Posts Tagged ‘Mostar’


Today was powered by Choco Lips. This scrumptious chocolate bar brought me through the hilly and beautiful landscape of southern Bosnia Herzegovina. Up glacial valleys and across beautiful plains, with an amazing cloudscape as backdrop.

Down to the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

Down to the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

The rain has left, to be replaced by partly cloudy skies, with lower temperatures perfect for cycling. I am glad to be alive, breathing in the fantastic vistas of wide open plains surrounded by beautiful jagged mountains. We didn’t make it to the coast, but rather to an old train station that has been turned into a lovely restaurant and apartments. Quite chic, but very acceptable for some tired cyclists.

Choco Lips

Choco Lips

On the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

On the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

On the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

On the plains in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

The bullet-holed road to Neum

The bullet-holed road to Neum

10%

10%

Valley in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

Valley in southern Bosnia Herzegovina

Sunset at our valley in Zavala

Sunset at our valley in Zavala

We didn’t have any internet in Zavala. I am posting this entry from Day 44 in Dubrovnik. This lack of internet may happen more often now. Don’t get worried if I don’t post a blog every day. In all probability I will still be alive and enjoying life!


The last rest day. Local haircut, fortune telling and a hot bus ride through the cold mountain landscape. Tomorrow back on the bike towards Dubrovnik.

Muški frizer

Muški frizer

It has been raining now since we left Mostar. Ideal indoor weather, and ideal for getting a haircut. While I was waiting for James to have his hair cut, I did as the locals, and browsed through the available reading material.

Browsing the reading material at the barber

Browsing the reading material at the barber

We then had our coffee residues read to deduce our fortunes. I have a mountainous road ahead with obstacles that I will overcome. James has something to do with sheep.

Fortune telling

Fortune telling

It has been good having a break from cycling, but, I feel ready to jump back on the bike and cycle up some hills. The weather is clearing, and I think we will be cycling in the sun tomorrow. Yay!!


Today – the start of our rest days – the weather changed. Our cycling plans may have to as well. Looking out of the window of the bus on the way to Banja Luka, I see snow. Visiting my good friend Aleksandra in Banja Luka.

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Drahtesel is parked in the garage in Mostar. A rest day or three mean I turn into a sloth. Sleep, internet, coffee with the hotel manager. The stories he tells of the war, how friends became enemies overnight, how everything was destroyed, it is so sad. As the rain pours down outside, we hear of the continuing ills of a nation trying to find it’s way forward. People rebuilding their lives while frustration and aggression, remembering the past, fester in the background.

Rain in Mostar

Rain in Mostar

The weather is grey, and the rain turns to snow as the bus winds it’s way round and round and up and up into the mountains in Bosnia. It is a beautiful landscape with deep valleys, beautiful gorges and little villages. We pass houses with ‘Warning, land mines’ signs just metres from the front door. A map of the mined areas (http://www.bosna.unas.cz/images/mapamin.jpg), sent by Aron, sends a shiver down my spine. It happened here, not long ago, and the legacy remains.

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

It’s great to see Aleksandra again – a friend and colleague from Philips, and to visit her home town. We will have a better chance to see Banja Luka in the day time tomorrow.

Me, James and Aleksandra

Me, James and Aleksandra


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