The bridge that has been rebuilt...

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Mar 19, 2009

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Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina  ,
Thursday, September 11, 2008

Well, Kotor is over and we are on a bus again.  Not sure whether we mentioned it but we found out there is no direct bus so unfortunately we have to head via Dubrovnik in Croatia.  An hour and a half from Kotor, we are at the border and slip through quite easily.   We arrive in Dubrovnik 20 minutes later.  We were tossing up whether or not to go into town for a few hours before our next bus, but as Bill had been before we opted out.   Leonie's choice really as it will make a wonderful side trip when we visit the UK rellies next!!  After almost getting arrested (so I exaggerated a little - but the cops did butt in..) for having an argument with the driver over the 2 euro charge PER BAG, we were on our way again.

The coastline continued along, we skirted the small amount of Bosnian coast (ie. for their navy) and then back into Croatia then back into Bosnia.  As we headed North the countryside was lovely.  You wouldn't think that so much had happened to this country only just over a decade ago.  The further we went though the more this changed..  The sight of abandoned houses here and there was contrasted with those who have returned, rebuilt or repaired.  This is a nation in a rebuilding faze.  This is no more obvious than in the little town of Mostar.  It was the sight of much conflict in the early nineties and still bears the many scars of such.

We hopped off the bus and found a lovely lady whom rented out a room to us nearby.  We dumped our stuff and headed into town.   Scars, as I said are many in mostar.  The conflict in the 90s was between Muslim and Croats in the end once the Serbs were taken out.  Its all a little confusing really why there was such hatred between people in one country?  Anyway, there was a road that acted as a front line and not much had been done to repair the buildings along this street.  There are shelled out buildings with bullet holes galore which I guess acts as a stark reminder to those left behind. 

The Old Town has been rebuilt.   There were pictures at a stall of the damage to it and it had been flattened and bridge blown apart .   Last time that Bill was there the bridge had only scaffolding on it so it was nice for him to see it complete.  It has been rebuilt exactly as first built down to the materials and techniques used.  The whole Old Town is magical and we enjoyed.

Other parts of the town were also being rebuilt but a lot of buildings had been left empty.  There were plenty of bullet holes and signs of shelling of buildings.  One other thing that really stood out here in Mostar was the graves.  There was only one small graveyard we saw in town.  It was a Muslim one and all the graves were dated 1993 and so many of them were just so young.  Such a waste...

I must also add that despite all the atrocities and hatred of the past everyone in Mostar and Bosnia that we dealt with were nice and happy and moving forward.
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