As mentioned in the last post we have started our “honeymoon” , aka 6 months of global travel, by traveling on a Chinese tour bus that Jessy’s parents, my now in-laws, arranged for their mainland China family and friends. It was great because it gives me an opportunity to get closer with Jessy’s family, such as her uncle pictured below, and it gave Jessy more time to spend with her parents whom we moved away from when we left New York for San Francisco. It is not great because I have to constantly be alert enough to communicate in Chinese and after the wedding festivities I am more or less exhausted.
The Mostar We Saw
We started this journey by hitting Mostar, Bosnia during the day and then spending the evening/morning in Split, Croatia. In retrospect, traveling across Croatia, and in this case Bosnia, by road was quite the experience. First, the scenery is amazing. Along the coast there are cities or sporadic houses. Each with off white, white, or slightly yellow walls and red roofs. It makes one wonder if there is a national building code that doesn’t allow for individuality. To the west is an azure blue sea and to the immediate east is a stretch of steep, yet short, mountains. The ground is mostly covered with short, green vegetation, but it is also scattered with grey and red strands of rocks that stand out against the green. Once you move inland the scenery changes to rolling mountain-hills (to0 small to be mountains to large to be hills). It is dotted with valleys, tunnels, dirt roads, and river channel.
It is also interesting how the border for Croatia is drawn. To get to Mostar, which is in Bosnia, you have to travel from Croatia to Bosnia, back to Croatia, then back to Bosnia. This is not problem for US citizens, but this may cause issues for people with more restrictive passports so make sure you get a multiple entry visa to both if planning travel to the region.
So about Mostar, is it worth going to? I would say yes. It is a beautiful city that is preserved/restored to its medieval state. It claims to have the oldest bridge, or something along those lines. Is it true? I don’t know. I hear it was recently rebuilt. Is it beautiful? Yes, very much so. The inner city old town is an amalgamation of cobblestone streets, hidden routes down alleyways that suddenly descend to the river level or ascend 30 feet to bridge level. It is amass with stores and restaurants; so a little touristy. What is interesting in the old quarter is that on the famed bridge dare devils line up on the edge waiting to prove their metal by jumping into the supposed deep river. Do they dare jump? Probably. Did I see one jump? No, even though I wasted my phones battery for 20 minutes recording them hoping to capture it happening. To be fair, if I was on the edge like them then fear, aka reason, would take hold and I too would not jump either.
Leaving the tourist center of the streets become paved and quieter. This allows a better appreciation for the river, and the green sloping mountains that so round this medieval city. Its also where I first experienced what I later learned would be a hallmark of eastern Europe, graffiti. Graphite is street art that most american’s probably associate with the 80’s, when spray paint was popularized. How appropriate that much of the graffiti we saw around Mostar was dedicated to 80’s bands or phrases. The farther east you go in eastern Europe the better the griffiti gets.
All and all amazing, so recommended. Check out the video below for 2d overview that Jessy put together, or strap on a visor and experience it for yourself in our first 3D experience video.
Where We Split to
As for Split we really barely had time to experience it. We stayed at a nice AirBnB, hit up a bar with Jessy’s Dad and her uncle, and then in the morning the group “split” up and walked around for a few hours. Jessy went to get breakfast and hung out with her cousin. I walked around with Jessy’s mother and aunt for a while to look at harbor, the old town, and market. Split used to be a a major trading port and you can see the ancient greek and Romain influence in its old architecture. It in itself is a great city, but many people visit it as a jumping off point for the party Spot, Hvar. We used it as a jumping off point for our next stop, Krka Falls.