To those soft woodland hillocks, those meadows, green, gleaming,
Spread wide along each side of the blue-flowing Tijesno…*
What a weird déjà vu!
But does déjà have a chance to be something simple, flat and trouble-free?
This, however, will have little in common with literature.
In this case, emotion was more connected with visuals that popped in my head. The memory was vague and slightly hazy, and the feeling in the heart impossibly close …
Literally, deja vu, because I knew this village. I knew these meadows, orchards, fences and haystacks. I saw this bend of the road … I also remembered some faces!
How it is possible, to have all of it crossing my mind if I was here for the first time?
*A slightly changed translation (made by Marcel Weyland) of “Pan Tadeusz”, an epic poem written in Polish by Adam Mickiewicz.
Eureka! As usual, after a while and when my brain has nearly melted, but I found it in a long-forgotten, half-fried cerebral ganglia.
Do you remember the first French slackliners: Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro or Auguste Renoir?
They were top Impressionists, you’ll answer. They lived a hundred years before rigging the first slackline, you will say and you will be right … but will you be right entirely?
In this place, the thin line between what impressionists have registered and what slackliners and climbers absorb with their senses today is lost.
These timeless landscapes, the very mood of the place, people and saturation of colours all create the most unique impression.
Long ago they were all here, having great fun. You will see for yourself how little has changed since the impressionist Paint and Chill of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, how it transformed into…
Drill and chill, drill and chill, drill and chill… chill chill chill
What do you think is on the picture you have just seen? What happened on that reel? Is it Martini’s joy of finding the immortal Doctor Gachet by Vincent van Gogh, whom she has been looking for all her life? Or is it just an ordinary Drill and Chill, a moment, a usual morning filled with eggs, oats and some coffee?
And if you say ‘of course its Gachet, but Vincent was a postimpressionist, rather than impressionist’ then that would be just pure banter.
I know that, you know that, they know that too.
Drill and Chill is a one big impression. A fleeting moment lived daily.
You dreamed about it.
In 2015, the dream came true for the first time.
Type: Highline and climbing
Place: Village Gornji Prnjavor – Rekavice, Manjača, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (GPS 44.688358, 17.169608)
Highline lengths: 35 – 450 m
Highline heights: ~ 60 – 290 m
Distance to spots: 10 min, but there’s a chillout zone along the way, rodeoline and trickline, so it can take longer
Spot availability: flip-flops on sunny days, trekking shoes on rainy ones
Safety: daily checking of spots, buddy check
Additionally: take a passport if you are coming from the European Union (if not from the EU check what documents you need), 🐍 venomous snakes coexist
Firstly, you target Banja Luka. If you choose ✈️ a plane and you are in Central Europe, then you should find very cheap tickets from low cost airlines from Berlin. There is 25 km from the airport to the centre, which you can cover e.g. by a bus which should take about 30 minutes. If you’re not in Central Europe you can check the organizer’s website tab as directions posted there may be of help.
By now You should have +- 15 km left to reach the Festival grounds. You can cover it 🚍 by Centrotrans Eurolines bus to the Rekavice village, and then 🚶🏾 walk the rest of the way. You will reach Rekavice in 21 minutes for 1-3 €. Then you do another 5 km on foot. A small number of daily courses may pose a problem. In 2019 the bus visited Rekavice twice a day.
As an alternative you can check the posts on the event website. A lot of people from all around the world are coming here by car.
Lastly, you can always take a 🚖 taxi for about 16-20 €, which will take you directly to ℹ️ the Infopoint.
If this festival were treated as ballet art, in which the main roles are played by climbers and slackliners, then the sets would be painted by impressionists. We have already established it 🔝 . However, ballet also needs 🎼 music and I have three types here. Strauss, Wagner or Beethoven, or preferably all of them together. I have no idea what composition would they get out of this meeting, but that doesn’t concern me. The music for the camping ballet would be their quiet murmur of discussions …
I would write more about it, but I just found a map of the festival space.
Let me just add that the entire festival area is a private area. I don’t know exactly how many farms are involved in this wonderful procedure, but everything that you see in the pictures is someone’s meadow, orchard or lawn. The entire festival area accepts 💰 two currencies: EUR and KM (1E = 2KM). Cash only.
Generally, ⛺️ the tents are unfolded in the orchard section, and 🚐 campers park in the meadow, by the road to the canyon. In the central part of everything, in the main square, there is ℹ️ Infopoint, integrated into the gray, brick house. Next to it a large dining-club tent is placed.
Be prepared for several hours of downtime in 💧 water 💧 delivery during the day.
At the campsite, you can communicate in English, and with the vast majority of participants also in German. I mentioned it above, mentioning the famous composers … You figured it out, right? Additionally, if you know any Slavic language, then you will find a common ground with nearby hosts. It may turn important regarding eating and drinking, but let’s start from the beginning.
It is definitely a well-organized festival. Starting from the Drill and Chill Festival website, where you will get most of the information you need, through a paper festival dossier that every participant will receive, and ending with excellent food … Ending only for a moment, because this section was supposed to be about food.
Think twice before going to the grocery store.
In the morning you can have the pleasure of meeting the man presented at the beginning as Doctor Gachet. He’ll hold a big basket in which you’ll find fresh eggs, kajmak (salty cheese), milk, honey and rakija. Everything is his own production. In the bar (run by a local – gaspadir Wito), visible in the photo from the festival map in the “Accommodation” section, you can eat lunch (salty fitter with homemade cream and homemade salty pie with cheese), drink coffee, tea, cold drinks, beer and rakija in at least a few varieties (plum, pear, quince). You can also buy cigarettes there. Similarly, in the shop at the infopoint, you’ll get rakija, lager and craft beers.
Now you can go to shops and restaurants. It will be far to reach them on foot though.
I exaggerated a bit with these restaurants, as the closest one is in Banja Luka. Earlier, near the entrance to the main road, near the gas station, you will find Rozen Bar where you will be able to eat traditional cevapa and use free WiFi. Next, 10 min towards Banja Luka, you will see the first grocery stores.
You will be delighted with the area – I can promise you that. Everything here is theoretically helping you to become a professional chiller or impressionist (if you have no problems with holding a brush).
Even if you don’t climb and don’t slackline, you can spend a beautiful day attending the workshops.
Sooner or later, however, the moment comes when you move towards the Tijesno canyon … to highline, climb, bolt the rocks, admire the views, or to cheer others …
If you are interested in the exact placement of spots and lines, check this link: 🧐 5 Drill and Chill Climbing and Highlining Festival 2019 – specification
At the end I will tell you – expect a crazy closing party… and I would gladly give the floor to the organizers :