Into Bosnia

Mostar Travel Blog

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Bus Times

Long lie for the first time in what seemed ages, and had already packed the night before so made the absolute most of it. Left the apartment about 11-20 and walked down the dreaded steps and around the port to the bus station. Were there for just after midday after a gentle stroll. No sign of the bus loading so we hung about and everybody sat about where they wanted, some outside some in the air con waiting room.

Bus started loading at half past,and we got our stuff on. Thing to note, and it happened everywhere else round the Balkans was, despite having your tickets already, you have to pay again to carry bags on the buses luggage compartments, though it was only about £1 each . Set off on time at 1pm, and headed on up the coast. Not a trip you want to be doing totally hungover as the bus twists and turns it's way up the coast.

Bosnian Navy

After about an hour you come to one of the strange anomolies of the region, in that driving up the main coast road you leave Croatia and enter Bosnia for a 20km stretch of coast. We stopped just outside the town there for a break, it had been barely more than an hour and a half since we left, but it was interesting as there was a Bosnian Navy :-O  boat anchored  in the harbour. This area is known as the Neum Corridor and is Bosnia's only access to the sea. On the coast on the other side was a big red and white checked emblum, painted onto the rock face, leaving you in no doubt the other side belonged to Croatia. Once we loaded onto the bus again we stopped in the main town there, and it became apparent why the stop was before it, as the practically empty bus filled rapidly, with folk who had been on holiday here heading back mostly to Sarajevo .

You Are Now In Bosnia And Herzegovina

On this stretch neither of the border crossings were as anal as the ones going into Montenegro, and later on a lot more relaxed than the main crossing into Bosnia later on. Driving on we turned off the coast road towards Metkovic and just after there we hit the border which was a real pain in the ass, since even with the driver skipping through the waiting traffic the buses got pulled in the no mans land, and you had both Croatian and Bosnian passport control, but at different times. Took the best part of an hour to get through.

That done we were on our way again, but the 2 1/2 hour timetable to get to Mostar was never going to happen. Straight away as after we crossed the border I noticed that in the towns and villages we were going through, almost where ever possible, but especially on the main streets hanging from wires over the main road, they were still flying the flag of Croatia.

Hotel Kriva Cuprija
Reminded me a lot of areas of Northern Ireland, and the road signs were bilingual, but the Cyrilllic would all have been painted out. Obviously still a lot of issues going on.   

After a short stop in a town just over the border we went on and were soon entering Mostar. First thing that struck you was the hill above the town where there was a great big Christian cross on the top of it. Which after wandering around Mostar over the next couple of days still seems a bit strange as the skyline of the town is dominated by minarets. Driving in through the town you were thinking WTF, as even 15 years later there was still so much damage and it was looking like a real shithole :-O.

Even when we got to the bus station it wasn't looking that clever.

Stari Most
There were a few folk hanging around waiting for the buses to arrive and offering places to stay, but we had already booked a hotel, and one of the guys that had been trying to tout a room asked where we were staying. Being on the defensive we kind of ignored him, but he came a second time, and he said he only wanted to help, and he really did and he pointed us off in the right direction 8-)

Followed our way down to the Old Town (Stari Grad) , over the old bridge to the Kriva Cuprija Hotel, that I had picked up on from this site from Brian( delsol67). By the time we got there we were sweating buckets and they had glasses of chilled orange juice for each of us before they bothered starting checking in. Shown up to our room and it was nice, and a great setting.

Stari Most And Street
Wife had arranged for us to eat at the restaurant later, so with a few hours to spare we headed out and back through the Old Town,as we weren't really looking about that much when we were fully loaded with the back packs.

Back at the Old Bridge, the striking thing is the colour of the river, a bright dark green :-O if that isn't to much of a contradiction. The Old Town was very reminicent of bits of Morroco, but as my son put it 'Without the hassle' :-D. We came to the end of the Old Town and headed up towards the main road and came across the first of the many graveyards around the city. There were children playing in amongst all the graves, but really, by the age of the trees there, it must always have been a park, and just used as it was a bit of available space in a time of need to bury people.

