We arrived in Mostar at about 2 in the afternoon. Luckily the blazing heat was starting to retreat so it was slightly more comfortable to walk around the town. When we arrived we were face to face with medieval architecture. The Turkish influence cannot be missed. You can smell the street food cooking and there are many vendors selling candy, trinkets, clothing, and spices. As we moved into the market we had to cross the Stari Bridge and I couldn’t help but get lost staring into the ultra green river, and the vibrant roof tops of the houses alongside it.
Dragica told us that when she was younger, and before the war she used to love going to Mostar. She said that she would often drive there on weekends and spend her free time in the various cafes and restaurants. After, she expressed that she doesn’t return to Mostar very often, or unless she is with guests. She said that the war changed things. In fact, she seemed to begrudge the fact that there were not too many Bosnians living in the city anymore. She seemed to suggest that the market and town had become populated with Turkish people and she reminisced about the days before the war.
There are a few places that seem to get stuck in the minds of photographers. We see something we like and we must capture it. For me, one of these images was the Stari Bridge in Mostar. It is almost fairy tale like in its presentation, and I believe it may have even made some appearances in children’s storybooks.
The bridge has a long history; it was first erected in medieval times and was important for trade into and out of Mostar. However, during the war, the bridge was destroyed and it had to be rebuilt once again. Although it had been rebuilt, it hasn’t lost any of its mystique or romantic feel. I knew that I would need to photograph the bridge.
If you want to get a great photo of the famous bridge there are two places you can go. You can go to the beach, which provides you with a nice view looking straight up at the bridge. It does cost some money to go down to the beach, but I don’t think it’s too, much; There are a few other free options where you can get a relatively decent view of the bridge. If you walk through the market you can catch glimpses of it, but there are often people, trees or other obstructions that block your view.
However, if you continue through the market to the Mosque you can pay 2 Euro to go on the Mosque’s balcony. It overlooks the river and gives you a clear view of the bridge and the banks of the river.
I wish I had been able to spend more time in Mostar, but we had plans for wine tasting at a Monastery in Trebinje so sadly we had to leave.
The time is in the city was short but sweet, I did get some pictures of the bridge, so I was happy, and it was interesting walking through a market that was so vibrant and interesting. I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it back there one day in the future.
After Mostar we moved onto Trebjinje. It is a beautiful town. Through it flows a famous river, and old arched bridges. There are cathedrals and churches everywhere and life all around. In addition, there are several cafes and musicians lining the streets and vendors selling snacks. There is little to no tourism so you are right in there with the locals. Which is how I prefer to travel. We went to a famous Monastery in the city that was several hundreds of years old. The derailing and decorations were stunning and the grounds of the monastery were covered with vineyards and gardens as far as the eyes could see.
The Monastery is quite traditional, if you go in, you must be wearing long pants, if you are male, and women must wear long dresses and scarves. The bishop is quite strict about that and he gave Dragica some trouble about wearing beach pants inside. After we wondered around we were ushered into the wine cellar of the church. We then tasted some different wines from the church vineyard. The “bartender” was a very kind Bosnian man who had spent some time in Canada and he was excited to tell us all about the wine and the differences between them.
However, at six o’clock the ministry closes and the bishop orders everyone to leave the grounds. After we enjoyed our second glass of wine we had to leave quickly and we were finally on our way to get some food.
We drove up to the top of a hill, with another church on it, and stopped at a famous restaurant that overlooks the town and the valley. The patio is very nice and you can see for miles. When the sunsets you see the streetlights turn on and It’s very scenic.
We ordered a variety of traditional Bosnian food. Which I must say is absolutely delicious. Bosnian food is quite simple, but the focus is one preparing the food well. There are several meats and cheeses and a variety of vegetables. We spent about two hours eating this delicious food and overlooking the charming city below.
After we finished eating we explored the church next to the restaurant and then went down into the old square. It’s quite small, but again, very full of life and energy. We strolled through the streets for about an hour before we realized how tired we were. We met up with Dragica once again and headed for the boarder to go back into Croatia. At this time of night the temperature had dropped completely, We were really happy to have a break from the relentless heat and enjoyed the breeze thoroughly through our open windows.
Once we arrived back in Dubrovnik we went straight to our apartment and fell immediately into sleep. We had had a very busy time in Bosnia, but it was worth it. Some highlights for me were definitely the Kravica Falls, the Stari Bridge and the food we enjoyed in Trebinje. If you are planning a trip to Bosnia in the summer, make sure you bring A LOT of water. At times it gets unbearably hot, and between two of us we drank about 8 liters of water in one day.
All in all, it was a great trip, and I would recommend people to go there if you want to see something completely different.