Thursday 9 January 2020

Balkan Travel Part 19: Mostar and Beautiful Scenery of The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina are not two but one nation and it is probably the only country that comprises two names. This country is actually named after its two regions - Bosnia which occupies the northern areas and Herzegovina which occupies the southern part. It is the 7th Balkan country that I visited.

Devastated by the 1992 ethnic-rooted  Bosnian War, the country is yet to recover. Travelling around you can still see war torn buildings left to decay. About a fifth of its population still live in abject poverty and seeing women and children begging on the streets is a common and sorrowful sight. In spite of this, it is undeniable that Bosnia and Herzegovina is indeed beautiful boasting of countless picture perfect landscapes. 

The first city I headed to was Mostar. The drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar was another scenic drive that got me bowled over. Unlike Croatia which has a long stretch of coastline, Bosnia and Herzegovina's coastline is only 20 km long. I got the opportunity to see its short riviera as the road I took snaked along the coastal areas, and then the lake and then River Neretva with beautiful mountains and valleys as the backdrop all the way to Mostar. I have taken some pretty shots of them from my bus.
I saw this tree standing in solitude while waiting at the border crossing. This tree reminds me of "That Wanaka Tree" in New Zealand even though it is not grown out of the water. Anyway this is the first meaningful shot of Bosnia-Herzegovina that I took.  

The coastline may be short but it is enchanting nevertheless. The sea appeared very calm probably because it is shielded by a long peninsula that cuts the water from the main body of the Adriatic Sea.

Took a short break at the coastal town of Neum, facing the Adriatic Sea.

The countryside looks charming with dainty houses dotting the meadow.
There are many lakes and one of the bigger ones we passed through is Svitavsko Lake.
For a big part of the journey I was travelling alongside the Neretva River which is the longest river in Bosnia Herzegovina. This river stretches 220 km in Bosnia and Herzegovina and traversed Croatia for 20 km before flowing into the Adriatic Sea.

Believe it or not? We travelled all the way to Mostar just to see a historic bridge. Stari Most which means "Old Bridge " is the most iconic structure in Mostar and attracts big crowds of tourists. In fact Mostar got its name from this bridge. Originally built in 1566, the bridge has a very unique design and is said to be built without a foundation. The things that held it together were just metal pins and egg whites. Stari Most spans the Neretva River.
The bridge that we see today is not the original but a reconstructed one. The first bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War and this reconstructed one was completed in 2004.
The bridge is very tall, standing at 66 feet. Jumping from the bridge is apparently a competitive sports which I had the opportunity to witness when I was there.
The crowd dispersed soon after the competition ended. 
Located  about 1 km away from Stari Most is another bridge, Lucki Most which pales in comparison with the more famous bridge.

Stari Most is located in the Old Town of Mostar which was also destroyed during the war. Despite this the reconstructed town maintained much of its old cultural setting and together with The Old Bridge has been declared a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The old town looks interesting and it is a shame that I didn't have time to walk around a bit more.
Posing with "Crooked Bridge" also in the old town of Mostar. This small bridge was originally built in 1558 across the tiny Radobolja River. It was weakened by the war and washed away by floods before being rebuilt in 2002.
The newer part of Mostar didn't look as interesting but it was good to catch glimpses of it while making my way back to the bus.

Soon after the visit to the famous bridge, I left Mostar for Sarajevo, a journey that took close to 3 hours.

Related Posts: Click To View
Balkan Travel Pt 1: [ Romania] Bucharest Sightseeing
Balkan Travel Pt 2: [Romania] Bucharest Walking Tour
Balkan Travel Pt 3: [Romania] Peles Castle , Dracula's Castle & Romanian Scenery
Balkan Travel Pt 4: Bulgaria Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 5: [Bulgaria] Sofia Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 6: [North Macedonia] Skopje A City Of Mutifarious Statues
Balkan Travel Pt 7: [North Macedonia] Memorable Moments In Skopje
Balkan Travel Pt 8: [North Macedonia] Ohrid Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Pt 9: [Albania] Glimpses Of Albania and Its Capital City Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 10: [Albania] Walking Tour Of Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 11: Montenegro Scenic Drive
Balkan Travel Pt 12: The Charms Of Koto Montenegro
Balkan Travel Pt 13: [Montenegro] The Old Town Of Kotor Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 14: [Croatia] The Charms Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Pt 15: [Croatia] The Old Town Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 16: [Croatia] The Elaphiti Islands Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 17: [Croatia] Plitvice National Park Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 18: [Croatia] Rastoke Villagel

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