Formerly part of Yugoslavia, both Bosnia and Croatia, independent since the early 1990s, are countries within the Balkans which offered me much in the way of comparison with those just to the west.
International visitors tend to associate Bosnia with the heart wrenching civil war of the 1990s, and it has certainly stood in my memory, Sarajevo being the focus of media attention back then. I admit that I was interested to see if I could find visible scars in this now thriving city. I found some, but the war was complex and those people that I discussed it with pointed out that there are scars which run deep, many of which are hidden.
Croatia is blessed with its location, touching the Adriatic Coast (I got the feeling things were more buoyant here), whereas in central Bosnia there were certainly signs of past hardships. People are humble.
My overriding experiences were of unassuming human warmth and countries moving forward. Both are adorned with hinterlands of majestic mountainous landscapes, interspersed with aqua coloured lakes and rivers, as well as splendid historic architecture.
These photographs don't pretend to reflect all that is Bosnia and Croatia, they are just a snippet, a portrait of life through my eyes.