After spending the weekend in Sarajevo, Leah and I boarded a (crusty) bus and headed a few hours south, to the up and coming (and super popular and touristic town) of Mostar. Located in the Herzegovina region of BiH, it is most famous for its iconic Stari Most Bridge, or “Old Bridge” in English.
Originally constructed in the sixteenth century, the Ottoman-style bridge connects the two parts of Mostar’s old city, over the Neretva River. Designed by student Mimar Hayruddin, the Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on November 9, 1993 during the Yugoslav Wars. An exact replica was reconstructed and officially re-opened to the public on July 23, 2004.
Mostar is a small town and is a popular day trip, which made the afternoons quite crowded, although the evenings were quiet and peaceful. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is just beautiful to walk around and soak up the scenery.
To escape the day trip crowds during the afternoon, we took the bus to Blagaj, a town known for its Dervish monastery. A popular religious sanctuary for Muslims, it was interesting to take a tour of the inside, especially after our personalized mosque visit in Sarajevo. Afterwards, we did a bit of walking and crossed the river to admire the house from the other side. The water from the river is so clear and pure that you can drink it directly from the source (just like in Slovenia!)
One of the best parts about Mostar, however, was meeting up with my friend Megan, whom lived in Lille last year and I hadn’t seen since my trip to Spain last October. She was also doing a bit of Balkan travel and passing through.
If you are planning your ultimate Balkans itinerary, I definitely recommend a day or two in Mostar. With its gorgeous architecture, unbeatable weather, and mind-boggling scenery, this is a place you do not want to miss.