Day 20: Mostar- Jumping off the Old Bridge!

Hey friends. So yesterday we left you after our big night out in Mostar. Today is our only full day here but as we walked around a lot of it yesterday we had a lazy morning as our evening is full.

We woke up, we fell back asleep, we woke up again and got ready for our day. The first stop was a quick visit into one of the local mosques just does the road from our AirBnB. There wasn’t all that much to see but we did however see the oldest book in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina which the cute man at the entrance was very proud about. I loved reading up on the local Muslim news. I did not understand a word but apparently there is a fair with sheep coming up. Wish I could be there.

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We then strolled up to a traditional 18th century Bosnian house. This is also a hotel and it basically involved us being allowed into the lobby of each of the three floors of the hotel and having a little sit as the temp is currently 37 degrees and there is not much of a breeze. Bobo made some new friends and we both loved sitting close to the floor. Would absolutely hate to stay here as a hotel guest through, definitely haunted.

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Bowen and the fan have pretty much become one now. When 2 become 1!

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Welcome to my crib!

It was already lunch time and we fancied some veggies with a view so we climbed up the old bridge again and watched a few men jump off into the rapids below. There is definitely a technique to this jump. You kind of throw your chest off first and then hold your arms and legs behind you to slow you down and then at the last moment go like a pencil and enter the H20. It is bloody high. Crackers! Bowen also had to hold her ground as a lady behind her was trying to balance on her head to get a good view. She told her where to go! I have never been prouder!

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We found a restaurant with a banging view of the bridge and each had a bowl of fresh veggie pasta. It was alright. From here we could see more men jump off the bridge practising for the annual bridge jumping comp that was happening later on today. We played a round of Queen of the World cards. I won. Bowen did not. I am Queen of the World. Bowen is not. It feels good.

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Post pasta and cards we headed to the old tower on the bridge to go to the War Photo exhibition that had photos from the most recent Bosnian War and they were all from Mostar. It is crazy to think that 20 years of so ago this place was at war. That the old bridge was blown up, that there was no water or food, that the city was so divided. You can still see grenade and bullet holes in a vast majority of buildings. It is something that we should all know more about!

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Ice Creams with a view of the old bridge and tower behind!

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Views from the old tower!

We decide to head down to the diving competition for a little bit as we have a tour booked for the evening so can’t make the whole thing. We find the last seats in the shade and sit for an hour waiting for it to begin. It is bonkers to see small boys throw themselves off rocks into the water that is moving pretty quickly below. We both enjoy the spot of people watching. The comp starts and it is all in Bosnian so we have no idea what is going on but they throw some flowers of the bridge and then one by one they shake some dudes hand and jump off. Rambo was particularly impressive in his bright orange speedos. He made zero splash what so ever. He was the people’s favourite! We have to sneak off as the tour is about to begin and we can’t be late. Apparently the second round is jumping off head first. Wish we could have seen it! We were speaking to someone the next day who said that the water is only 10 degrees warm and that at 37 degrees out of the water lots of people die from the shock of the sudden temp change. Probs best that we didn’t give it a go ourselves!

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Spot the jumping man!

We find our tour guide for the Death Of Yugoslavia tour. He is a right cracker. If you imagine a Bosnian Cam from Modern Family you would get this guy. He calls me The Sophie- we are best friends for life! We clamber into his car as he is taking us out of Old Town Mostar and seeing some more of this beautiful place.

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#lovefordragon!

Our first stop is a aeroplane bunker that Tito built into a mountain with American Dollars and could house 8 Russian planes. We take the turning into the bunker and accidentally stumble upon two teenagers in the middle of some sexual dalliances. Who would have thought that Bobo and I would accidentally go dogging together. It was jokes. They scarpered quickly out of there and we ventured deep into the bunker where we screamed and slammed car doors to hear just how crazy the acoustics were in here. We made it outside again where our tour guide- let’s call him Dragon- told us all about the history of this place. I won’t give you the full load of it here as I won’t do it justice but it was super cool. I also got to do some role play with him. Day made! Bowen didn’t get to. She obviously doesn’t look like the drama type.

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The next location is the true centre of Mostar, not in the Old Town but the bit that tourists don’t really come to. Dragon (that definitely isn’t his name by the way but it began with a D and kind of sounds like it so we will roll with Dragon)- So Dragon shows us pictures of what this place used to look like before the war and it was buzzy, with people everywhere, a shopping mall, big bank buildings, a fountain that children played in and now it is derelict, empty shells of buildings, bullet and hand grenade holes in every building and no people at all. We were the only ones there. A street artist had created shadows that represent the people that used to be there. It is actually incredibly moving. We learnt that 50% of Bosnians are unemployed! 50%!!!!!! It was so sad to stand in this spot as we were also told that it is still a very divided city. The Bosniak Muslims live on one side and the Croats live on the other side and even the education is still segregated.

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This used to be the bank!

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Our third and last stop on the tour was to the Partisan’s Cemetery which was for those who fought and lost their lives in World War 2. This is so unlike any other WWII monument that I have ever been to. It is completely run down, has swastika’s and other similar symbols all over it and has more smashed bottles than I have ever seen in one place before! Apparently the government who Dragon described as Nationalists want to tear this place down and forget that it ever existed. It is incredibly sad as once again this used to be a meeting place for people to hang out in. Where people of different religions and beliefs would come together to hang out in the meadows and stuff. We learnt more about the government today and that they are pretty awful.

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Everything that the light touches will one day be yours Simba!

I think it is safe to say this this is our favourite tour of the trip. We learnt such a huge amount of recent history. If you are ever here you have to do it! Hit me up if you want details! I was a bit overwhelmed throughout the whole thing so wasn’t my normal question asking self. Bowen did make up for it though. I did however race Dragon up the hill. I won. Guess I’m like Saint George! Defeating dragons and what not!

Feeling emotionally drained we decide to head back to our apartment via the supermarket to pick up some supper. There is not much on offer so we pick up a packet soup and a bread roll which we are never going to eat!

What an amazing day it has been in Mostar. I think it such a shame that people rush through this place on day trips. Promise me to stay a little longer and to leave the Old Town to see some of the things we saw on this tour!

We leave Bosnia and Herzegovina tomorrow and head to our last new country.

OOOO where will it be.

That’s a secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. XOXO Gossip Girl!

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