Mostar, Bosnia – we love it!

Mostar
The new version of the old bridge in Mostar.

When we travel we always keep an ear open for good advice and tips from fellow travellers. And booking this Croatian holiday we followed the advice of a friend who had done a similar trip last year. Of course, us being us, we changed it around a bit and Mostar wasn’t really going to fit in. So I sent him a quick message and asked “Is Mostar really worth it?” He assured me it was. So we took his word for it and changed our itinerary accordingly. Was he right? He was spot on and I had to message him this morning to say thanks!

Mostar
As you cross the old bridge, this stone reminds you of the bloody past.

For a little place Mostar is scenically stunning but with a dark past. I refer of course to the Croatian war. We had seen a little of the damage in Dubrovnik but here in Mostar you don’t have to look very hard at all to see what this town endured. The beautiful bridge which is the hero photo of the town was destroyed in the Croatian war. As I was crossing the bridge I noticed a stone inscribed with “Don’t forget 1993”, this was the year the bridge was destroyed. It was rebuilt in 2004 using as much of the old structure as they could. I’m not going to dwell on the sadness of the recent times in Mostar but instead rejoice in how this beautiful city is back on its feet.

Mostar
This picture is on the side of a building overlooking where the worst of the fighting in the Croatian War took place in Mostar.

Walking tour of Mostar

This morning we took ourselves off on a walking tour of the city. Our guide, Sheva is a local who has only been running this tour for three months. He took us on a fascinating tour around the old town, telling us snippets of both the ancient and modern history of his town. He also, to my delight, pointed out where to get the best gelato in town!

Mostar
James enjoying a local beer with the view of Mostar behind him.

After our tour we found ourselves a nice little restaurant with a view for lunch and shared a plate of mixed local specialities. Then it was a case of battling the tour groups (yup they have followed us from Dubrovnik!) to do some shopping. Oh, and back track to Sheva’s gelato shop!

Mostar
Our delicious lunch of local dishes and homemade bread. On the wall behind you can see bullet holes from the war, this is sadly not an uncommon sight around Mostar.
Mostar
Looking down from our restaurant onto the bustling shopping street full of shops and tourists, but again look up to the building and see the bullet holes.

Tomorrow we leave beautiful Mostar and Bosnia and head over the border to Montenegro and the town of Kotor. And yes, this is another recommendation from our pal! Will he be right again?

 

 

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