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Mostar, Monasteries and Meat. 

Our lovely host had freshly made Turkish coffee waiting for us this morning, so we sat with her and chatted for a while. It was interesting to hear her speak about the war, she was 7 when it all started and it must have been terrifying. 

Today we were off out to the countryside, for 25E each ger husband would drive us around to a couple of places and wait for us while we adventured. He wouldn’t be ready till midday so we decided to go see the old town in the morning sun. We set off though this time we crossed over to the other side of the river. 

We walked along some dusty streets and then turned down a little street with vendors. Meandering back towards the bridge from a different direction, we crossed over little mini bridges with water cascading down towards the river. 

It’s a spectacular little place to walk around, not too big but lots to see and really, really, pretty.  

We found ourselves by the old bridge and walked down some steps to the river to see the bridge from below. 

There were a few local guys who we knew might jump into the river from the bridge but we overheard that they can stay there for hours waiting for money to perform the daredevil stunt. 

We chilled out there before brunch called, so we walked back in the direction of the hotel, enjoying the daytime views from the bridge and picking up some Burek – the Balkan specialty filo pastry which Bosnians say must have meat inside. It was so good and Sarah couldn’t even wait to sit down before tucking in. 

Our taxi driver was ready once we had finished eating so off we went, seeing a bit more of the city and then off into the countryside. Our first stop was Blagaj monastery, a dervish house built almost 600 years ago. It’s near the village of the same name, our driver paid the entrance fee and we agreed to meet him back in the car park in around an hour.  

The monastery is situated at the base of a cliff where the source of a river emerges. It’s such a peaceful place and you could see why the dervish would have built their sanctuary here. We had to cover up to go inside so a lady at the entrance covered Sarah with a shawl and wrapped another around us both to cover our knees. Then we walked round, there’s not loads to see but there are some interesting bits and great views out over the river source. 

Once we had seen everything we stood out on stone steps watching the clear water flow from the cavern and soaked up the atmosphere. 

We left the grounds and crossed over the river between a load of restaurants and scrambled along a small path leading us up to the opposite bank of the river. From here you could really appreciate the beauty of the place, birds flew in and out of nests on the cliff and there were subtle flashes of silver where the sun met fish scales in the crystal clear waters. The reflections were incredible and we sat for a while enjoying it all. 

Once we were done our driver picked us up and we sped off through the countryside again. With panoramic views and rolling greenery. The weather was great and gave everything an orange tinged glow. 

Our next stop was Kravice waterfalls near the border with Croatia. I’d like to say I kmew how long it took us but I napped extensively on the way. Anyway we passed more amazing scenery before we arrived at a kiosk, our driver had a quick chat with the guy working and we were off. We got our first glimpses of the waterfalls as we wound down into a valley and we started getting more and more excited. 

Parking up we walked down to the water’s edge and our eyes lit up at the majesty of the falls. The roar of the water tumbling down into the river was huge and the colours of the water were insane. 

We paddled in to the freezing water to get closer to the falls, a few people were even swimming! We sat and let our legs slip into the clear blue/green water and watched little fish swim about our toes. 

From pictures I had seen there was a wooden walkway going across to the other side but it must have been dismantled or winter or taken down.  However there was a lovely Croatian guy who rowed us and two others across in his boat for £2.50 return! 

It was fun getting to the other side and being up close to the powerful waterfalls and seeing a different side of them.

The waterfalls are incredible and definitely a must see if you go to Bosnia. We finished off the trip with an obligatory beer looking out over the falls. 

Our driver took us back and I managed to stay awake, tapping along to some bad bosnian beats on the radio. The journey was great, we ended up seeing Mostar from above as we descended on windy roads down steep mountains. 

We arrived back and headed straight to tge old town, keen to make the most of the sun. Grabbing some tasty ice cream we went back down to below the bridge and sat watching other tourists taking selfies and group photos. Randomly there were some Chinese guys with full filming equipment but instead of filming the bridge they were following some ginger cats about, using treats and toys to entice them. 

We decided a pick me up was needed so we got some strong Turkish coffee and sat looking out over the river figuring out if the coffee sludge at the bottom was meant to be drunk or not. 

By this point we were starving so after a wander and a quick foursquare search we ended up in Irma Tima and it was the best decision ever.  We ordered the meat platter for two and I swear it should’ve been for 4!! It was all delicious with more Cevapi, chicken, burgers, burger meat stuffed with cheese and slightly spiced sausages. Bread included and salad/roast vegetables. 

It even came with the usual dips we came to expect in the Balkans.  The host was crazy and so nice, even giving us free beers. The night went on and we stopped off for another beer on the way home. Bosnians are so friendly and we later found out it’s something they pride themselves on. 

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