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If you drive south of Sarajevo, in the ­direction of Mostar, after an hour you pass through a short tunnel near the top of a mountain into what locals refer to as California. Although Herzegovina-Neretva is separated from the canton of Sarajevo by just a mountain peak, its rocky outcrops and grey mist give way to a verdant landscape and clear skies.

It sounds unlikely, but the sunshine and greenery are not the only surprise. The river town of Konjic, in the heart of Herzegovina-Neretva, is home to another unlikely phenomenon: a small, heritage…

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