Dear SharePoint people, tired of those “25 reasons for not to come to country X” blog posts? Me too.

The biggest gain from my work with Microsoft Community and SharePoint peeps, are friendships. No facebook stuff – just plain, old, friendships, with the people from different parts of this planet. I know that some of those friendships will survive when SharePoint is for a long time no more, and that’s what makes me happy.

But! My dear SharePoint peeps, from all over the world, started sharing those silly, don’t-touch-me-I’m-a-little-girl-like touristic marketing posts, “25 reasons not to come to my country”. Bulls… sorry. Those posts are usually produced by highly specialized touristic marketing agencies, and should attract you to actually visit that very country. You figured that already.

Here is one no-bullshit-post, produced by me (and I am not a tourist agency), about why you SHOULD come to Bosnia and Herzegovina, leave your money there, and actually be happy and ask when could you do it again. We have f*cked up politics, major economic problems, but we are bloody cool. Don’t trust me? Ask Dragan Panjkov, Edin Kapic, Aleksandar Draskovic, or even Zlatan Dzinic. All Bosnian and Herzegovinian SharePoint folks. These photos here are from my collection, put in the random order here, and stolen from allover the Internet (but mostly from my friend Dinno Kassalo).

So, let’s start.

This is how the springs of our rivers look like. Yes, that is a 500 years old dervish monastery just beside it. Beat that.

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That spring is close to city of Mostar, where SharePoint guru from Barcelona, Edin Kapic is born. Mostar is a kick-ass-UNESCO-protected gorgeous city which was twice selected for a Bing background. That alone says everything.

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And some beautiful people living there…

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But, as beautiful as Mostar is, is not comparable to my birth city – Sarajevo. Yes, the freaking capital. This is how it looks like:

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This thing, called Sebilj, was copied at 7 different locations all over the world, including Belgrade (Serbia) and St. Louis (USA). Who cares, we have the original.

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For those of you IT guys who can remember Novell networks: you might also remember that Sarajevo was host for the Winter Olympic games back in 1984. Believe or not, the mountains are still there… (just 20 minutes of driving from Sarajevo).

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If you go to the other side of that very mountain (Bjelasnica), you can find this, in the summer:

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And this in the winter…

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And there is always a warm place to stay…

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If you go back to the city you get that Sarajevo architecture, like for example the Art Academy…Some cool movie people like Danis Tanovic (Academy Award – Oscar – winner), Emir Kusturica (Golden Palm / Cannes winner) and Jasmila Zbanic (Golden Bear / Berlin winner) have studied here…

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…or the National library

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…or the old downtown city center “Bascarsija”…

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…or basically the whole freaking city.

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15 minutes of driving away from Sarajevo, you find another of those river springs. This time it is river Bosna

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Yep, I know. All that just 15 minutes from Sarajevo. Here is more. I actually did a SharePoint project here.

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If you move a bit south, you come to the city where I spent the most of my childhood. Konjic.

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Beside the Neretva river, old city, and the famous Konjic stone bridge, we people from Konjic also can enjoy some cool lakes, like Boracko

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Oh, yes, that Neretva river. This is how it looks like from inside…

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And this is how Neretva river looks like from outside…

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It sure is a place for some decent fun…

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South of Konjic is a city of Ljubuski, with it’s famous Kravice waterfall…

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And western of Konjic is town Fojnica. Yes, this is Christian monastery being built just a few meters away from a Muslim mosque. Both over 500 years old. This is how we roll. If you are not confortable with that concept, please close this page immediately, and don’t (really don’t!) come to Bosnia, since we have enough experience with the a**holes who have problems with that.

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…with Prokosko lake just beside…

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But, if you think that this guy Adis found 5 beautiful cities to show off on his blog, nope… Sorry, but this is just how our cities look like… For example, Jajce… Yes, I know, freaking waterfall in the middle of the city. Beat that.

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We do have some funny habits, though. Here are the people from Banja Luka, one of the most beautiful Bosnian cities, using their standard transport means 🙂

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Or Bihac… (this is where I held one of the first user group sessions about SharePoint development, back in the times when MOSS 2007 was still in beta…)

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Yes, Bihac has a river, too… Una, a typical Bosnian river, one might say.

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In the north-east, there is Bijeljina, with the Etno-village Stanisici

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And the food?

Well, we invented the freaking Cevapi. That’s our national dish. Please remember: it is not “Cevapcici” – Cevapcici is that tasteless thing that you get in the restaurants at Croatian coast).

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Another national dish is “Pita”. With meat (“Burek”), cheese, spinach, potatoes, pumpkins… we mastered it all.

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Yep, and this is how we make bread…

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Blatina and Vranac (red) and Zilavka (white) are the most famous Herzegovinian wines. Sun, sun, and some more sun, make their flavor… well, unbeatable. What everyone must try at least once in life is Herzegovina Wine Route.

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And if you are not sure, because 20 years ago it was a war country… well, yes. They bombed the hell out of us, but even then we were cooler than most people on this freaking planet. Beat this (Siege of Sarajevo, 1993):

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And if you think that we are just about beautiful cities, sceneries and good food, think twice.

This guy is from Bosnia:

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They are, as well (mostly).

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Never heard of Kultur Shock? Your loss. Try this (WARNING: CONTAGIOUS) Winking smile

So, stop reading that silly girlish “do not come” posts, and just get over here.