The Balkan States are not a region many consider dreaming of where they’ll visit next. It’s still considered an offbeat region, although that is changing quickly. Croatia jumped onto the tourist radar over the past handful of years, and as tourism increases, many are discovering that neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina is a destination in its own right.
Crossing the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia by car was very easy. Finding my way to Mostar was simple with an international GPS.
While I was prepared to see signs of the war, actually seeing them in person was very startling. I had been in Dubrovnik for a few days, which had also been directly hit by war, but everything there has been rebuilt. So Mostar was my first sighting of bullet hole ridden and gutted buildings in ruins. Living in a country where home-based wars are in our far past and current wars are an ocean away, it was very sobering to see physical manifestations of war everywhere and realize that the people of Mostar, and many other areas of the former Yugoslavia, lived with war raging around them daily.
Ok, I’ll keep it simple here. Mostar is a small city. You need not really plan ahead about “things to do”. Walk through old town, down the stari most, back up, over the stari most, old town again, go into Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque, climb up the Minarat, take photos, come down, grab food and Turkish coffee and just chill. Simple, isn’t it?
On the way back to Dubrovnik, I met some Kiwi backpackers in a cafe and went to a waterfalls close by, which was very Plitvice-esque. Unfortunately, I do not recall the name of the falls now.