Monday, June 18, 2018

Day trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina 

I’m not sure we (in the west) can think of Bosnia Herzegovina without images of war, bombing, and continuously fighting factions. So our day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar was a nice surprise - similar to the surprise I had the first time I visited the old part of Quebec City.
The old city is lined with very uneven cobblestones, making walking precarious. They have been restored with the stones positioned flat but were originally placed on end, which are much easier to navigate.
Original cobblestones:

New cobblestones:

The tourist souvenirs reflect the Turkish influence (the Ottomans were here) - lots of decorated brass, silver and copper.

The main highlight of the tour is the old bridge, damaged during the war in 1995 but restored in 2004. It has great historical significance, dividing the city along religious lines. The guy who bombed the bridge was recently found guilty of war crimes but committed suicide by poisoning himself in the prisoners box last year.

Local men jump off the bridge 20m to the cold water below but will only jump once they’ve collected 30€ from tourists. Just seeing him standing on the edge in his Speedo was thrill enough for us! Tourists CAN jump (for a fee) and only 2 died last year.  We passed on the opportunity.
To quote this guy "I can’t do this for nothing."

We stopped for lunch - this is the traditional ćevapi - sausages, flat bread, onions and chips. And wine of course.

We had a short stop at Kravica falls - more interesting for its breadth, not height. Except for the very teeny ‘beach’ jammed with countless tourists, kids jumping in the water and shrieking, loud blaring music from the cafe/bar, it had the potential to be quite lovely.

It was a 5 min walk down and if the little shuttle train hadn’t come along at the right time, perhaps 30 min up.
Our train selfie:

The downside of the day is the fact that we had to go through 3 border crossings each way. Bosnia-Herzegovina has that little piece of coastline that divides Croatia into 2 parts. So we started in Croatia, crossed into B-H, back into Croatia, then into B-H. Reverse it all to come home. Added a bit of time to the trip but luckily no border problems.
There was a bit of evidence of the war in Mostar - I’m not sure if they’re keeping these as reminders or just haven’t got around to fixing yet.

We’re learning a bit about the causes of the wars in the 90s but it’s still difficult to totally understand it. Fortunately all these countries seem to have settled their differences so Marj and I can enjoy them!

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