Back in the USSR (Day 19)
We left Sarajevo around 9:00 this morning and drove two hours south to Mostar. About an hour into the drive, we left Kanton Sarajevo and officially entered Hercegovina.
Immediately, the scenery changed. The mountains because bald, rocky, severe things, instead of the round and coniferous hills of Bosnia. There was a different color to the air, too; it had an almost tangibly gaseous texture instead of the transparent bright blue up north. Hercegovina reminded me of Albuquerque – dry, flat, hot, but with these incredible mountains on all sides.
Driving into Mostar, we followed an incredibly blue river and passed under tunnels every mile or so. On the outskirts, I couldn’t decide if we were in California or Bosnia: there were vineyards on either side and the sun was intensely bright.
Mostar’s claim to fame is an old Turkish bridge. It was, like almost everything of historical importance, destroyed during the war. However, this time it was destroyed by the Croats, not the Serbs. The bridge was finally rebuilt in 2004.
Once a symbol of connectivity between East and West Mostar, the bridge is now just a physical connection between the Catholic west and the Muslim east. The rivalry is still present and strongly felt, and the bridge is no longer the cultural connection it once was.
We leave Mostar and head back to Sarajevo. The drive is long enough to allow for some decent reflection. I’m a different person now than I was three weeks ago and I don’t know what my life will be like when I get home. Bosnia has made me feel old and sad and melancholy. I’m almost ready to be home.
Filed under: Bosnia | 1 Comment
Tags: Bosnia, change, Europe, Mostar, travel