Mostar stood out in our travels around Europe thus far. It was never really on our hit list of places to visit but having heard so much about it from fellow travellers we met on the road, we decided to venture into this foreign land. I grew up hearing about the war in Bosnia in the 90s but actually stepping foot in this country felt surreal. Mostar was one of the towns that suffered the most damage during the war with about 95% of its buildings destroyed including the iconic bridge you see in the pictures, according to our host. Walking the streets of Mostar evoked strange feelings within me. While I was confident and assured that the war was well and truly over and that this town is as safe as any other part of Western Europe, I felt a sense of sadness seeing remnants of the war present every now and then. Although most of the town has been rebuilt, not all damaged buildings have been repaired. These damaged buildings are far too dangerous to be inhabited and have been left untouched, almost as a grim reminder of the country’s past. Numerous bullet holes mark the surfaces of these damaged buildings and remind me of an insect infestation of some sort.
I also felt a sense of respect for these people, having suffered through the war and have learned to live in peace despite their differences and troubled history. The people of Bosnia are humble, kind and willing to share their stories, if you would only care to ask.
Mostar is a truly fascinating place to visit. In a space of less than 24 hours, this beautiful town has made an indelible mark in our travels.