Mostar was incredibly hot and bright from the flashing cameras. Busses unloaded visitors with fury. Stomping feet hid every surface of the ground. The town was covered in masses of tourists. It was impossible to breath – though that might have also been due to the + 30-degree weather that day.

To get here, the train had curved around lush mountains and swirled through green villages, entered then exited tunnels to make us wonder at Bosnia’s absolute beauty. Then, the ride stopped and we found ourselves in Mostar, burning under a scorching sun, or as I like to call it; hell.

Then, the ride stopped and we found ourselves in Mostar, burning under a scorching sun, or as I like to call it; hell.

Mostar’s best boast is its famous bridge destroyed by the Croats in November 1993 during the Bosnian War. It was later reconstructed in 2004. This is relevant because if one travels through Bosnia, one is obliged to witness how Muslims and Christians peacefully coexist. That, to me anyway, was an astounding sight. The equality and respect I saw in Bosnia made it one of my favorite countries to this day. Back to the bridge; Mostar’s bridge, built by the Turks in the 1500s, regarded as a work of genius for its impressive arch, also stood as a symbol of this connection between the two distinct religions that make up Bosnia's population.

And so we stood on this bridge, at the time not fully understanding the history behind it, and watched as young divers jumped down into the river below. They collected money for their feat. With this heat, I didn’t need the money to jump. Then, the sound of a drum beating rhythmically came to our ears and had us looking around. We turned our eyes to the left leaning against the bridge’s railing, the weights of our own bodies too much to bear, awaiting the parade that seemed to be approaching. Instead, a man with a bin appeared, dragging the container on the elevated beams of the sleek marble. The sweat pouring off his forehead fell in drips and the bin continued to hit each beam making it a musical instrument.

We were greeted rudely and handed a plate of sad meats that we ate nonetheless, missing Sarajevo with every bite.

Our feet stuck to the ground and we dragged them along heavily, desperate to escape. We found some shaded trees, away from the noise of the main city and napped. We woke up hungry and forced ourselves to battle the crowds again. We were greeted rudely and handed a plate of sad meats that we ate nonetheless, missing Sarajevo with every bite.

Back at the train station we sat, feet dangling near the rails. Tim smoked a cigarette and men sat playing cards at a table across the way. The train approached. It was with pleasure that we embarked on the train journey back. As we curved once again around green hills and left Mostar behind, we made it a promise to forget it as a bad decision.

             

The Writer

I write stuff for fun, if it was for a living I would be homeless.

Find out more about me, Stefanie, here.

Quotes

Adventure, yeah. I guess that’s what you call it when everybody comes back alive. Mercedes Lackey