Day 9 of Balkan Adventure

Day 9 of Balkan Adventure September 18 2011

To Mostar, Bosnia

Day 9 of Balkan AdventureEarly morning this morning, get up and have some cereal at the guesthouse for breakfast. Assemble with Intrepid group and we walk to the train station in Sarajevo.

We walk past the American Embassy which is really big and guarded well for some reason.

We get on to the train that will take us to Mostar. The train is a little older and dirty. Many of the windows are a little dirty. The train allows people to smoke and is very smoky. This one lady who had green hair stood by the doorway for the whole 3 hours chain smoking, very weird.

The ride to Mostar is very scenic, lots of neat lakes and mountain passes and tunnels we pass through.

Finally arriving into Mostar is a relief to get outside into the fresh air. We walk around in city of Mostar, which was heavily damaged during the war in the 90’s

See some buildings that are still in ruin from the war.

First of we stop for a coffee stop at Cafe Galleria for some coffee and milk and to collect thoughts.

Day 9 of Balkan AdventureThen onward to see more of the city.

Attractions in Mostar City

The main attraction in Mostar is the bridge in the old town which was completely destroyed during the war. For more explanation I will provide information below about Mostar and the bridge and to what historic aspects here:

Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region and the center of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (natively: mostari) who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva river.

The Old Bridge

The Old Bridge is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

Between 1992 and 1993, after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia, the town was subject to an 18 month siege. The Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) first bombed Mostar on April 3, 1992 and over the following week gradually established control over a large part of the town. By June 12, 1992 the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) and the 4th Corps of the ARBiH (which was one of five later seven corps formed in 1992) in a joined action amassed enough strength to force the JNA out of Mostar. The JNA responded with shelling. Amongst the monuments destroyed were a Franciscan monastery, the Catholic cathedral and the bishop’s palace (with a library of 50,000 books), a number of secular institutions as well as the Karadžoz-bey mosque, and thirteen other mosques.

Day 9 of Balkan Adventure

Glimpse From The Past of Croatia

In mid June 1992, after the battle line moved eastward, the HVO demolished the Serbian Orthodox Žitomislić Monastery as well as the Saborna Crkva (Orthodox Cathedral Church) that was built in 1863-1873. During the Bosnian War of 1992-95, the Serb Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Serbian: Саборна црква Св. Тројице) and the Church of the Birth of the Most Holy Virgin (Црква Рођења Пресвете Богородице/Crkva Rođenja Presvete Bogorodice), both dating to the mid 19th century, were demolished by the HVO.[7][8] The cathedral was also known as the New Orthodox Church (Нова православна црква/Nova pravoslavna crkva), while the latter was known as the Old Orthodox Church (Стара православна црква/Stara pravoslavna crkva). According to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nikola Špirić, the reconstruction of the cathedral is due to begin in Spring 2008, and will be funded by Prince Charles.

On November 18, 1991, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) branch in Bosnia and Herzegovina, proclaimed the existence of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, as a separate “political, cultural, economic and territorial whole,” on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar was divided into a Western part, which was dominated by the Croat forces and an Eastern part where the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was largely concentrated. After the war, the ICTY accused the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia leadership for the crimes against humanity and other war crimes during the war, including the destruction of the Stari Most bridge.

The bridge that we visited was completely rebuilt in 2008

Overall its a good experience here in Mostar a good way to visit an area that had lots of history from recent times.

While walking in town we meet up with our Sarajevo guide Mohammed who is walking around. Greets us and tells us about a good tour to go with him next day of the Tunnel of Hope.

After visiting the old town we go have lunch and have some type of meatballs and beer to which is quite amazing again.

We then head to the bus station after this and take bus back to Sarajevo. The bus is quicker then the train to the city.

We return to the guesthouse and here we make dinner with the local family.

Stuff veal meal into cucumbers and cabbage. Which is traditional islamic food almost. We were allowed to drink it with our wines we had bought from the last days in Croatia. Turns out to be great evening and good times. Spend rest of evening drinking up the Blackberry wine and discussing about the historical facts of everything. As well end it off with some Bosnian coffees.

End of day.

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