After not having to pack my bag and move around for the last week, I was struggling to get back on the road. I was kinda backtracking as I had run out of time trying to get to Dubrovnick for the sailing trip that I had to skip through Bosnia. Thankfully Mostar wasn’t too far away from Split (nothing is really very far in europe) so I hopped on a bus and set off to see the famous bridge.
Mostar is famous for its bridge, Stari Most (Old Bridge), that was destroyed during the Balkan war and eventually rebuilt in 2004. While the bridge is super impressive, what has really made Mostar famous is people jumping off the bridge. It is a tradition for men to jump of the bridge since it was first built which has now been taken over by dumb tourists. For 25 Euro you can join the diving club and jump of the bridge. You do some training which consists of practicing the jump off different heights before attempting the bridge. The trainers are honest and have told people that they can’t jump so I guess it is a little “safe” but it is still very dangerous. The water is freezing and the bridge stands at 24m. There professionals jumping of the bridge (after collecting money) which are amazing! A guy at my hostel attempted to jump of the bridge. He nailed the practice jumps and apparently nailed his bridge jump but still managed to dislocate his shoulder. Thankfully he was going home the next day.
I was still in holiday mode and wasn’t all that keen to be back on the road. Thankfully I had booked into the best hostel in europe, Hostel Majdas. It was a home away from home and the perfect place to chill and just hang out. The lady that runs the place, Majda, is soooooo nice and is constantly feeding you that you feel like you are staying at your Mum’s house. I had been told by everyone that you really only need 1 day in mostar but I ended up staying for 4 and would have stayed longer if I hadn’t run out of time!
A must do when you are in Mostar is one of the tours offered by your hostel. I think they are all pretty similar but the one I did was amazing! It is run by Majda’s brother Barta. He is the craziest person you will meet with so much energy!! You aren’t really given an itinerary when you sign up for the tour so I didn’t know what to expect but as soon as I got into the van I knew it was going to be a hectic day. I was sitting in the boot of the van on a chair that would rock all over the place. Sadly the group of people on our tour were complete bores! They were a group of Dutch people doing some rail tour thing through the Balkans and it seemed like the first time any of them had ever left home. Barta tried his best to get them involved in his crazy antics but they were having none of it! It was still an awesome tour though which took us through the country side and to some AMAZING waterfalls. It was here that I saw the most Eastern European thing.
We were sitting by the edge of the lake after just having lunch trying to warm up in the sun when we saw a snake swimming. Everyone was watching the snake when suddenly this huge Bosnian (I’m assuming) man leapt into the water and caught the snake! He then dragged the snake out and gave it to his kids to hold and take pictures with! It was actually quite impressive! A little crazy but very cool. I don’t know if the snake was poisonous or not….
After the waterfalls we were taken to a small village where a lovely old lady made us coffee and we learnt the proper way of drinking coffee. You dunk a sugar cube into the coffee then nibble a little bit off and then slurp your coffee. The louder the slurp the more you like it apparently. I wasn’t a great slurper… It was here that Barta told us his experience in the war and how he managed to escape. Soldiers were going around the apartment building he was hiding in and rounding up all the muslim men. Miraculously the soldier that found him knew him from school and for some reason decided to save him and told everyone he wasn’t a muslim. He still to this day doesn’t know why he did it but if it wasn’t for him he would have been dead. He later escaped in an ambulance and fled to Canada where he was a refugee for 20 years before finally returning to Bosina.