On our way back into Croatia from Montenegro, we hit up a cute little town in Bosnia called Mostar. It was a blind decision, as we had never heard of Mostar, and honestly it's conveniently placed between Kotor and Split. So, why not?
We didn't know what to expect in Mostar, but we were pleasantly surprised. And a little shocked. Mostar is not just another quaint Balkan town. Instead, it turned out to be a bit unusual for us as we had never expected Mostar to be heavily influenced by the Ottoman Empire. It seriously felt like we were back in Turkey! Most of Old Town looked like a mini Istanbul! Albeit, a more quiet and cleaner version. The welcome coffee that was offered to us at the hostel, which they affectionately called Bosnian coffee, is essentially Turkish coffee! More or Less!
Anyways, the great Mostar bridge, Stari Most, is really the city's main attraction. A beautifully constructed hump-back bridge of Ottoman design, connecting both sides of Old Town. At 24 meters, it's quite a popular diving spot. In fact, Red Bull was hosting a diving competition the weekend after we left! Unfortunately, it's not the original Stari Most, which hung around for over 400 years until the Croat-Bosniak War destroyed it.
Speaking of the Bosnian War, remnants of the aftermath could be seen outside Old Town. Random buildings bombed to disrepair, peppered all over the city. Kinda weird to see them wedged between occupied buildings, all eerily calm in Modern Day Bosnia.
Like Montenegro, we've stayed in Mostar longer than most people would. 4-5 days? As opposed to the recommended 2. Stupid common cold and/or flu. Being sick WHILE traveling - ain't no joke! Thus, the very reason why we extended our stay in Mostar. Had the very nice hostel workers worried sick about me, wondering why I'm holed up in our private room, coughing and wheezing away. Ugh. Not my finest moment! But I really did like that hostel, like, really really really liked it. It's clean, intimate, easy to meet travelers. Had a chance to conversate with quite a handful of people from around the world, during one of the few times I would escape my room to make myself tea. Felt bad for the guests who had to stay in the room after us, though!
Overall, Mostar is a great place to relax and chill for a bit. Also another popular town for day trips. Such a shame that we weren't able to do some day excursions! Would have loved to make our way to Sarajevo!
When: September 2016
Stay: Guesthouse Taso. $11/person for 2 bed private dorm.
Recommend: Old Town, Mostar Bridge