Graves In The Park In Mostar

Kept on walking and crossed the river and went down the other side. Here the devestation was even more apparent, with whole blocks still in ruins. There was a lot of building work going on, with plenty of signs telling you it was being funded by the EU. Didn't even know they were in the EU :-D, but here as in Montenegro the EU seems to be throwing loads of money in to try and stablise the region. Here as well we found the local prison, and with the rave music blasting out of it, and a prisoner hanging out the window smoking a cigarette, my daughter surmised it wasn't that bad a place to get banged up :-D

Went back to the hotel and after we got ourselves together went down to the restaurant. All the alarm bells had been going off in my head since reception, but we were here now, and had a great dinner.

Meal For 4
The reason for the alarm bells was the price, which considering where we were was totally off the planet :-O Will come back to that in a review. It was traditional Bosnian dishes though, and for the first time I managed to eat a baby octupus, having been put off eating anything that still looked like it did when it was alive.

After dinner walked back to the Stari Most ( Old Bridge) to see it lit up at night, before heading back for hotel and a couple of beers on the balcony. Guy from the restaurant brought us up a couple of drinks while we were sitting there and I finished them off before hitting the hay.

vances says:
The stretch of coastline between Bosnia and Croatia reminded me of getting to Oman through Hatta in the UAE, where you drive into Oman for 15km and then back to the UAE WITHOUT any border crossings as there are no exits off of the road. Even though you had to stop, glad they were relatively painless!
Posted on: Aug 07, 2010
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Bus Times
Bus Times
Bosnian Navy
Bosnian Navy
You Are Now In Bosnia And Herzegov…
You Are Now In Bosnia And Herzego…
Hotel Kriva Cuprija
Hotel Kriva Cuprija
Stari Most
Stari Most
Stari Most And Street
Stari Most And Street
Graves In The Park In Mostar
Graves In The Park In Mostar
Meal For 4
Meal For 4
Port At Gruz
Port At Gruz
Bridge Heading North
Bridge Heading North
Police Boat In Dubrovnik
Police Boat In Dubrovnik
Only Another 100m
Only Another 100m
Heading Onto the Bridge
Heading Onto the Bridge
Coatian Border For The Neum Corrid…
Coatian Border For The Neum Corri…
Neum
Neum
Bus Break At Hotel
Bus Break At Hotel
Going Back Into Croatia
Going Back Into Croatia
Coastal Island
Coastal Island
Plains Of Croatia
Plains Of Croatia
First Sign For Mostar And Sarajevo
First Sign For Mostar And Sarajevo
Queue At Border Crossing
Queue At Border Crossing
Crooked Bridge
Crooked Bridge
View Upstream From Stari Most
View Upstream From Stari Most
Downstream From Stari Most
Downstream From Stari Most
Mostar Stari Grad
Mostar Stari Grad
Street In Mostar Old Town
Street In Mostar Old Town
Bullet Holes Still All Over The Bu…
Bullet Holes Still All Over The B…
Old Town Street By The River
Old Town Street By The River
Old Bridge From Upstream
Old Bridge From Upstream
Park Enterance
Park Enterance
Bombed Out Building
Bombed Out Building
Damaged Theatre
Damaged Theatre
Neretva River
Neretva River
Cross On The Hill Above Mostar
Cross On The Hill Above Mostar
Mostar Prison
Mostar Prison
Before And After Repairs
Before And After Repairs
Death Notices
Death Notices
Mostar Police Station
Mostar Police Station
Town Hall In Mostar
Town Hall In Mostar
Book Market
Book Market
European Union Police Mission Vehi…
European Union Police Mission Veh…
Back At The Hotel
Back At The Hotel
Starters
Starters
Stari Most At Night
Stari Most At Night
Mostar Hotels & Accommodations review
Great Place To Stay
Picked up on this hotel from delsol67's review on here, and emailed them to reserve a suite that would take the four of us. Although they took details… read entire review
Mostar
photo by: brcko