We took a day trip to Mostar, a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whilst we were staying in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Because of this, we didn’t see any other parts of the country (other than that on our bus route in), and so our experience of the country isn’t as full as we’d like! All we can say is that we went in June, and it was the absolute hottest place we’ve ever been! It was nearing on 40°C, but there was no shade and no breeze which made it almost unbearable.
One thing to note about Bosnia and Herzegovina is that because it isn’t in the EU, your mobile tariff probably won’t include travel to this country. Make sure you turn your data roaming off and only use Wi-Fi to avoid being stung with a huge bill!
Having come to Mostar as part of an excursion, we don’t know too much about the transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We paid approximately £40 each which included coach pick up, transport to and from Mostar and also a guide. On our way in, we stopped off at the town of Medjugorje, which is a spiritual and religious place, famous for being an unofficial Catholic pilgrimage since the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to a young girl on the hill. In our opinion, it was a bit of a stop gap, but St James’ Church is quite impressive to look at.
What to do
Admire the beauty of the green river – As we stepped onto the bridge and looked over at the bright emerald flowing water below, we couldn’t believe how green it was! The Neretva River flows over areas of rocks with oxidised copper, which gives the river it’s beautiful colour, (the pictures don’t even do it justice!). There is a large fountain in the middle of the old part of town, which comes from the river – you can taste the metallic tang from the copper in your drinking water.
Drink Turkish tea – The city of Mostar is very heavily influenced by the Ottomans, therefore you will find a lot of Turkish traditions here, including Turkish baths and Turkish tea – which is sold all around the city in lots of different restaurants and cafes.
Visit the surrounding waterfalls – We didn’t do this, but we wish that we had! We passed a few smaller ones on the way in and they looked stunning, and having seen pictures online of the excursion to visit the waterfalls, I am quite jealous that we didn’t spend any more time here. If you go to Get Your Guide, there are excursions from a variety of surrounding places to see the falls.
Have a picture taken at the famous bridge – Stari Most, or ‘Old Bridge’ is a very famous bridge which holds a lot of history and importance to the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was originally built in the 16th Century by the Ottomans, only to sadly be destroyed in the conflicts in the 1990’s, and then rebuilt again.
Watch the dare-devil bridge divers – If you visit the Old Bridge, you will no doubt be a witness to this. Every hour or so, someone will go around collecting money in preparation for his jump. Once he has collected enough, he will stand on top of the bridge and break into a slow clap, dragging in everyone around him. Once there are enough eyes on him, he will dive off into the river below. It’s actually very dangerous, as the currents in the water are so strong that you could easily drown if you don’t have the strength and skill to push yourself back up off the bottom of the river bed.
Museum of Herzegovina – As our whole trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of an excursion from Dubrovnik, we had a guide with us to take us to the museum. Whilst in here, we watched a short video about the history of the country, the war, and the famous Stari Grad (old bridge). We then had the chance to wonder around and look at the various artefacts, such as maps and old images, which was really interesting to learn about.
Where to eat
Sadly, as we were only there for the day, we only got the change to have one meal in this beautiful country. In the centre of the old town, right next to the bridge, there are long cobbled streets filled with boutiques selling traditional artefacts i.e. Turkish tea sets and Hijabs, as well restaurants and bars. We ended up going to Restoran Emen, as per the recommendation of our guide, where we tasted the local cuisine. We ate cevapi (lamb and beef kebab type things) and pljeskavica (a spiced meat patty) . They did taste quite nice, but they were very salty and gave Scott heartburn! The ‘local wine’ tasted amazing though, and it was all very cheap!
We would love to come back here one day and explore other areas of the country, however I think we plan to visit a lot of new countries before returning. In the summer it is beautiful, but as mentioned before it can be unbearable in the high season (we went in June!), so I’d check the weather beforehand. Shot glass number 6, done.