June 10 – Saturday

Got going from the campground around 9:45 – went first to the Mosque of Sultan Sulejman, but it wasn’t open, so kept going down the hill to the Karadjoz-bey Haman (public baths) right next to the river where the Bridge of Karadjoz-Bey crosses.

There’s not a lot left, but I can imagine when it was whole it must have been pretty cool.

Walked back up to the ‘main road’ then over to the side road that leads to The Velagic Family Complex (from the 17th century), and the Tekija Blagaj/Dervish House. The Velagic complex seemed to be closed, so I continued on to the Dervish House, which is right at the springs that the Buna flows from, but on the other side of the river than I was at a couple of days ago.

Had to pay 2 Euro/4 KM to get in (as I have found here both currencies are accepted almost everywhere) and it was totally worth it. Had to walk past a long row of vendors to get to the entrance – some of them had really nice stuff, and some looked like made-in-China plastic garbage.

Before you go in to the ‘house’ everyone has to remove their shoes, and women have to cover their hair and have a long skirt. There was a very nice Muslim woman there with a rack of long skirts that she chose from to put around me, and a bunch of lovely head scarves. She chose a red one for me, but I pointed to a beautiful turquoise-green one instead. She happily folded it and put it around my shoulders and over my head for me.

I made sure taking pic’s was ok, and proceeded in. It was so peaceful and soothing – all the floors were covered with beautiful rugs, some were silk. You could hear the falls from each room, sometimes quite loud, sometimes a bit muted.

There were beautiful scrolls on the walls, and one room (the bathing room) had a gorgeous domed ceiling with coloured glass to let in light.

Spent about an hour in all – it was a really wonderful place. Stopped at one of the vendors on my way out and bought myself a couple of pairs of earrings – 1 euro/2 km each (about $1.50)!

Decided not to go on the Green Cave tour with Lynn and John – it was far too expensive for my budget – 25 euros per person, plus they were going up to the Fortress that I hiked to yesterday. After all the walking up and down I did today after the hike yesterday my calfs are burning, so I’m passing on it. Lynn promised to take pic’s for me, and let me know if she thinks I could find the cave on my own without the pricey guide.

I’m making friends with one of the 3 kitties – the black and white one ate a bunch of crunchies I put out (after I cleaned the bowl), then wanted some of my soup. I worried that it was too salty, so only left a tiny bit of broth, then went and got a small piece of cheese. Kitty really liked that, and even ate the last tiny piece out of my fingers. Then I went to sit at the table and kitty followed – I managed to pet and scratch it until it let me pick it up and put it on the cushioned bench beside me. It loved being petted, but is still very skittish.

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