+387 62 612 612

Funky Tours & Loyola Chicago: A Study Trip Bridging Cultures Across Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
March, 2024.

Funky Tours has always been committed to delivering extraordinary experiences. Our goal is clear: to exceed expectations by immersing our guests in the vibrant cultures, stories, and lives of local communities.

Our adventures into the academic world have been incredibly rewarding. We’ve proudly hosted a diverse range of educational institutions, from schools to universities, all seeking to explore the depths of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the colorful expanses of the Balkans, including Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo. These educational tours are crafted to offer insights and experiences that textbooks can’t match, aiming for the highest standard of travel education.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

Among our esteemed guests, Loyola University Chicago holds a special place. Year after year, we are delighted to welcome them back. This year’s tour was no exception, taking them from the historic paths of Belgrade to the welcoming arms of Sarajevo.

This exploration of Bosnia and Herzegovina wasn’t just a trip; it was an immersive journey into the rich tapestry of cultures and histories that define the region. It’s these meaningful exchanges and discoveries that leave a lasting impression on everyone involved.

From Belgrade to Sarajevo via Srebrenica: A Lesson in Humanity

The adventure began in Belgrade, where the group from Loyola University Chicago gathered, bubbling with anticipation for the journey ahead. The city, a crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe, served as the perfect prologue to their story of discovery. From Belgrade, the group set off towards Sarajevo, a city emblematic of resilience, beauty, and the complexity of human history.

In the heart of their journey, our students encountered Srebrenica, a place deeply engraved in the pages of European history.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

Srebrenica wasn’t just another stop; it was a profound dive into the shadows of the past, spotlighting the Srebrenica Genocide—the most harrowing chapter in Europe post-World War II.

Their visit to the Potočari Memorial Centre wasn’t merely about walking through a historical site; it was an immersive moment of silence and reflection in honor of the 1995 genocide victims. This solemn tribute set the stage for a deeper, more personal exploration of Srebrenica’s tragic legacy.

But the true essence of their experience unfolded in the warmth of a local family’s home. Sharing a meal in Srebrenica wasn’t just about tasting local cuisine; it was about heart-to-heart connections that painted a vivid picture of resilience and survival. Through these personal stories, history leapt from the pages, turning abstract facts into living, breathing narratives of strength and hospitality.

This journey was a bridge connecting our students to the land, its people, and their stories, exemplifying responsible tourism that enriches both visitor and local communities alike.

Srebrenica Tour

By stepping into the heart of Srebrenica’s story, the group didn’t just learn about the past; they felt it, understood it, and connected with it in a way that only firsthand narratives can facilitate.

Sarajevo Unveiled: Exploring History, Culture, and Cuisine

Our next days were dedicated to Sarajevo. Beyond sightseeing, they experienced the city’s essence through every sense and unveiled Sarajevo’s past and present, from its war-torn history to its lively markets and cafes, each layer revealing compelling stories.

Most importantly, they had a chance to understand why is Sarajevo famously known as European Jerusalem, learn about the coexistence and go further into depth, straying from the tourist trails while exploring the ends of tiny alleys, cosy local restaurants and vibrant hawker markets.

In the end, no visit to Sarajevo would be complete without indulging in its culinary delights. From savoring ćevapi to sampling baklava, each dish reflected Sarajevo’s rich history and hospitality, adding another layer to our cultural immersion.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

❐ During their trip, Loyola University Chicago students had a chance to completely immerse themselves in Sarajevo’s rich history and vibrant culture.

A highlight was the Sarajevo Total Siege Tour, led by a local survivor whose firsthand accounts brought history to life. Visits to landmarks like the War Tunnel Museum and Trebević mountain deepened their understanding of the city’s resilience and enabled our students to connect with tales of survival amidst nature’s beauty reclaiming the land.

Through this experience, we went above and beyond to make sure our Loyola students have chance to engage in cultural dialogues, enriched by authentic perspectives. Their time in Sarajevo underscored the power of history and culture to inspire and educate, leaving a lasting impact on their understanding of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s past and present.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

❐  We made sure to enable our students to wander around and explore on their own, embracing the freedom to discover the country at their own pace

Exploring Herzegovina: Intriguing History and Captivating Nature

Everyone knows – when in Bosnia, you absolutely must visit the region of Herzegovina and our students had a chance to explore it in depth.

Venturing out from Sarajevo, our group set off on an enriching excursion immersing themselves in the region’s diverse heritage and captivating landscapes. Their journey unfolded through the enchanting cities of Konjic, Jablanica, Počitelj, Blagaj, and the historic town of Pocitelj, revealing the deep-rooted history and cultural significance of each destination.

From the ancient allure of Počitelj’s Ottoman architecture to the intriguing sites of Konjic, including the renowned Tito’s bunker, students delved into Herzegovina’s past while appreciating its present charm. They learned about the heroic Battle of Neretva in Jablanica, gaining insight into the region’s tumultuous history.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

❐ In addition to exploring its captivating Ottoman architecture and historic streets, Pocitelj proved to be the perfect Instagrammable spot for the adventurous Loyola Chicago students.

We marveled at the grandeur of Pocitelj, where medieval architecture and winding streets tell stories of centuries past, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage and had an amazing lunch in Blagaj, serene and home to the mystical Blagaj Tekija and the stunning Buna River spring, offering a tranquil retreat amidst breathtaking natural beauty.

In Mostar, the students were captivated by the iconic Stari Most bridge, a symbol of resilience and reconciliation. They explored the bustling streets of the Old Town, adorned with Ottoman-era buildings and lively markets, immersing themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

❐ Another standout moment was the delightful lunch experience in Blagaj, right beside the tranquil Buna River, providing the Loyola Chicago students with a picturesque backdrop to enjoy their meal.

Amidst these reflections, students also delved into Herzegovina’s social and political dynamics. They examined the intricate governmental structures, the ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts, and the intersections of ethnicity, religion, and politics. Through discussions and interactions with local communities, they contemplated the region’s journey towards peace, stability, and understanding.

In essence, Loyola University Chicago students experienced Herzegovina as more than just a destination. It became a classroom, a canvas, and a crucible, where they engaged with history, culture, and humanity in all its complexity.

Loyola University Chicago's Journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the end, as they returned to Sarajevo, our students’ hearts and minds were filled with profound insights and cherished memories of their journey through Herzegovina.

Read more of our articles

Proceed Booking

Start WhatsApp Chat
24/7 Assistance
Let's talk about the Balkans!
Thinking of Balkans? We are the experts!