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Bosnia: Mostar

September 23, 2018 Travel Blog

The first impact with Bosnia was quite… Weird. After Slovenia and Croatia this would have been the first “serious” frontier to cross, so we were all set to face the border police .. When, at our stop at the first toll, the girl on duty stared at the BunnyVan and … burst out laughing! We looked at each other wandering what was she laughing at… Then she let us through, and with an amused and impertinent grimace still printed on his face she said “Good Luck!”
And here all my paranoias exploded… “What did she mean , maybe we will not come out alive? Will the brigands attack us? Will we sink into the swamps of sadness? H E L P!” In reality, soon we would have understood much of his strange behavior ..!
Once we passed the border, the road and the landscape change radically. After being used to the perfect roads of Croatia, to the country houses, to the groomed sidewalks, we found ourselves on badly patched asphalt, garbage thrown everywhere in the escarpments, partly crumbled concrete barracks. The first inhabited center we met was Medjugorje, yes, just the original! We stopped just a moment to do some tourist-religious shopping for Silvio’s very devoted grandmother, but here we began to notice something disturbing. Everyone was staring at us! Everybody, of every age and sex, from the youngest to the oldest, was looking at us as we passed by. Obviously a Piaggio Porter in these places is an absolute rarity!
Conquered this our new audience of admirers, we left to reach Mostar.
Mostar, like most other Bosnian cities, has begun to live again. The war left deep wounds in Bosnia, and Mostar was one of the cities most affected by the bombing. His historic and famous bridge was in fact destroyed during the war, and what we see today is only a faithful reconstruction. Nevertheless, Mostar retains a great charm, it remains a real multi-ethnic city, churches and mosques alternate between palaces, and it almost doesn’t look like a bloody war took place on these roads just some years ago. To remind us, however, remain the walls still riddled with shots, and the houses smashed by bombs still to be demolished and rebuilt.