Day 9 in Europe: Fighting the rain in Mostar, Bosnia

10 Oct

Mostar was the site of a pretty nasty war 22 years ago. What started as a war for independence from Yugoslavia turned into a nasty ethnic war. Never mind that diverse populations had been living here peacefully for hundreds of years.

It’s a shame because the setting is so beautiful. A fast-flowing green river flows through the middle, and sets the stage for an amazing bridge that both literally and metaphorically spans the two sides. The 400-year-old bridge was destroyed in the war and then rebuilt in 2004.

For an idea of how things are going since then, a photo of a Serbian boy kissing a Croatian girl in a parade in Mostar went viral in 2013. The kiss came *after* an old woman asked how she could possibly march next to a Serb. So maybe there’s hope for the future.

I tried to do some exploring, but the rain, which flooded the streets at times, made it tough.

The Stari Most, or old bridge.

The Stari Most, or old bridge.

View from atop the old bridge.

View from atop the old bridge.

A view from atop the famous bridge.

A view from atop the famous bridge.

Part of old town Mostar.

Part of old town Mostar.

Graves in a Muslim cemetery. I saw one later where many of the dates of death were 1993, the peak of the civil war.

Graves in a Muslim cemetery. I saw one later where many of the dates of death were 1993, the peak of the civil war.

Lunch was the area specialty. It starts with a 'C.' Very filling.

Lunch was the area specialty. It starts with a ‘C.’ Very filling.

Every few blocks you'd see bombed out buildings like this, never leveled or repaired after the war.

Every few blocks you’d see bombed out buildings like this, never leveled or repaired after the war.

When the rain really came down. I was soaked.

When the rain really came down. I was soaked.

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2 Responses to “Day 9 in Europe: Fighting the rain in Mostar, Bosnia”

  1. phoog May 2, 2016 at 2:10 PM #

    Nice pictures. My wife is from Sarajevo and has cousins in the Mostar area, so these bring back fond memories.

    Please however brush up on your history and politics. Calling a Bosniak a “Muslim Serb” is grating. There may just as well be as many Muslim Croats among their ancestors as there are Muslim Serbs, and since the conversion began over 500 years ago, it doesn’t really matter much one way or the other.

    By contrast, in the modern division of the people into Bosniak, Serb, and Croat, equating Bosniaks with Serbs verges on offensive (see, for example, the history of Srebrenica).

    • Bob Payne May 3, 2016 at 9:19 AM #

      Thanks. You are correct and I’ll update the post. This stuff can be a bit confusing.

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