Albina Vukoja

osoblje-albina
People marvelled at what my late Vinko was doing here without water and electricity in this wasteland. And despite all the opposition, with 600 BAM in his pocket, Vinko began to build Hajdučke Vrleti. On his own and with the help of a friend. The place was closed for only a week after Vink’s death. Me and my daughter Marija, despite many friends, were left alone.  And we very quickly realized that life must go on.

Guided by great mutual love

“I know people by their eyes. If their eyes are warm, I remember them, if not I immediately forget them”, says Albina, the housewife of the world’s first and only haiduk republic.

People marvelled at what my late Vinko was doing here without water and electricity in this wasteland. And despite all the opposition, with 600 BAM in his pocket, Vinko began to build Hajdučke Vrleti. On his own and with the help of a friend. My daughter and I were in Mostar, and he was spending more time in Blidinje than with us.

We knew that the money for the materials needed to build what you see now was borrowed from a friend. And today I know that it was only that great mutual love that guided us in all our endeavours. We believed in each other.

Hajdučke Vrleti – Blidinje the most stunning winter destination

After three years, Hajdučke Vrleti have officially came to life, and Blidinje, as a stunning winter destination, slowly began to be “discovered” and settled by the owners of hundreds of vacation properties built today. The land could be bought for small sums and many took advantage of it.

“As a girl, Marija used to come to Blidinje with me on weekends and wash glasses while standing on drinks crates, and at the age of eight she served drinks to guests. And then at seventeen, when her father died, she took over all the work. And it was not easy, because after her father’s death, she had to make a decision, continue business or stay in Mostar and move on with the life of her peers.”

Then I gave her the choice to make her own decision, I even advised her to live in the city and continue her studies. At one point, she got mad at me for having such thoughts.

Hajdučke Vrleti was closed for only a week after Vink’s death. Me and my daughter Marija, despite many friends, were left alone.  And we very quickly realized that life must go on. Slowly guests began to arrive, and every penny I earned I saved to pay debts. And it was not easy at all, since late Vinko had left debts, all neatly recorded in his notebook.