A Dive into Mostar

22:58 Alyson Tart 2 Comments

One of the things that inspired me to go to the Balkans (way back in our 2015 babymoon if you recall) was hearing stories from my grandfather of his travels to the area. He had been when the war was tearing the areas apart, and despite stories of raids and bullets, he still managed to paint a picture of friendly people and a beautiful country.

He spent a lot of time in Bosnia and the country captured my fascination. I had read a lot about the famous bridge, Stari Most, which represents to me the past and present of this city.

Mostar, like many places in the Balkans, had been a city inhabited by different people and religions, including Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Serbs.  After the Yugoslav war began, it trickled into Bosnia where fighting began between the 3 groups in 1992. In Mostar specifically, the bridge was shelled to prevent Muslims from entering the Croat side of the city.

Original found here

Now the bridge has been re-built in the same fashion at the original. While it may not date back to the 16th century, it has a pretty strong history to share itself.

After arriving in the city, we decided to check into the hotel to park the car before walking over to the old town.  Just as we were approaching the old city, the skies opened up and completely and totally drenched us.  We tucked into a shop for some food and to ride out the rain, but luckily the owner was friendly and the food was delicious.

We followed the water downstream and found a great little point in which to watch the action up above on the bridge. One of the reasons the bridge is now so famous is bridge diving. An annual diving competition has been held nearly 500 times (with a break during the 10 year bridge-less time) although you don't need a competition time to see people diving. Now entrepreneurial locals will dive once the cash pot gets high enough, or tourists can shell out for a dive themselves. At nearly 80 feet tall, I thought it best to leave the diving to the local experts, so we went back to our wandering.

There wasn't a huge itinerary or schedule for our time in Mostar. Our plans centred around the bridge, but luckily so did a lot of the city. We did visit the nearby mosque for fantastic views of the city and bridge, with lots of wonderful local shops nearby.

Years later, you can still see the scars of war on the face of the city.  Shelled out and graffiti-ed buildings wear the direct impact, but cemeteries show the indirect, with 100,000 lives lost in the conflict. My grandfather was a phychiatrist working with people there and seeing all of it made me so proud and really understand more the impact that he likely had in people's lives.

We decided to end our time in Bosnia on the way to Croatia with a bit more of a beautiful outlook, so we made a detour to Kravice.  It's no wonder that these waterfalls are a popular stop; dramatic falls joining into pools made me wish we were in our suits to join the other bathers.  Instead, we contented ourselves with a few quiet moments to reflect on Bosnia and what all it had to offer.

Oh and to extend our time in the beautiful country, a few sheep decided to stop us to say farewell :)

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  1. I love going to places like this where there is no real schedule, just a plan to walk around and get a feel for the place as a whole. I'd love to eventually make it to this part of Europe. Big NO to the bridge diving, though! Just no way. :)

  2. By the way, your photos are fine on my phone, but on my computer, they are really blurry. If you right click to open an image in new tab, it looks like your blog is using a tiny version of your uploaded image and stretching it for the post. Might want to change your settings to use a larger version of the image than your blog width. (For example, if you blog displays your images at 700 pixels wide, use an image that large or even bigger so there's no stretching!)