11 August 2012

Eastern Europe chapter 6: Mostar tourist madness

We were up very early in the morning to catch the train heading south from Sarajevo to the little town, Mostar. It's famous for its old bridge that was destroyed during the Bosnian war in the 90s. We wanted to go both because of the train ride, and because it would be nice to see some more rural Eastern Europe.
 The sun was still waiting to shine down on the morning city as we sat down in the train.
 The train taking us to Mostar was an old Swedish train, so beautiful.
The train ride was incredible, and I'm so annoyed I didn't get more pictures. The train carved its way through velvety mountains and deep valleys, and everyone defied their urge to go to sleep and sat with their noses pressed against the windows taking in the spectacular view.
 In Mostar, it was very warm, and we started with a morning coffee by the river to wake us up.
Mostar was also hit badly during the war, and like Sarajevo the little city still carried its scars quite visibly.
 The bridge. The closer we got to the bridge the more tourists. The narrow streets leading down to the bridge, that were very nice and cute, were flooded with tourists and souvenir shops which ruined everything for me.
 Once over the bridge having seen this young muscular man jumping off the bridge several times for touristic money, we found a little place in the shade, quite empty and with new agey music, where we installed ourselves in the sofas overlooking the scenery.
 With lots of hours to our train back to the city, we hitched a ride with a local wine farmer/restaurant owner/camping boss to a nearby town called Blagaj. We wanted to escape the souvenir shops and see something more local and quiet.
 The wine farmer dropped us off at his friend's bistro in Blagaj. It was right by a little stream, there were practically no people, and the heat gave everything a drowsy feel. We had food and sat for a long time by the little bridge trying to endure having our feet in the freezy mountain water...
 We went down the empty streets, dropped into a local supermarket and visited an old Bosnian house where we were shown around by the newest member of a centuries old family; a 12-year old boy.
One busride later we were back in Mostar where we had ice cream, a little snooze in the afternoon sun and a cold Cola before heading back to the city on the old Swedish train.

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