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Old 06-18-2007, 06:35 AM   #1
Damir OP
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Abandoned Airbases and National Parks

Zeljava (near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina) airport was one of the most secret military airbases in ex Yugoslavia. Here you can see how it looked many years ago:




Airbase was demolished in May 1992, after federal army withdrawal from there.

Here is site where you can find lot of info about airport and other facilities located nearby.

http://www.zeljava-lybi.com/Zeljava-index2_eng.html

Airport became cult place to visit on our local motorcycle forum (www.motori.hr/forum), so we went there last weekend. AdvRiders AnteK and dr.chala were also members of our "expedition".
Planes were stationed in tunnels dig in nearby mountain and runways were on the surface.

There are few things that you must take care of when visiting. It is not tourist site, location is on Croatian – Bosnian border, and it is infested with mines. We announced our presence to Croatian border police. One of us, Hrvoje (Touno rider) is police officer so he took care of it. Tunnels are not mined, but it is not advisable to touch anything. It is also possible to enter tunnels on Croatian side of the border, exit in Bosnia, and get arrested. There is lot of dust inside, and in some places you can smell kerosene.







































It is hard to take pictures in complete darkness. All credit goes to Marko, who came all the way from Serbia to join us.

Tunnels were demolished using enormous quantities of explosives, results are clearly visible on pictures above. If you are not familiar with break-up of Yugoslavia, than is probably hard to understand what happened, and why and by who is airbase demolished, but trying to explain what happened would took us into recent history and politics and this is not what this report is about.

Out of the tunnels, it is time to explore surroundings.



















To be continued…
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Damir screwed with this post 07-29-2008 at 10:06 AM
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:11 AM   #2
GB
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It's always nice to go exploring with your friends!! Looks like a cool place to explore and ride!

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Old 06-18-2007, 07:23 AM   #3
Bozola
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An old F-84G Thunderjet. There's something you don't see everyday.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:24 AM   #4
xdbx
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is it fairly straightforward for an american to tour that area? How are the borders and such like?
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:13 AM   #5
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Great report. I watched the video after looking at the pictures and then it all came together. Are there many sites like this in the area?
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:19 AM   #6
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Wow, really cool!
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:21 AM   #7
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Kick ass.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:50 AM   #8
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YES! More Please!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #9
Hambone950
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fantastic report

that looks like a lot of fun.
Well done.
More pics.
Did you get inside the DC3 looking plane?
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:03 PM   #10
philp38
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More please Great pics and report.
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:19 PM   #11
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Thumb YES more please...I love anything to do with aircraft

Very cool photos.. please post some more
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:23 PM   #12
JackL
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Wow

Wow. Too bad they blew it up or it would have been a lot of fun to ride the bikes in there.
That old CH-47/DC-3 is nice too.

Good post

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Old 06-18-2007, 03:51 PM   #13
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Not that you need any more encouragement - more! Will be waiting with bated breath.

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Old 06-18-2007, 04:25 PM   #14
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Thumb Thanks for the post....

... and BE CAREFUL where you step!!!! Neat pics!!
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:39 AM   #15
Damir OP
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2 xdbx:
General area (Croatia & Bosnia) is perfectly OK for travelling. Croatia is very touristy country, sometimes I got a feeling that half of Europe is vacating on Croatian coast. Bosnia is also OK. You can find few ride reports from general area on AdvRider.

Zeljava airport complex can be accessed from Croatia, I have info that Bosnians are not allowing access. Good thing is to notify Croatian border police. There is border crossing nearby.
There are few rules how to behave in mine infested areas. Main thing is not to leave tarmac. I wouldn't enter tunnels alone, there is complete darkness, you can get lost, and there is lot of holes in the ground. There is also strong smell of kerosene in some places. One of the tanks survived explosion.

There are much more beautiful places to visit in Croatia, for example, Plitvice Lakes, UNESCO world heritage site is nearby and I will show you some pictures from Northern Velebit National Park later in report.

2 Kapn:
There are not, this is the biggest. AFAIK this was only underground airbase in ex Yugoslavia.

2 Hambone950:
I think that it is real Gooney Bird (C-47). Yugoslavia received lot of US military help after break up with Stalin's USSR in 1948.I didn’t enter the plane, as I said before it is not good idea to walk in high grass in landmine suspected area.











I will try to write something about radar station on Gola Pljesivica later today.
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Tunisia ride report

Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Croatian Backroads

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