A small grocery store reveals its quirky charm (Jahorina; Bosnia And Herzegovina)
Figuring out which 'new' country to add to the growing list of annual ski experiences was rendered somewhat easier by the lure of skiing somewhere where the prices were favourable, the reviews were supportive, and other elements such as fine food and scope for an enjoyable city break could be woven into the mix - step forward Jahorina, now it's your turn. Most of us can barely recall the 1984 winter Olympics when this very venue was chosen to host it, so these days, with a war-torn identity and countless more minor struggles which had gone on in its wake, curiosity had arisen to see how much Jahorina measured up as a European ski destination. In the right kind of season, Jahorina comes across as snowsure and sufficiently well-supplied to be able to cope with the demand and the variety of hotels and guest houses dotted here and there suggest that you won't be short of options, nor indeed will the crop of local eateries fail you, neither in terms of selection, nor when it comes to substantial dining at the right price.
Snowscapes of this ilk are a joy to behold (Jahorina; Bosnia And Herzegovina)
Staying at the Mali Raj guest house initially did not come across as too much of a convenient option, that is until it was discovered that a 'ski to base of lift' route commenced a mere few steps away from the guest house entrance, as much as a return route also brought a skier back there, the benefit of backcountry and off-piste skiing, where these kinds of routes suggested the terrain was more expansive than a piste map made it appear. The real downer though, quite possibly due to the climate of the week in question, was the lack of good visibility, and generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the greater the fog, which didn't help a newcomer to the slopes who would benefit more from being able to see the full extent of the terrain ahead of them and carve out a suitable route both confidently and adeptly.
The piste is not exactly overrun! (Jahorina; Bosnia And Herzegovina)
All the same, the terrain, whilst not being vast, is sufficient to be able to vary your chosen paths, and even if the skiing is not your sole purpose of visit, activities such as snowmobiling and tobogganing are available for you to try your hand at. As my ski years clock by, it is fair to assume that I am increasingly less insistent on apres ski options wherever I visit, but one particular activity which is always a sizeable lure is the prospect of spa bathing after a day on the slopes. In this particular instance, the one place which provided on this front more than any other spot were the spa facilities at the Aparthotel Vucko, which were reasonably varied for it to be a spa experience worth repeating. Now that we're on the subject, one dining experience most definitely worth repeating was the superb food served up at the Eskim restaurant, well worth going right out of your way for in order to sample it.
Looking back on ski terrain already covered (Jahorina; Bosnia And Herzegovina)
In case you were wondering, drawbacks did exist, namely a lack of public bus route from the airport (limited demand probably put paid to that!) and, as mentioned previously, the dreaded fog, but minor quibbles aside, in terms of a bargain basement ski deal, Jahorina delivered to an extent which made it actively feel like a wholly worthwhile undertaking. Need I even mention that this was to be followed up with 2 full days in Sarajevo