Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bosnia – 14 September 2010

Woken by the bora wind, we set off early to make sure we could, finally, fit a visit to Mostar into our day.

Bosnia is not a country we would ever have imagined visiting a few years ago, a bit like contemplating a holiday in Bagdad today! Signs of the war were everywhere, with derelict buildings, and pock-marked buildings and pavements.

All the bridges across the Neretva River were blown up by the Croats in 1993, and unfortunately this included the 479 year old Stari Most (Old Bridge). Now meticulously rebuilt, exactly as it was before, the Mostar Old Bridge is now a UNESCO listed monument. We watched a video showing it's deterioration during the war years, until it was eventually totally destroyed.

The east bank of the river is the Muslim side, with more mosques, and a cemetery which is a very sad reminder of the war, all the dates of death seemed to be 1994. The west bank is the Catholic side, and we walked to see the Catholic church, which almost appears to be rivalling the mosques in the height of its tower. The main road running in front of it was the front line during the war.

From Mostar we retraced our route to Croatia stopping briefly to look at Pocitelj as this is supposedly the most traditional village in Bosnia, full of 15th century buildings. Once back across the border we continued up the coast to Split. The old town with its Diocletian Palace, is also UNESCO listed. In fact, we have seen more UNESCO listed towns on this holiday, Cathedral of St Domnius, Splitthan any other and the stunning old towns make Croatia undeniably beautiful.

Arriving in Split, we had time for a couple of hours looking around the old town, but will need to save the Diocletian Palace for tomorrow. As the day died we retired back to the campsite, once again on the coast, for a delicious dinner, in their restaurant at the end of a peninsular overlooking the sea: a brilliant end to a busy day.

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