We stopped on the back to Belgrade during fall break in the town of Mostar. We wanted to stop for lunch and see the famous Stari Most. I also wanted to see how the reconstruction of the city was going. It suffered great damage during the war of Yugoslav Seccession. First the JNA or Yugoslav Army bombed and occupied the city and later, the Bosnian Croats and Bosniak armies fought a vicious war. There were many building destroyed, including the landmark Ottoman era bridge. The city is still divided today into a Croatian side and a Bosniak side. The Bosnian Serbs in the city were forced out during the war and have not returned.
Many countries have supported a reconstruction of the city. They did a great job with an accurate remaking of the bridge as well as the market area that surrounds it. It is a big tourist attraction and I can see why. The historic market area around the bridge has an exotic feel to it. Nadia found a lot things in the market. Driving out of the city however, I still saw many buildings that have not been repaired and there is a long way to go to get rid of any evidence of the conflict.
Herzegovina is a rugged, beautiful countryside that reminded me of the basin and range area of Nevada in the USA. The call to prayer and mosques, give it an exotic feel. It is too bad it is still a divided city, even after 15 years since the war. I definitely want to go back and spend a bit more time there as well as explore the national park north of the city between Mostar and Sarajevo. It was a stunning drive going through the deep river canyons. The rivers in Bosnia are a bright green color. It must be from the tannins of the plant life around the rivers or the geology of the rocks that causes the green color.