Day 1 - Banja Luka, Jayce and Pliva Lake

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My family travelled around Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia: this site tells our first hand experiences.

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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 Yellowstone Park.
 
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