Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Queues for Croatia and Dubrovnik

Walked around Mostar and visited a Turkish house to see typical Mostar life. The house was arranged a courtyard with a well now turned in an art piece with water running over five coffee pots soldered together. The largest rooms were upstairs. Here the women wove rugs at a loom, there was a large sitting area , a small bedroom, but leading off the area was an elegant domed room, again for guests with fabulous views of the river and mountains. A nice place to receive guests and drink Bosnian coffee.

I wandered through Mostar and saw the damage from the 1992-3 war between Serbs and Bosnians . The town was heavily damaged and although a lot of repair work has been done I walked along one street with a 19 c Hungarian facade clearly about to collapse. The destruction of the bridge was an iconic event . There is a film about the destruction and the rebuilding of the bridge, the early material of the old bridge is all in grainy film archive material, one then sees the soldiers of the bridge and the explosions that destroyed it. The bridge was later rebuilt and reopened with international celebrations and boys again dive from it, now for the tourists. In one of the guard houses I looked at a collection of war photos by a German photographer Wade Giddard. These black and white photos captured the different aspects of war and again were very moving. I wished that I could have stayed longer in Mostar.

We then had a 2 hour delay at the Bosnian-Croatian border because there were too few guards to process the papers of the coaches and lorries, one chap ahead of us had been questioned. We then saw a 4km queue on the Croatian side of cars waiting to enter Bosnia.That made our wait seem short.
We lunched at small promotory of Bosnian territory that reaches down to the Croatian coast.

When we reached Dubrovnik I raced into it with Joanna, Lori and Marikje. We sat in the main square drinking coffee and people watching. Dubronik looks like Venice with stone instead of canals, there are vast cathedrals with marble altars and baroque houses everywhere. The tourists were smart and affluent, such a contrast to Mostar .

Mostar was full of war but is also recovering, Dubrovnik feels very Mediterranean and touristy, but also a nice place to hang out for a few days.

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