Pocitelj – A small window to a forgotten era
Talk a walk around Pocitelj and you will feel like you have taken a step back in time to a forgotten era. Winding stone cobbled streets, a gorgeous mosque, houses build of stone into the hill, a fort with ruins, surrounded by stone city walls, all on one bank of the Neretva River.
The best views of the whole town and the river, are from the fort tower. While it is a bit of a hike up the hill in the heat, the views of the town and the river from the tower are well worth the hike up the hill and the narrow spiralling stairs of the tower.
On a hot summers day it can get very hot in Pocitelj. Take a backpack with cold water, and some snacks. There is a small cafe at the bottom off the hill and across the road, but are usually only open in the summer months (June/July/August). At the bottom of the hill, locals sell fruit and veggies (cold juicy peaches were so good on a hot day), souvenirs and oriental rugs.
Pocitelj place holds special memories to my fiancé and I. While here in July 2014, we found a very sick, very skinny cat, covered in ticks and fleas, and she was very hungry and dehydrated in the heat. Locals feed the cats, but not proper cat food. She was very happy when we gave her some cold water and food, so happy she couldn’t decide whether to eat or thank us by cuddling us- so she did both. Even my cuddly cats, aren’t as cuddly as her. That night we looked into taking her back home to Australia with us- but we found out Aussie quarantine laws are so strict- the poor baby would spend moneys in quarantine, not to mention the thousands of dollars needed. Being owners of two very spoilt cats at home who get air con in summer and heaters in winter, we just couldn’t leave this baby to die. We spent the whole night and next day organising a home for her. Contacted shelters and volunteers, and in the end we found hope. We went back to Pocitelj to find her the next day with proper cat food, but she was no where to be found. After about half hour, she found us, and very much loved the cat food. So we called the young man and woman from nearby Konjic to help us rescue her. We visited a week later, she was so happy to see us again.
In October, when i went to Bosnia for the second time, I went back to Konjic to visit her, and she remembered me. Apparently she isn’t cuddly with anyone else, but with me she nested on my lap, purring and rubbing my arm for 4 hours. Update on the cat, her name is now PATCH, and she is triple the size now living like a princess with her new family (husband and wife, young son, and two other cats) in Vienna, Austria
We miss her everyday, but it makes me so happy knowing we saved her. If we didn’t, I would hate to think of her fate, she was a young sick cat when we saw her, I don’t think she would have survived as her ticks were pretty bad. There are so many strays all around Bosnia, and this year I hope I can feed and save some more!