We woke up tired, wet and surrounded by shit, but who cared, we were hitchhiking around the Balkans. We had just enough time to fold our tent and it started to rain again, but luckily the Australians let us have the breakfast in the van and then drove us to the city center. There, already alone, we stopped in the first café we found. At some point the waiter, that looked like he was no more than 20 years old, started to speak in Spanish with me, I took the opportunity to ask him for a shopping mall because the sky didn’t seem to be interested in changing. During the walk we saw one small poor kid hooked on drugs asking for money, we didn’t give him nothing but we remained with a very bad feeling. It was very sad to see someone so young like this. We walked around 40 minutes under the rain and finally around destroyed building we discovered an enormous and modern commercial center with its correspondingly big and colorful McDonald.
We had a coffee and a hamburger, in that order, and we went down to buy some supply to the supermarket. Just before entering one woman approached us and asked If we were looking for an accommodation. Normally we skipped those kind of offers, but this time we wanted to know at least the price, because we were in a city, it was raining, and hitchwiki suggests not to wild camp in the area, because of the mines – remainings after Bosnian war. It was 10 euros per night for an individual room, so it didn’t took as too long to accept the offer. She even offered to drive us to the place. Once there, we took the most satisfying shower in the whole trip(even though without any soap or shampoo) and cooked some classical hitchhiker pasta-soup.
Then we went out hoping to finally discover Mostar on our own. It was worth it, because this place is impressive: full of little enchanted streets, beautiful colorful houses, the Arabic styled old town, and above all the Old Bridge over the Neretva river. The feeling when you are on the top of the bridge and think that not so long ago it was destroyed, is very difficult to explain, It’s definitely a magic place with storng energy in the air. The young locals jump from the top of the bridge following an ancient Mostar tradition of entering the manhood. and collect money from terrified voyeur tourists (the money is invested in the bridge’s conservation). There is even a special school, the Mostar Diving Club, where the professional jumpers learn how to jump and not die like some amateur drunk tourists.
The town is in a valley surrounded by soft hills and with lots of green areas, it’s quite small but full of tourist. It is also full of restaurants, souvenir shops and that typical Balkan bars with enormous sun umbrellas advertising local beer.
In Mostar we started to realize the mix of cultures that coexist in Bosnia. There are Muslims, Serbian (mostly Orthodox) and Croatian (mostly Catholics). It is fascinating to see how from some points of the city you could see at least 5 minarets from mosques looking on the same direction. That’s the proof:
In the evening we where too tired so we decided to come back to the hostel and have a good dinner (noodles) on the terrace. We still didn’t know that the next day we were going to make a discovery that will change our trip…..and our lives.