We took one last trip in Europe during the spring of 2013 before we left Italy to move on to our next Navy duty station. We went to several favorite cities, but also explored some new ones. One of those new locations was Dubrovnik, Croatia. From Dubrovnik, we took a day trip to Mostar, Bosnia, an 84 mile trip one way.
Damage from the Bosnian war (1992-95) is still seen on the facades of buildings.
If it were up to Jeff, I don’t think we would go to places like Mostar, but I do the travel planning. I like to take one day trip on every multi-day trip we go on and I also like places that not everyone might go. Mostar? the city that was bombed so heavily during the breakup of Yugoslavia? Yes, or course and here’s why.
- Stari Most Bridge – this Ottoman style bridge built in the 16th century was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian war. Its rebuilding was completed in 2004 with some original pieces that fell into the river below. The area around the bridge with its Ottoman houses and architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Apparently it was a rite of passage for local boys/men to jump off the bridge, but now tourists do it as well? Not sure who the jumper was the day we were there.
- Old Bridge Area – walk through Ottoman style architecture on cobble stone streets, narrow roads and alleys, find some true craftsman and some war kitsch souvenirs
- Ethnic diversity – before the 1992-95 war, Mostar was a very ethnically diverse city, but during the war it became very divided, Croat, Serbian and Muslim. You can see evidence of its history and ethnic make-up throughout the city. There is an interesting War Photo Exhibition in the Old Bridge area.
- Food – the food was really good, great Turkish kebabs and strong Turkish coffee, my favorite, sorry, forgot to take photos of it
- Some kitsch – aside from vintage war kitsch souvenirs on display, we also saw some vintage cars.
Even with the bullet holes in buildings, it is hard to imagine Mostar under siege. I hope people take the time to explore this historic multi-cultural city.