RAMSKO LAKE – Where the Eagles Fly Early

While planning our vacation, during the now idealistic pre-pandemic 2018, we decided, before going to the seaside, to spend a few days at a location in our homecountry Bosnia and Herzegovina which we hadn’t visited yet. We came to a decision to visit Ramsko Lake, that true nature’s pearl, which captivated with its astonishing beauty hundreds of painters and landscape photographers to immortalise it in the unforgettable works of their brushes and cameras. The time had come for a wildlife photographer to also contribute to the photo-documenting of the charms of this fairy-tale place. 😉 We booked a three-day stay in August 2018 at Country House Vidikovac at Rumboci, a place right above the lake. From the direction of Sarajevo, in Jablanica you turn right and drive along the winding road to Rama. The road is difficult with a lot of curves, but for enthusiasts whose souls long for new sceneries this isn’t a big challenge. Driving along the steep and winding road to the Country House Vidikovac, I know I’ve asked myself: man, shall we finally reach the top of the mountain?! However, climbing up to the house, the lake remained behind me, so, waiting for the moment to see and confirm the perfectly booked location, I did not manage to grasp the view hiding behind my back. Carrying the things from the car, happy that we arrived, I got into the garden of the Country House Vidikovac.

Nothing can prepare you for these moments, and that is the charm of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the fact that it can leave you breathless with such views. At that very moment, I understood all of those paintings, since Ramsko Lake’s entire ambiance resembled an aquarelle on the green background of which the maestro had splashed colour blue, and it got arranged, with a mysterious dynamic, into a perfect composition that captivates both the eyes and the soul. No lake has this kind of landscape effect, and the competition is truly big. You cannot get enough of it, like a possessive child or elegant lady who is preparing herself for weeks for you to take her to the ball, it does not allow you to look away. No, not at all! Caught between the mountains Raduša, Ljubuša, Makljen and Vran, Ramsko Lake looks as though someone had stolen a part of the ambiance of the inexhaustible source of youth and brought it as a gift for the people to rejuvenate themselves simply by looking at it. We do not have to wait for the end of our lives and wish for paradise as a reward for our efforts in this lifetime. Both paradise and hell can be found on Earth, and one of the emblematic heavenly scenes is most certainly Ramsko Lake.

Ramsko Lake is an artificial lake made in 1969 and is distinguishable by its small islands, and of course, the Šćit peninsula with a beautiful Franciscan monastery. The location of the lake itself is suitable for all kinds of outdoor activities, from rowing, fishing, mountain climbing, hiking, running, cycling and mostly for chilling out 😊.

It does not have an organised infrastructure or many hotels, and as such it is not ideal for tourists and visitors looking for superior comfort but is more suitable for adventurers and people that want to feel the peace and pleasure of the wonderful nature and the traditional hospitality of the locals. Speaking of hospitality, I wholeheartedly recommend the accommodation at the Country House Vidikovac – https://www.facebook.com/seoskakucavidikovac, a house made with a lot of love, with bare hands, modelled on old houses in the Rama region. The hosts Antonia and her husband and their wonderful children will make sure that you feel comfortable every minute of your stay with the best breakfast in the world.

The second day of our stay I woke up rather early. The hot August sun was already burning the stones on the surrounding rockeries. While I was nurturing my soul and eyes in the garden by looking at the lake panorama, I heard a scream above my head. Some 30-40m above me a few birds of prey flew; at first I thought they were common buzzards, but the scream that was somewhat different left me with a shred of doubt. I ran into the house, took my camera and started taking pictures. They were flying slowly in repetitive circles to my general satisfaction. In the moment of excitement, I forgot whether the settings on the camera and the lens were correct, so I quickly adjusted them and continued photographing. They were flying over in swift brief flights and then they went away. I continued watching them until they got out of my sight. A good start of the vacation, I though!

Later on, I got the ID from an ornithologist that they were short-toed snake eagles (Circaetus gallicus) that were migrating. How delighted I was to have had my first encounter with a short-toed snake eagle that flew over the hot rockery looking for a quick morning bite of a snake or a lizard. Short-toed snake eagles are predators of medium size, with a wingspan up to 185cm and size to 65 cm. In the fall, they migrate in sub-saharan Africa and back to Europe in the spring.

What a fantastic bird, while I’m writing and processing pictures for the blog, excitement rushes through me from head to toe.

Good luck friends and thank you for your attention.

I hope to see you again soon at a new fairy-tale place in Bosnia in a sunny morning.

Almir Hukic


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