So having arrived in Mostar five hours later than I had hoped for I decided to spend the night there rather than leaving later that night. I don’t really like the idea of booking a ticket out of a place as soon as you arrive but sometimes it has to be done so I booked mine for the following morning.
Once that had been done I was then actually glad to meet a tout who walked me the short distance to Vila Sara Hostel where I would spend the night in a dormitory. Again, there (seemingly) wasn’t much more to this place than a touristy, cobbled shopping street running parallel to the river over which Stari Most (Old Bridge) crossed. Not just any bridge though as it was a reconstructed one due to the old one being destroyed on the 9th of November, 1993 as part of the Bosnian War resulting from the collapse of Yugoslavia. It now holds world heritage status and is the main feature of this place which I really liked. Some local boys even jumped off it in return for cold, hard cash from tourists. I would have liked to try this myself but I didn’t have my swimming shorts with me and I didn’t see any other tourists do such a thing.
The main street was lined with small cafes, restaurants, artists’ studios and souvenir shops selling a mix of tacky stuff as well as former-Yugoslavia goods. These included badges, coins, stamps and military stuff which I thought was quite fascinating as indeed was the Helebija War Photo Exhibition. Compared to every thing else its 2.5 Euro entry was expensive but I felt this was something that had to be done and there were some pretty brutal photos on show. The idea behind that being to show the real, raw face of war and its absurdity.
After that I ate some local food; cevapcici (minced lamb…or was it beef? I can’t remember!) which is like a kebab and is inspired by Bosnia’s Turkish heritage. It was simple, tasty, cheap and filling too and after that I explored a bit more with particular regard to buildings damaged in the war. I needed a few beers after all that and sat on the hostel rooftop chatting with some guys which was nice as its fair to say I hadn’t done too much socialising on the trip…or even had the opportunity to do so.