Day 39. 78km. Ploče – Mostar

Posted: October 21, 2014 in Bosnia, Croatia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

Isabella, persimmons and the search for the Snoopy snack bar. My first impressions of Bosnia – the country of happy, laid back people.

Buying persimmons in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Buying persimmons in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia always sounded adventurous – outside of the known, and into an unknown turbulent country on my doorstep. Leaving the Croatian coast – just 20km inland, and the feel of the place changed. This was no longer the main tourist drag, and it felt authentic and alive.

Bosnia is near

Bosnia is near

The border

The border

A stop on the side of the road to buy some persimmons introduced us to some lovely lovely people. A young girl, Isabella, was so very excited that we had stopped to buy some persimmons from her grandfather’s garden. She took some photos with us and sent them immediately to her friends. And, when we complimented her on her good english, she danced around in joy.

Me, Isabella and her grandfather

Me, Isabella and her grandfather

She loves her town, her country, and we had to taste the best kebabs in all of Bosnia Herzogevina in the next village – in the Snoopy Snack bar. Well, we had to try that. We left the (only vaguely) beaten track to find the snack bar – the source of nourishment of all the school kids from miles around.

The Snoopy Snack Bar

The Snoopy Snack Bar

Our points of contact with lovely, warm hearted people, Isabella and her grandparents, the guy serving us at Snoopy, and our hotel owner in Mostar, were separated by sprints along a busy main road plied by cars and trucks – all travelling fast, coughing out fumes, and creating a lot of noise pollution.

Mostar is a beautiful and eery place. Just opposite our hotel, the building is pocked with bullet holes from the war, just a decade ago. It is sad that such hatred and anger can ruin the lives and everything for the people here. Walking down the street in the old town, lit by yellow lights in the dark of the evening, we heard a mosque call for prayer, and saw 3 or 4 mosques lit up. On the top of the hill, high up, was a solitary cross, standing there silence in the distance. On the bridge was written ‘Do not forget, 1993’.

Mostar

Mostar

Mostar

Mostar

Aleksandra, my friend that we are visiting tomorrow in Banja Luka, advised that we should eat meat – ‘that is what they eat here’. Well, we did. It was massive. The cat (one of the many) was also interested.

Me and the cat

Me and the cat

Then back to our chaotic abode. Nourished and content.

Chaos

Chaos

Comments
  1. Aron says:

    Be careful about the minefields, there are plenty around Bosnia and some parts of Croatia. http://www.bosna.unas.cz/images/mapamin.jpg
    Other than that, a beautiful country that doesn’t deserve it’s past.

  2. ton smeets says:

    Hi Matthew

    Ik geniet elke dag van je verhalen en ben je erg dankbaar voor de moeite die je ervoor doet.
    Geweldig !! Ook heerlijk om te lezen dat Isabelle zo enthousiast reageerde op jullie bezoek.
    Nog heel veel plezier de komende weken en weet dat ik enorm met je meeleef.

    gr Ton Smeets

    • Hoi. Wat een leuke bericht! Ik zit nu in een café met de hotel en kijk naar het stromende regen. Ik ben blij dat de komende dagen rustdagen zijn. 🙂 Er leuk om met de mensen te praten en leren hoe het hier is. 🙂

  3. Alessandro says:

    About Isabella, you wrote: “And, when we complemented her on her good english, she danced around in joy.”
    We cannot say the same about *your* english. The verb should be complimented 🙂
    Great to see your progress Matthew. I have never been in Bosnia and it would be a nice (motor)cycle ride next summer.
    Cheers.

  4. Ivan says:

    “My first impressions of Bosnia – the country of happy, laid back people.”
    Actually , the southern part of the country around Mostar is Herzegovina 🙂

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