Though it was raining when I arrived, I was determined to make the most of Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. After all, I only had a day & a half to do it! It was unusually cold and rainy when I hiked my way from the train, so I hunkered down in my room at The Hostel Mirror (only $9 a night!) for about an hour before deciding to seek out food.
Cold as I was, I didn’t have far to go to find a small, non-touristic, locals restaurant. The kind of place that speaks no English but is excited to welcome you and give you the best seat in the house! I pointed to a picture of what I wanted &, the owner happily & quickly placed it in front of me. It was delicious & so was the Bosnian beer!
I had a slow morning the next day, visiting with other hostel guests over a fantastic breakfast (included in the cost!) & finally ventured forth to see the city. The clouds had parted & the sun peeked out to reveal the most of Mostar! The Old City was absolutely alive! I snapped photos, bought jewelry, ate & drank, & visited with shop owners.
The 16th century bridge, Stari Most, which crosses the beautiful Neretva River, was the main attraction! For entertainment, a man jumped off of it every hour or 2 (whenever there were enough people watching to make for a good tip). Enthralling & quite a scene!
I could have spent days photographing the beauty around every turn in the Old City! I definitely explored every nook & cranny! I was disturbed, though, by the obvious signs of war. I had not been aware that Mostar was the most heavily bombed city in Bosnia during the war! I had thought Sarajevo was & that is the primary reason that I decided not to visit it. Fortunately, the old bridge & a large portion of the city has been rebuilt!
Done with exploring, I changed clothes then headed to SkyBar, a rooftop bar, to get some night shots & have a glass of wine. It was so windy that I didn’t stay longer than the one drink & upon returning to the hostel, sat on the terrace where I enjoyed international conversation at its best with several of the guests!
Mostar holds incredible beauty & history but the people that I met throughout my visit there made it dear to my heart! The hostel owner who personally took me to a print shop so that I could open a file emailed to me & print it…& the print shop didn’t charge me. The people beside me at lunch who included me in their conversation, allowed me to photograph them & took my photo too. The happy restaurant owner, eager to please. The other guests at the wonderful hostel that was like a home & family.
If you get a chance, visit historic Mostar but know that making the most of it is simply absorbing all that it offers; so much more than the scenery! The most of Mostar is its heart which is a centuries long coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic, & religious communities. You will witness that for yourself as you explore its streets, shops, & neighborhoods.