Mostar, Most definitely
October 3, 2012
After Sail Croatia, we visited the turkishly delightful Mostar. Mostar is in Bosnia Herzegovina and fifty or so kilometres inland from the Croatian coast. It’s only fifty kilometres but it might as well be on the other side of the world: the Croatia coast is all about hedonism and excess whereas Mostar, while its not hardline islamist, has mosques dotting its skyline. Also there are no no sea breezes in Mostar, its like the song walking on sunshine, but in a greenhouse. Inside a hot car. Parked in a giant oven. Located on the sun.
This is the ancient town of Počitelj near Mostar, a really old fortified Turkish settlement. I like the long thin towers attached to mosques (I think they’re called citadels?) because they remind me of Rapunzel.
This is a famous view of Stari Most, the old bridge, where the town gets its name: Stari means old and Most means bridge. The two towers that flank either side of the bridge are where the Bridge Keepers lived. They were called the “Mostari” and because the bridge was a huge part of town life, the city became known as Mostar. This bridge is the Eiffel Tower of Mostar. Its on every postcard and inside every snowglobe. It was build in the 1560s and stood for over 400 years until it was detroyed in 1993 during the Yugoslavian war. Reconstruction was finished in 2004.
The bridge stands 24 metres high over the Neretva river which is always freezing even in the heat of summer. It’s tradition for the young men of the town to jump off the bridge into the Neretva even though it’s illegal and attracts a $25 fine. This is now the bridge jumper’s fee they call for from tourists. You can see one professional bridge jumper poised ready to go. The summer before, an Australian guy doing Sail Croatia did the jump to impress a girl. They’re now married*.
This is the traditional Kujundžiluk (or old bazaar). We walked through this part of the town and snacked on Bosnian skinless sausage called Ćevapi. Then we watered that down with deeeelicious rosewater lemonade. Don’t tell Charlie but it was ACTUALLY the best lemonade of all time.
Most buildings are riddled with bullet holes from the conflict that played out here in the 90s.
*Not married. Thought he was a douche.
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