My friends and I were deciding between Montenegro or Bosnia for our day trip whilst we were away. We eventually decided to couple up with Bosnia, so on our 2nd day, we jumped on a bus and headed off for Bosnia Herzegovina.
Our first stop was to the Kravice waterfall (which is on the Herzegovina side) where we had intended to have a swim but on inspection of the water Pragya’s face demonstrates the verdict on that idea…
Instead we opted for a dip to the knees and a few photos before wrapping up in our towels and jumping back on the bus to the city of Mostar.
I was an idiot and fell asleep on the bus so missed the information our guide gave about the history of Bosnia. According to what the others and Google have told me, Bosnia was involved in an ethnic cleansing war from 1992 to 1995 after the break up of Yugoslavia. During their bid for independence, Bosnia was invaded by Serbia who sought to rid the country of its Muslim population and the Croatian-Serbians who lived there too. It was an unsettling feeling to be in a place where such a brutal war was so recent. To think that many of the people I saw in the markets or just walking the streets would have lived through that and probably still have very vivid memories of it. There are many visible scars from the war such as buildings which have been left in ruins. Our guide said that the political situation is still fairly contentious. You can’t have a full time job unless you belong to a political party, of which there are 100s. Even the Old Bridge is a reconstruction of the one originally built in C16 as it was destroyed during the war.
I would say Mostar is very touristy, with markets selling super cute jewellery, trinkets and dirt cheap ice cream. (I literally paid $1 for a scoop of ice cream). The influence from the Ottoman’s still lingers in the city, seen in the goods sold, popular visits to the Turkish house and Turkish Coffee which my friends tried. We sat by the water and ate our lunch, conflicted about whether we wanted to see the men jump from the bridge. (Obscenely dangerous stuff apparently). We bought friendship bracelets and generally just had a little wander about the town. After racking up God knows how many steps we headed back to Croatia for dinner and drinks.
I’ve not explored much of Eastern Europe but this Croatia trip has definitely opened my eyes to the beauty of that side. It was such a relaxing trip, filled with laughs and fun. Again, it’s times like this when I have to really be grateful, and thankful, for having such beautiful people to call friends.