We flew British Airways to Zagreb which was surprisingly cheap and rented
a minivan from Oryx Car Rental. With seven people in our party (4 adults and
3 children aged 16, 13 and 11) we needed plenty of space. The drive to Banja
Luka was surprisingly easy and we passed into Bosnia without incident.
We had booked an apartment for a couple of nights in Banja Luka through
Airbnb. The apartment was spacious and in a great location close to the
small city centre. We immediately got a sense of how this country has
changed over time with the modern blocks that we were staying in mingled
with large and rather ugly communist concrete high-risers. But the city
centre was bustling and pretty, the architecture from a previous era.
On day 2 we took it easy, driving from Banja Luka to Jajce (pronounced
Yai-Chee) to see the waterfall there. The drive was our first real
experience of Bosnian roads which are narrow and not particularly well
maintained. But the surrounding country was magnificent with canyon and
mountain views to rival anything in other places we've visited, even
Jayce itself was a very pretty town on a steep
hill a fort topped the town and there is a water fall at the foot of the
hill, inside the town itself. We parked the car and walked down to see the
falls. For a small price you can walk right down to a purpose-build viewing
area which is so close that you quickly become soaked from the spray - but
it was worth it. Standing that close to the Jajce waterfalls was
awe-inspiring. The water so close you felt you come or almost touch it and
the sound was deafening.
Afterwards we drove along the river bank
to the nearby Piliva Lake and after lunch we swam and played in it (although
it was very cold!).
Then having eaten lunch we drove back to Banka
Luka, changes and headed out for our first adventure - night rafting