Sarajevo to Mostar

Saturday, July 16, 2022 - 16:45

The original plan was to leave Sarajevo early this morning, but we delayed our departure in order to do another walking tour about the Yugoslavia War and the Siege of Sarajevo; we thought it would be a shame to leave Sarajevo without learning a bit more about the darker part of the city's history. Before any of that, I went for a lovely morning run through the tree-lined parks along the river, which took me past many apartment blocks still scarred by mortar shrapnel - something which you can't help but notice on so many buildings in the city.

As for the tour, our guide was a woman (I've forgotten her name unfortunately) who was 37, meaning she was a child during the siege. She told us all about how the war started, how it ended, and what life was like for the locals living under siege for nearly 4 years. We then went around the city and saw sights such as the farmers market where a bomb killed 67 people, the memorial to the 1000+ children of Sarajevo who died during the war, and a canned food monument outside the United Nations building, which is a bit of a joke tribute to the 1940s World War 2-era canned food the UN supplied and they all lived off during the siege. Suffice to say it wasn't an easy going tour, especially seeing all the names and dates of birth and death on the children's memorial, but it was incredibly interesting, and we came away with a real sense of how the siege has scarred the psyche of the people here; something which it feels like won't pass for at least a couple more generations.

Another interesting fact which stood out to us was how the Bosnians don't have much of a collective identity. They can either recognise themselves on the census as Bosniak, Serb, Croat or 'Other', and they have a power sharing agreement with three presidents in the country, but a 'High Representative' from the EU who in theory serves above all three, and can veto anything they do in order to ensure balance between all the ethnic groups. Apparently this means not a lot gets done in practice. On top of that, they have to had a national anthem without words, and the flag was created by the EU in neutral colours (the same department who made the Kosovan flag) because green couldn't be used as it is a Muslim colour, and red couldn't be used because it is a communist colour. They can't actually agree on how many stars the flag should have on it, and after hearing this we were looking around and saw some flags with 5 stars, and some with up to 8!

After the tour we hit the road for Mostar, which took us even deeper into the Dinaric Alps past some absolutely beautiful scenery, with the mountains becoming increasingly rugged as we went along. We also drove through a storm, which saw the temperatures drop from about 33 degrees to 20 degrees, though by the time we got to Mostar it was back up to 38 - meaning we get to sample the same heat as everyone back home in London! Because it was so hot we waiting a bit in the airconditioned hotel room for things to cool down, before heading out to explore the old town of Mostar including the famous medieval Stari Most (Old Bridge) which was built in the Ottoman times, destroyed by the Croat army in the Croat-Bosniak war in 1993, and then rebuilt from 2001-2004. It still looks quite new, and has a buzzing bazaar area on either side. We struggled with the buggy on the cobbled stones so Lucy had to be carried rather than bumping all over the place. Once we crossed over, we decided to eat in a tiered restaurant on the side of the gorge (Neretva) which had beautiful views overlooking the river and the bridge. I must mention a delicious main course we shared with was a deep fried minced meat kebab, stuffed with cream cheese - as it sounds, but even better! Though we felt very heavy afterwards.

Tomorrow we are finally going to see the Adriatic as we head down to Montenegro.

Dog Notes: 

When we were walking back to the car after our tour this morning a man came up to us and asked about Summer. Turns out he is a local and he also has a corgi! He thought he had the only corgi in the city, so we didn't spoil that for him when we told him we were from abroad. We spoke for about 10 minutes and heard all about his 3 year old male corgi called Simba. He was really friendly, spoke perfect English, and a great example of how friendly all the Bosnians we've encountered have been.

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

More free charging today, courtesy of the EPBiH local electricity supply company in Mostar. We arrived at the office building which looked closed, however the gate to the car park was ajar and I went in the back and could see the charger there. Some knocking on windows and a man came out and said I could use the charger, just bring the car in past the gate. He then activated the charger with an RFID card. The only problem was that the charger was only 7KW, not 22KW like the EPBIH website stated - lucky we didn't arrive empty. Very random place but this means we have crossed the whole of Bosnia without paying a penny for electricity/fuel!

Miles Driven: 
Villa M


A unique holiday goal achieved if ever I've seen one: "we have crossed the whole of Bosnia without paying a penny for electricity/fuel". Loving the updates!

Just logged into the blog and will spend a couple of weeks reading it. Hope all's well Adrian

Great Bridge shot. Cheap travel too!

I can remember that war very well so very interesting to read how things are now. Summer must have been happy meeting a male corgi

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