Ogling blown up buildings in Mostar

Trip Start Jun 29, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina  ,
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh dear, this blog is going to be around the wrong way so i hope you don't mind.

Mostar is the unoffical capital of Hercegovina and between 1992 and 1993 it came under seige in which thousands of people were killed.

As the bus weaved down a narrow road that skirted the mountain-side, Mostar looked like your standard dreary East European city, awash with grey and duller grey. The bus dropped me off in the middle of some busy street and i set off to find Stari Most (Old Bridge), which was destroyed during the war but had recently been rebuilt.

Walking through the streets of Mostar I was amazed. There are bullet holes in almost all of the buildings, the results of shelling clearly evident upon every street. Rows and rows of gloomy rubble, twisted and deformed with 'Danger' signs that marked the entrance.

There are office blocks with all the windows blown out, the ground floor covered in graffeti and broken glass and children running around these areas as though they are castle ruins.

Across the river, there is a sudden change. The face of Mostar changes from a broken old man to a collaberation of street venders selling east european trinkets in kaleidoscope of colours and minature mountains of gelato dripping with syrup for the cost a $1.00. The old city has been rebuilt, the destruction of the bridge that had ripped the heart out of the city has been restored and suddenly it is one of the most beautiful places.

It is such a place of stark contrasts. If Mostar were a person it would be rotting skin and bones dressed in Armani and sipping a latte by a trendy street cafe beneath a crumbling relic of war. The people seem to have the same face, that stern expression of iron that never seems to smile, but they do smile, beneath this exterior is a warm centre.

I can't really decribe it but I hope the photos will do it some justice.

Hope you are all well.

Love Lou
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