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Country name: Bosnia and Herzegovina | Montenegro
Capital: Sarajevo | Podgorica
Area: 51,129 | 13,812
Population: 3511,372 | 631,219
Language: Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian | Montenegrin/Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian/Albanian
Currency: Convertible Mark(BAM) | Euro
Road Length: 1000 | 5277
Bosnia & Herzegovina: There are five international road routes and 20 state highways, with bus connections to many countries. Railways total just over 1,000 km with links to Croatia and Serbia. There are 25 airports, seven of them with paved runways.
Montenegro: Overall length of roads in Montenegro is 5,277 km, of which 1,729 km is paved.
Roadtrip name: eMpowered in the Balkans
Distance: ~3,000 km (2,746 according to Google Maps)
Route: Munich > Vicenza > Banja Luka > Sarajevo > Pluzine > Podgorica > Kotor > Zadar > Munich
Car: BMW X6 M: 4.4L V8 | 567 bhp | 750 Nm | 2,340 kg
BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke in German, or Bavarian Motor Works in English is a German automobiles and motorcycles company. It was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria.
BMW has always been associated with some of the world’s classiest and comfiest cars. The 3-series, 5-series, 7-series etc. can be taken as a few examples. But that’s classy. Not essentially sporty. For that, BMW uses a magic alphabet called ‘M’. BMW M-Power series of cars are saloons and coupes that have that sports pedigree and can make you go through the driver’s seat for not respecting them.
Now, the car in question belongs to the X-Series which is BMW for SUVs. The X6 was marketed as an SAC i.e. Sports Activity Coupe. What they meant was that they fused the features of an SUV and a coupe. Now, the X6 is an SUV alright and the stance does make it look like a coupe, but what would happen if the magical M was to be added to it?
We’ll tell you what happens. You get a car that weighs more than 2300 kgs, looks big enough to intimidate mountains, and has a 4.4-litre V8 engine that makes 567 horses and a torque of 750 Nm.
What that translates to on the road? It takes a little less than 4.2s to accelerate from 0-100 km/h. And yes, we are still talking about an SUV here. Here’s an SUV that can give some of the sports cars, which are meant for speed, a run for their money. And the added benefits are the usual SUV features like high ground clearance, all-wheel drive and all-weather ability, large wheels and tires etc., just a little BMW-ized. All in all, we now know what ‘Wolf in Sheep’s clothing’ means.
Roadtrip description: Brilliant. Majestic. Work-of-art. That’s what BMW meant for us till now. But the monstrous X6 M-Power Edition has changed that definition for good. Now it’s – Big. Muscular. Wild. Because that’s exactly what the top of the line BMW X6 M – Power is. Add to that the comfort of a super-luxury saloon and going around picturesque countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro became a trip that created memories so vivid, that they’ll stay with us for a long long time.
Banja Luka is the second largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city lies on the Vrbas River. The Vrbas proves to be a major tourist attraction as well. It’s an ideal place for adventure seekers as well as for the naturists.
The Vrbas Canyon is perfect for water adventures like kayaking and rafting and for softer adventures upriver – hiking, walking, camping and fishing. Highlands around the canyon are marked with numerous hiking and walking trails which lead to outstanding views of the river below.
Serbian Orthodox Church forms the main religious composition of Banja Luka so an abundance of churches doesn’t come as a surprise. Out of the many churches, the cathedral of Christ The Savior is the major tourist attraction.
For those who want to visit a place which looks like it just dropped out of a fairy tale, Krupa Waterfalls is the place to go. There is this stretch which is completely cut-oﬀ from commercialization and has small waterfalls, mills, ﬂowery slopes and a few wooden huts too.
Do you know Evil? Do you know where it resides? Sometimes in the most inconspicuous of places like a nondescript hotel building in the small village of Miljevina. Ethnic cleansing (read: murder) of the non-Serb population of this area was dictated from inside this hotel.
This was the HQ of the Serbian paramilitary leader Pero Elez from which he committed horrific crimes against women and men in this region. We dared to venture inside this dilapidated building which seemed to be blown up at a certain point of time.
It was two ﬂoors deep underground with recent airbrushing on the walls and shards of glass and the place reeked of evil. We couldn’t venture down more than one level as the uneasiness was overpowering. It should be noted that at that point of time We had no clue about the building’s history.
It is the largest and the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Milijacka River in the heart of South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Due to its long and rich history of religious and cultural diversity, Sarajevo is sometimes called the “Jerusalem of Europe” or “Jerusalem of the Balkans”.
It is the only major European city which has a mosque, Catholic Church, Orthodox Church and synagogue within the same neighbourhood. War childhood museum tops the list of the tourist attractions of Sarajevo. The museum presents the experiences of children who lived through the war in Bosnia, told through objects, video testimonies, and excerpts from oral histories.
People who seek a diﬀerent, historical and philosophical experience should definitely pay a visit to this museum. The Srebrenica massacre which took place in July 1995 goes down in history as one of the most brutal massacres of all time. The genocide took lives of more than 8000 Muslim Bosnians, mainly men and boys.
Do visit this corner! You can also find dilapidated buildings which were bombed during the Yugoslavia wars. For nature lovers, there’s Vrelo Bosne which is one of the most popular natural landmarks of the country. Springwater lovers will definitely enjoy as this park has a lot of springs.
To me, Sarajevo holds one of the best examples of the ‘butterﬂy eﬀect’ which states that every event, big or small, has a profound impact on the future. It was in this city, at a nondescript corner of a street named Franz Josef, that a wrong turn by the driver led to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and subsequently, World War I.
The largest and the capital city of Montenegro. Podgorica is located in central Montenegro. The Moraca and Ribnica rivers ﬂow through the city. The richness in bodies of water is a major feature of the city. It has a Mediterranean climate.
Moraca River is also known as the symbol of Podgorica. The gorge that it forms is a must-see. Lake Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. There are additionally some freshwater sources at the lake bottom. A characteristic feature of Lake Skadar’s water balance is the high inﬂow from a number of temporary and permanent Karstic springs. Lake Skadar is one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, having 270 bird species.
The road running through the Moraca River Canyon is one of the most spectacular roads in the world. Located in Montenegro, the road traversing the canyon is called E65. Riddled with countless cliﬀ-side bends and tunnels, this road is basically out to get you, but if you survive you’ll be blown away by the beauty of the landscape that surrounds you.
BAY OF KOTOR
The Bay of Kotor, known simply as Boka (“the Bay”), is the name of the winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in south-western Montenegro and the region of Montenegro is concentrated around the bay.
The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor has been a World Heritage Site since 1979. Its numerous Orthodox and Catholic churches and monasteries make it a major pilgrimage site.
The bay is about 28 km long with a shoreline extending over 107.3 km. It is surrounded by two massifs of the Dinaric Alps: the Orjen Mountains to the west, and the Lovćen mountains to the east. The Bay of Kotor is touted to be one of the most beautiful places on the Balkans, and we would agree! The Old town of Perast is beautiful on a sunny day with blue skies.