Hi guys! As you've read from our travels around Croatia, our first week was a combination of relaxing, missing ferries, great wine, avoiding pub crawls, meeting other travelers and undergoing a Balkans workout that I was unprepared for. Lael and I are both very curious about going to places off the beaten path, and we knew Bosnia would give us the opportunity to do this. I read up briefly about Bosnia before we visited and I knew a bit about the war, but not enough. I also knew that some divers jumped off the bridge (we all have our hobbies :P). What I didn't realise is how different I would feel after travelling through Bosnia and I can't wait to share why.
Must Do's in Mostar!
It took us roughly 4 hours to get from Split to Mostar. Once we arrived at the bus station we got a free ride (organised by our hostel) to their place. We both loved our stay at Hostel Nina. Our Private room roughly cost £16 each for two nights (bargain!!) which included free breakfast, a lovely balcony and 6 min walk to Old Town. The Hostel is run by a kind and warm family who also run tours which I'll discuss more in Part 2.
Here are our 7 highlights from our first day in Mostar:
1. Lucki Most
The bridge in the distance is Lucki Most! This is the first bridge we crossed when we arrived. You can see great views of Stari Most from here. The view is breath-taking!
2. Stari Most (Old Bridge) & Neretva River
Words can't describe how beautiful Stari Most is. This bridge was rebuilt after the war so its a perfect symbol of strength and the beginning of the peace. Some guys actually dive from this bridge if they get enough money from tourists. They also have an annual diving competition in September. We didn't see any divers but props to them!
3. Carsija (Markets) and Old Town
I hardly bought anything while I was in Bosnia and one my biggest regrets was not getting more things from the markets because everything looked so special. I got a tea set for my mum because the designs on their tea sets were so stunning. The markets felt like they had a fuse of European and Middle Eastern influence which probably speaks to the mix of cultures in Mostar. Walking through the streets in Bosnia, we felt like celebrities with people constantly waving at us. I don't think they had seen many black girls walk through there before!
4. Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque
If you want the best views of Stari Most definitely visit this 17th Century Mosque. Entry fee is around six euros ( which gives you access to both the mosque and minaret - the minaret allows you to walk to the top of the tower) . There are roughly around 90 steps to reach the top and the staircase is very narrow so if you do get claustrophobic I wouldn't recommend it to all. We had two people cheering for us as we made our way up the narrow staircase because it was so high. The views are stunning once you reach the top. They also have a garden section at the bottom which is where I took this photo:
5. War Photo Exhibition
Coming here was very high on my list. Being in Mostar you can't help being aware of the recent war. You can still see bullets in the buildings and Mostar is still divided which you can see when you visit the right or left hand side of the bridge. The war photo exhibition tells the story of every day lives the destroyed by the war in powerful pictures. It costs 3 Euros to enter.
6. Biscevic House
This Turkish house isn't too far from the Old Bridge. It's a really relaxing place to hang out with a small fountain and a shaded courtyard. We also saw a tortoise hanging out here too. As you can see from the photos the interior is filled with Turkish rugs, wall hangings, silver and ceramic items. For a few moments you feel like you're in the past. Entry fee is 2 Euros.
7. Tima - Irma (Restaurant)
Last but not least, if I recommend one place to eat it would definitely be Tima - Irma. You can have big portions here for really cheap price. It also has the best cevapici in town and for those who don't know what that is. It's these seasoned sausages that the Balkans area is famous for! This is the menu!
I've divided our travels in Bosnia and Herzegovina into two parts. If you need an incentive to read on, the next part is where we swam in waterfalls!! They were so beautiful someone thought I was in Wakanda! Click here for Part 2.
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