rebness: (Fatty and Spotty)
Okay, so Mostar was pretty rad, too. Again, there'll be a full recap later, because I want to go into detail about that but can't upload from my own camera here (these pictures were taken by Chris) but have a picture of the bridge for the time being - the original, dating back to the 1500s, was destroyed by Croatia in a random shelling attack during the siege in Bosnia.

We also ended up on a pilgrimage to Medugorje, which was the place in Bosnia and Hercegovina where, back in 1981, six children said they had encountered visions of the Virgin Mary. I should point out that the Catholic church has not recognised these supposed miracles, but it was a pleasant enough place and the chapel was filled with pilgrims from across the world. But there were all these people grabbing at the legs of a statue of Christ. We watched them, puzzled, but it turns out that one of the legs was 'weeping' and people were collecting the water. Yes, we did touch the water. :p

After that, onto Montenegro, where we are now.

It was a four-hour bus ride from Mostar to Dubrovnik, which wasn't so bad except for the horrible man next to me who did not appreciate the etiquette of elbow space. After eleventy gazillion passport controls and lots of passport stamping (guyz, just join the EU plz), we arrived in Montenegro and commenced a three-hour trip around one of the most beautiful bays I have ever seen in my life, all crystal-clear water and massive mountains. Budva is apparently the jewel in the crown of Montenegro's coastline, so as we passed increasingly beautiful quaint towns and villages, our hopes increased.

Then we rounded a corner, and we were in a sprawling urban mess. A concrete jungle of Hilton hotels and holiday apartments. 1970s architecture. A speshul hostel where the staff are friendly and perky and in your face until you just want to kill them ("Let's all go out together! Get pissed on the town!") Damp on the walls. Mould in the shower. Nine thousand people in one room. One has to laugh and wait to return to Croatia at the end of the week - it's that or hit all these annoying 'travellers' with their oh-my-gosh amazing life experiences right in the face. With an iron.

Still, we have free internet. :p

ETA: Though my, we visited Kotor today and it is beautiful.
rebness: (M)
I'm going to do a proper photo post when all this craziness has blown over and I can have a nice cup of tea and a sit down, but I leave Sarajevo tomorrow for Mostar and want to share a few pictures with you before I go.

This city is like none other that I have seen; it is scarred by bullets and mortar holes in the concrete of the pavements. The graveyards are full of an inordinate amount of young people who all died in 1992 - when Serbia attacked Bosnia in retribution for declaring independence. You can't walk on vast parts of the terrain because so many of the land mines remain undisturbed.

But that's not the whole of Sarajevo - it's a desperately friendly place, where the locals seem to bend over backwards to show you the strengths of their city, to ask you if everything is okay, do you like it, do you think Bosnia is beautiful?

Well, yes. I do. But let me just give you a couple of photos to sum up the paradox of this place:

This is called a Sarajevo Rose - it's a concrete scar in the pavement caused by a mortar shell explosion, later filled in with red resin to represent any mortar explosion that is known to have caused one or more deaths. These symbols are scattered about the town.

...But it's a beautiful region, nonetheless.

Anyway, there'll be a full post about all this when I get back to England. Onto Mostar!

O haz

Apr. 24th, 2008 05:41 am
rebness: (I'm English you know)
Sarajevo, my friends, is amazing. Ićll try and post an update tomorrow.


rebness: (Default)

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