Today was a long and winding road-trip to Mostar. Anne, Michelle, and I sat in the front of the bus and kept mostly quiet and still to avoid looming car-sickness. We stopped at a coffee shop at our halfway point where a bought a large package of speculoos biscuits and a REAL Fanta! I think it made up for the hilly bus-ride.
The city of Mostar is built along the Neretva river, which is the most amazing turquoise color. It looks like it’s been dyed with food coloring because it’s so hard to believe that a river could be that color so naturally! My photos don’t do it any justice!
Mostar can best be described as a village/city that came out of a J.R.R Tolkien novel mixed with an M.C Escher drawing. There are white-washed stone buildings that still stand from medieval times with bridges leading to other levels of the city. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before! Mostar is more historically known for the old bridge, which was built by the Ottoman’s in the late 16th century. It’s 90 feet long and 64ft high.
During the Bosnian war, the city of Mostar was subject to an 18-month siege. Unfortunately the 427-year old bridge was destroyed during the war, which really exemplified how destructive the war was. Prior to this trip our class watched video footage of the multiple attempts by troops to destroy the bridge until it collapsed. In 2004 funds from multiple countries and organizations enabled the reconstruction of the bridge and interestingly enough they had the original plans for the bridge down to the type of stone to use! It’s a really impressive bridge and we were lucky enough to witness a local jump off the bridge and into the water, which is done very frequently for tourists but unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it.
We didn’t spend much time in Mostar but I did get some time to buy some local art which I’m really excited about!
Then we drove a few miles further into the mountains to Kravice which is a series of waterfalls from the Neretva river with the same turquoise color). This was the moment when I realized that Bosnia has so many hidden treasures. History, natural beauty, great food, and beautiful people! The weather was so hot and seeing the waterfalls was like seeing Shangri-la in the middle of the desert!
As we drove down through the mountains and back down to Sarajevo we shared some hysterical stories and silly laughs. We stopped by the river and had the best lamb I’ve ever had in my life (sorry mom)! More laughs down the mountains and then straight to bed!