Close Call

Mostar Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 18 › view all entries
war damaged building

Coming from Croatia, I have arrived into Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia or BiH for short), after going through the border check 3 times. Turned out, that was due to Neum, a Bosnian region that stretches to the sea and cuts Croatia into 2, hence the multiple border checks. 

After the 3rd check, there was a little break. Then the bus continued on, until I arrived at Mostar. When I got off, I checked if I had my passport in my pocket, but it was not there. I searched through my coat and backpack, and then on the bus, where it was lying on the floor. I was relieved to find it, as I hate to think what I had to do, to get a replacement. And good thing that the bus was still there.

I could not get a map, so I had to ask for directions to get to Old Town.

cevapcici
I went that way, and would immediately see the damage from the war. Hard not to notice, and unbelievable to see, as I would have never thought I would be in Bosnia. 

I continued on, stopping by another travel agency, making sure that I was going the right way. And I was, and continued on, until I came upon a small street. I went down it, all the way towards the end, where I found Hostel Nina. More about the hostel itself in the review here.

After checking in and leaving my things in the room, I walked to Old Town. I had to withdraw some Convertible Marks (KM) from an ATM, and had to go through 3 different ones, as the first 2 rejected my card. I realized that the amount that I withdrew, was too little. Along the way, I had to deal with some obnoxious teens, who had to make rude noises to me.
cat near Old Bridge
They probably never seen an Asian before.

I stopped by a restaurant, and had a cevapcici, which was minced meat in some kind of bread, with raw onions and tomato. A Bosnian specialty. It was pretty good and filling. After that, I walked through Old Town, crossing the Old Bridge, all the way towards the end of it, near the Franciscan Church of Sts. Peter and Paul.

I walked onto the street, heading back into Old Town, passing by buildings destroyed by the war. Then into Old Town, walking on the stoned street. While the street looks charming, but sure does not feel like it. It could be a tripping hazard.

I would see the Crooked Bridge, and a mosque by the stream in the distance. Then went down some stairs, to the riverbank, for a nice view of the Old Bridge and the Neretva River.
"Old" Bridge
After that, I crossed the Old Bridge halfway, for nice views of the town and river on both sides. I noticed a bunch of mosques and the minarets (the towers connected to the mosques), making this city feeling less European, and more like a Muslim city.

I stopped by the photo exhibition, near the Old Bridge. Inside the place, which is a gift shop, were photos on display, of what happened to the Old Bridge, from before the war in 1991, then during the war, and after. They showed the bridge getting completely destroyed during the war, and how it got rebuilt. So actually, the name is a bit of a misnomer. And a video played, that showed the events, along with some people diving off the bridge. Just hard to imagine, as it's very cold outside and the river looked very shallow.

I passed by the Museum of the Old Bridge, which was closed.
me on Old Bridge
Then onto Coppersmiths' Street, which felt like a bazaar. Then went towards a mosque, which was closed, but the courtyard was open. Afterwards, I walked to the Muslim cemetery, where I noticed on the tombs dated from 1993-95, which I can only assume, is from the Balkan War. Just looking at the dates, is scary in itself. 

I went to the nearby museum, but it was not open. So I went back on the pedestrian street, until the end. Then to the main street, which was a little tricky to walk on, as I had to pass by parked cars on sidewalks, which is narrow. I continued on to the bus station, to get some information. Then walked back to the pedestrian street, stopping by a supermarket to buy a can of chicken. Very cheap dinner. I walked through Old Town, and back to the hostel. I tried to eat the can of chicken, but it was nasty as hell.
Coppersmiths' Street
I could only eat very little, and threw the rest away. 

I met a Swiss guy, who was staying in the same room as me. He told me about being invited to a bar owned by the hostel owner. After relaxing for a little while, we both went out and looked for the bar. Not easy to find, as we had to ask around where it was. It was past the Old Bridge, but after that, it got tricky. The bar was located on a little square, and we had to go through an arch doorway. 

We arrived and just sat and hung out there, with the owner who was there. I can't remember his name exactly, but he is the husband of Nina (owner of the hostel), and had some stories to tell, going through the war as a civilian and how he bounced back and doing well after that. We all talked and had a great time. 

After spending some hours there, we headed back to the hostel. Then took care of some things, and went to sleep.

monkeymia79 says:
I just saw a typo in my comment. It should read "ruined buildings and Muslim cemetery."
Posted on: Mar 18, 2016
WalterC says:
Yeah, that was quite a scare! Not sure how I would have managed without it, since it is my main form of ID when traveling abroad.
Posted on: Mar 18, 2016
monkeymia79 says:
What a scare with the passport, glad you found it.

Your photos are beautiful, the ruined buildings are Muslim cemetery are sad though.
Posted on: Mar 17, 2016
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
war damaged building
war damaged building
cevapcici
cevapcici
cat near Old Bridge
cat near Old Bridge
Old Bridge
"Old" Bridge
me on Old Bridge
me on Old Bridge
Coppersmiths Street
Coppersmiths' Street
Franciscan Church of Sts. Peter an…
Franciscan Church of Sts. Peter a…
another war damaged building
another war damaged building
warning sign
warning sign
street into Old Town
street into Old Town
building damaged by the war
building damaged by the war
Crooked Bridge
Crooked Bridge
mosque
mosque
cobblestone street
cobblestone street
entrance to Old Bridge
entrance to Old Bridge
Old Bridge
Old Bridge
Neretva River
Neretva River
crossing the Old Bridge
crossing the "Old" Bridge
view from the bridge
view from the bridge
view of the Muslim side
view of the Muslim side
mosque, seen from the bridge
mosque, seen from the bridge
view of Old Bridge
view of Old Bridge
photo exhibition
photo exhibition
Coppersmiths Street
Coppersmiths' Street
Coppersmiths Street
Coppersmiths' Street
view of Mostar
view of Mostar
main street
main street
shop on Coppersmiths Street
shop on Coppersmiths' Street
Muslim cemetery - 1
Muslim cemetery - 1
Muslim cemetery - 2
Muslim cemetery - 2
Mostar Hostels review
Great place to stay
Close to Old Town, but about 20 to 30 minutes walking from the bus station, Hostel Nina is a nice place to stay at, run by a family, who also live the… read entire review
Mostar
photo by: brcko