A Walk in the Park and Tennis in Banja Luka.
Yesterday I went with Tamara into the city.
While she was having coffee with some friends in the city, I decided to walk around Mladen Stojanovic park.
Mladen Stojanovic is the biggest park in the city.
Until yesterday I hadn’t really explored the park at all. And to be honest I am not too sure why.
The park is a quite beautiful green oasis near the city centre, bordered by King Petar Karadjordjevica street. A street lined with some stunning old Austro-Hungarian buildings from the late 19th century.
It’s a functional community open space.
A small fitness trail, a perimeter track for jogging (a good few older people doing that I have to say), or speed walking (young children were enjoying riding their stabilised tiny bikes) and above all extremely clean.
Several young children’s play areas were also available (bouncy castles, slides and cars and train rides to name but a few).
I was also struck by the amount of tennis courts there were on the parks northern perimeter.
It was actually the sounds of tennis that gravitated me to these courts and as I progressed around, I realised that Banja Luka was hosting an ATP Challenge Event.
The main court (small but professionally laid out) was adjacent to the “Wimbledon” Café and with a healthy crowd of spectators.
There was also a myriad of ball boys and girls in their event T shirts and caps.
You could quite easily imagine that the future Novak Djokovic or Ana Ivanovic could be playing in this minor (but international), competition.
The Balkans in general have a history of producing good tennis players.
Before leaving the park I sat down near a group of older men playing “Street Chess”.
As I transferred some images from my camera to my mobile device, I watched a completely “normal” Sunday pass me by.
Here’s my Vlog about the Park (and the Tennis).
How do you, use your local parks?