My thoughts on Bosnia and Herzegovina

23rd September 2016

I didn’t know what to expect from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but now it’s one of my favourite countries. What I liked about Bosnia is that it’s not ruined by tourists. Mostar was busy but Sarajevo was quiet and it felt more authentic.

The cobbled streets of Mostar Bosnia
The cobbled streets of Mostar Bosnia

Mostar

I started looking a the Balkan countries before my first trip to Croatia about 4 years ago. One of the destinations I found was Mostar and now four years later I got the chance to visit the city and see famous bridge.

My stay in Mostar was short and it’s a small town so I got a chance to see enough of the town before heading onto Sarajevo. First of all, I stayed in a super chilled out hostel called Hostel Majdas. The owners are friendly and made about 30 people a breakfast each morning.

Selling clothes on the streets of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Selling clothes on the streets of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar’s famous bridge is a bit of a walk from the hostel. It is a tourist town so I expected shops selling magnets everywhere. I got into the central area straight to the bridge before the coach loads of tourists arrived.

From what i’ve experienced, most places are a bit underwhelming in real life. A photographer with good photoshop skills can make anything more interesting than it is.  Mostar’s bridge is more impressive in person. What the pictures from the internet miss out is the surroundings. I sat down by the bright blue river; you can see churches and mosques behind the bridge and then mountains off in the distance. This place is awesome, it’s worth the visit… Bosnia is worth the visit. 

I must have got there just at the right time. As I head back to the hostel the cobbled streets were already full of selfie stick wielding tourists. It’s so frustrating trying to take photos with tourists getting in the way. Bosnian’s know how to grill some meat and put it in bread. After a plate load of meat and onions I got some work done on the laptop and got on the bus for Sarajevo.

Plates and cups - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Plates and cups – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo

From Mostar to Sarajevo it’s a two and a half hour bus ride through the mountains. Bus rides are dull but I enjoyed this one. I didn’t take any pictures but the mountain roads made for some awesome views. As the bus drove through some old towns and villages you see some reminders of the war. Older buildings show their past with battle scares from the war.

Sarajevo greeted me with torrential rain so I called it quits and just went to sleep for the night.  The following day I took a walk around the old city and managed to find myself in a street lined with antiques shops. Each shop sold relics from the Soviet and Yugoslavian times and it’s interesting to see what still remains.

Antiques stores selling yugoslav relics - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Antiques stores selling yugoslav relics – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I walked into one shop a regular person and came out a billionaire; 5 billion in fact. Money is fascinating so I have been collecting notes from each country along the way. One of the antiques shop was selling now obsolete Yugoslavian money. Five billion sounds like a lot of money but I managed to buy a few notes for bout £4-5. Maybe that’s how Trump measures his fortune.

Sarajevo is awesome, I took a long ass walk around the city and got a bit lost. When you think of European cities you might think of Berlin or Paris but Sarajevo is just as nice. It’s a small place but the atmosphere there makes me want to go back again. You can walk through the cities and see mosques and churches everywhere and it feels European but different.

Backstreet repair shop - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Backstreet repair shop – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Onto Belgrade, Serbia

My plan is to head towards Ukraine and the next country after Bosnia is Serbia. Belgrade, the capital is 6 hours from Sarajevo so that’s where I am going next. Belgrade will most likely be the only city in Serbia I visit before heading onto Romania. It’s a famous city in Europe so it should be a good few days, maybe longer.

I am writing this post on the most VIP bus ever. Loads of legroom and a table for my laptop is perfect. I’m excited to see what Belgrade is like leave the mountainous countries behind as it took way too long to get about.

Lady selling things - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lady selling things – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Food market - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Food market – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
London influence - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
London influence – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina