Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Wikipedia:
Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the biggest and the most important city in the Herzegovina region. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after "the bridge keepers" (natively: mostari) who kept the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva river.During the Ottoman era, the Old Bridge was built and became one of the symbols of Mostar. The bridge was destroyed by Croatian Defence Council units during the Bosnian-Herzegovian War, on November 9, 1993 at 10:15 am. Slobodan Praljak, the commander of the Croat forces, is on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for ordering the destruction of the bridge, among other charges.

Visit!! Despite the fact that it's inexpensive and the bridge is worth the trip alone (locals jump of the bridge regularly), it's recent past of war and renewal is a feast for the eyes and you couldn't find a more friendlier group of people in the world. It was hot there, our hostel owner told us before we left to explore the city, 'Remember ladies, shade is your friend'.

Oh, one memorably story: We were at the mosque and Belen (the Spaniard) and Emma (whose British) decided to pay the fee to climb to the top to see the views of the town. Steph (the other American) and I decided to stay behind. The man who took the fees called over to us, 'Come here, Come here!' 'Where are you from?,' he asked 'America' we both said hesitantly, expecting the worst. 'Ok, ok,' the man said, 'you go in free, I love your President Obama and Joe Biden. We love Americans'.Nice, I've got to thank Obama for the free entry.

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