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davidx Mostar - A travel report by David
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Mostar,  Bosnia - Herzegovina - flag Bosnia - Herzegovina
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davidx's travel reports

Mostar, Herzegovina and Bosnia [before the war]

  28 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
It was 1976 when we saw Mostar and it seemed as peaceful as anywhere on earth. Since that it has suffered terribly in war, the bridge has been bombed and rebuilt and many have died. This report presents it as it was.


From down river, the Old Bridge
From down river, the Old Bridge
Tito was still alive and Yugoslavia still existed. The Communist Party was less visible to visitors than in Italy! I don’t remember precisely where the tombs were and I can’t remember which of the places, other than Mostar itself, has been shelled. I wondered whether to do something or not but there’s not a single report on the site before this on Bosnia and Herzegovina and I presume that, like most stricken countries, they want the tourists back. Hence I’m trying, but if you are distressed by it’s being here, please say so. I’m sure it can be removed. I say it seemed peaceful. One illustrative image sticks particularly in my mind, an oldish woman taking a cow for a walk. We had been camping near the med in Kotor, south of Dubrovnik and all our stuff had been soaked in a sudden electric storm. We drove through the night and sat below the top of a pass in our car, afraid to be the highest feature in the landscape for an instant in the terrible lightning. At about 11.00 we reached the campsite at Mostar. It was so hot that we soon had everything dried on the roof of the car and we erected the tents for a few days stay. Camping was cheap then in Yugoslavia, which still existed in its entirely at that time after the death of Tito. Photography was dodgy in some areas, supposedly for military reasons, though what these were was obscure. Other than a few justified comments about the inability of visitors to speak the language [we could just about do numbers up to ten! I’m NOT proud of that.] everyone we met was remarkably friendly. In one place a man was trying to push his car to safety. My children and I helped and he was so incredibly grateful. The road we were about to take was undergoing repairs – which meant the whole width was full of holes and bumps right up the pass. We realised that we were being followed but it wasn’t spooky. It was the man we had helped and, when we came out of the roadworks, he passed and we soon met him going back down.

Favourite spots:
On to the bridge!
On to the bridge!
What could be favourite but the bridge? Of course I now know its significance but nobody, at least nobody lacking the language, could have known the potential hostility between the two sides of the river. To us it was simply a beautiful structure and the atmosphere seemed immensely relaxed as youths dived from it into the Neretva river beneath. It looked to require bravery, but only that occasioned by the activity itself. An interesting account at the time of the opening of the rebuilt bridge is to be found on http://www.turkishpr-ess.c om/news.asp?id=23030 [no break]

What's really great:
Mostar travelogue picture
Even if I don’t know where they were with any exactitude, and the search engines are full of later desecrations of tombs, the tombs we saw in an old Moslem burial ground by the road were very special. I can’t even remember how many centuries they had been there but the air of antiquity was real enough.

Stop Press
During this report's 'invisible period I have looked at the urls that Rudi very kindly put in the Europe forum in reply to my request for help identifying the tombs and as a result I ma almost sure they are near Pocitelj. See www.daenet.nl/sa/enigma/cultuur2.html not only for this but for excellent general information.

Sights:
Mostar travelogue picture
It was a thrill to see Moslem buildings and towns. I had seen none before, not even the Moorish remains in Spain.
It's a long time ago and I hope I have not uploaded any mirror images!




Accommodations:
Jacje
Jacje
The campsite was fine – good toilet facilities [which could not be assumed at the time], very friendly and quite cheap. The clientele was pretty international and at that time it was unusual in Western Europe to meet people from the former Soviet block, which therefore added considerable interest here.
My 12 year olds exhibited their prowess in Frech to a Belgian couple with excellent ‘je m’appelle’s when asked their age!
I’ve just searched to see whether I can find evidence either way about its current existence – sorry, none at all. However the search at last revealed a good site for general information on Bosnia and Herzegovina: http://www.bhtou [no break] rism.ba/cities/cities.htm

Restaurants:
Mostar travelogue picture
I think we only went to two, of which one has practically reached the oblivion it deserves. The other served delicious food, which I think was wild boar but some of the family insist it was bear. That plus the fact that it was by the roadside between Mostar and Sarajevo is all I can say.


Other recommendations:
Neretva Valley above Mostar
Neretva Valley above Mostar
One day we took a trip to Sarajevo. I’m afraid I’ve lost any decent slides of it, if I ever had them, but I know the whole trip up the Neretva river valley and on to the capital of Bosnia was exceedingly enjoyable.
It’s hard to find websites on Bosnia or Herzegovina other than on politics or history but an exception, for Sarajevo is http://www.inyo urpocket.com/bosnia herzegovi na/e n/cate gory?cid=4076 [no breaks]


Published on Sunday February 13th, 2005


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Fri, Dec 05 2008 - 08:05 AM rating by louis

I really enjoyed reading this report. Particulary I like the pictures, I can comapre haw was the city and how it look now. Great thing

Tue, Feb 12 2008 - 11:52 AM rating by krisek

Fantastic writing! And the pictures are even better. You are great - thanks for sharing.

Tue, Feb 20 2007 - 08:16 PM rating by travler

David this was a exceptional report. The pictures were wonderful.

Mon, Jan 22 2007 - 05:55 PM rating by mrscanada

I like to visit cemetaries as well. Great review and pictures

Mon, Feb 21 2005 - 03:56 PM rating by mistybleu

Great Report!!!!

Misty

Tue, Feb 15 2005 - 05:37 PM rating by mtlorensen

It's so interesting to read about how it was 30 years ago...a little eerie given the changes since then. Excellent report with terrific images!

Tue, Feb 15 2005 - 06:36 AM rating by britman

Another great report!

Mon, Feb 14 2005 - 04:01 PM rating by hieronyma

Hi David,
don't dare remove this article! It's great that you remind the reader of the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people. Insofar your article is a protest against war and its crimes. As we are losing our memory of the past it is necessary to remember.
I liked your pictures.
Hieronyma

Mon, Feb 14 2005 - 12:16 PM rating by johnnye00

Thanks for writing about this place.

Mon, Feb 14 2005 - 10:18 AM rating by magsalex

It is always great to read reports on places not previously covered. Good job!

Mon, Feb 14 2005 - 07:30 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent report

Mon, Feb 14 2005 - 06:29 AM rating by marianne

Hi david,
Are these your scanned slides? They look good.

Sun, Feb 13 2005 - 11:03 PM rating by rangutan

Excellent historical and personal report. I hope you can return there someday, I would expect quite a different mood in the public there, specially after seeing the reopening and unification ceremony of the bridge on TV last year, very emotional scenes.

Sun, Feb 13 2005 - 07:22 PM rating by picasso

Thank you David for writing one more awesome report-a great read,wonderful images.You know,Yugoslavia ones was the best communist block country to live in.
Keep on writing, always interesting for me reports *****

Boris

Sun, Feb 13 2005 - 06:03 PM rating by bootlegga

Another excellent report!

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