95 war run deep.
Bosnia is a wonderfully mountainous country with much to offer the outdoors person and reliable snow for us ski tourers. Tourism is to be encouraged, bringing as does much needed revenue. Even the omnipresent Bosnian traffic police do their bit to promote tourism by only extorting money from the locals. The country is culturally rich and the people we met were very kind to us. I hope the future will kind to them but there is an edge to the place and sadly I fear for what it may hold.