The full Bosnia and Herzegovina album is available on Flickr for your viewing pleasure.
Eastern Europe tends to get a bad rep but I'm here to tell you that shouldn't be the case. What Bosnia and Herzegovina presumably lacks in wealth, it more than makes up for in stunning vistas and rich history. And I figured that out in just one short day.
Also, I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is just one country (with two distinct regions).
First things first: if you look at a map of the area, you'll notice that Croatia is split up by a sliver of BiH. This 22km of coastline is home to the town of Neum. This 22km of coastline also meant that we had to cross three borders each way as we headed into BiH (how thrilling). No wonder the people of Dubrovnik feel cut off from the rest; every time they want to travel to another part of the country, they need to cross two borders. To fix the issue, they are planning to build a bridge across to the other side!
One of the reasons we ventured out on this day trip in the first place was to see the world-famous Old Bridge of Mostar (or Stari Most), a UNESCO protected world heritage site. Man oh man was it worth it. The city is such a mesmerizing blend of cultures. Think of a fortified European town that has been influenced by an Ottoman touch. What's even more fascinating is the fact that you can spot a Cathedral, a Mosque and a Synangogue on the same street! Part of this town's charm is seeing these different cultures living together.
Then there's the bridge... I mean, that bridge is seriously impressive. The images really don't do justice to the pure scale and craftsmanship of the structure. It's said that the bridge was built to last forever. During the war, it actually withstood relentless attacks over the course of three days before it collapsed into the Neretva River below it. In order to remain protected by UNESCO, the reconstruction needed to remain true to the original bridge. Once the war came to an end, builders had to retrieve the pieces from the river and use the exact same technique used centuries before.
If you're lucky, you might even get a chance to see the professional bridge jumpers. Standing at the center of the bridge, the jumpers will collect money from the crowd. Once they collect approximately 25 to 30 Euros in total, they plunge into the freezing river below. Super cool to watch, super stupid to try.
As awesome as the bridge was, my favorite part of the day trip was actually the short stop we made in the village of Pocitelj. We had an opportunity to hike up the the abandoned fortress and explore. How. Freaking. Cool. The scenery was undeniably breathtaking. Did I mention it was free? There's just something about roaming through ancient ruins and letting your imagination run wild. Then again, maybe it's just me...
Lesson: Embrace the unexpected.
You never know what kind of awesome things await.
That’s it for now! Be sure to drop by next week for a recap of Austria.
In the meantime, check out #denisasadventures on Instagram for all the selfies and action shots.
The full Bosnia and Herzegovina album is available on Flickr.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or contact me directly.