Mostar and Podvelezje, BiH

Location: Mostar, Bosna i Hercegovina [umap id=”11807″ size=”t” alignment=”right”]
Excursion: Smajkici

Managed to get up at 06:50 to catch the sunrise on the Stari Most (the famous old bridge), but shouldn’t really have bothered: the sun didn’t rise over the mountains to the east and down into the Neretva valley until well after 08:00.

Wandered around a bit looking for interesting angles and watching the souvenir shop shopkeepers setup…shop. Finally found a baker for a great jam pastry. Had a coffee separately, unfortunately, at ABC Caffe. Couldn’t seem to sit down and get both at the same time/place. Brilliant business idea: install a coffee machine in the bakery, or sell pastries in the cafe. Rocket science, I know. Silver lining: the pastry was awesome.

By 09:00 I…felt I’d seen the tourist aspects of Mostar. Sure I could dig deeper, and I did scout places for sunset shots, but… I checked the Bradt guide and decided on a short bus trip to Podvelezje, since Bradt promised mountains and stuff.

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Well, it’s pleasantly peaceful but more boring than batshit. Check the photos – unless you are planning to hike the mountain, there is not much up here. I walked 2 hours up the road and back, and I’m ready to get off the mountain (well, technically a plateau 700m above the river valley).

Had lunch at the Hotel Sunce which “the book” raves about. Got worried when, instead of a menu, I got a bowl of soup. (Granted, a HUGE bowl of soup and a second smaller bowl to ladle it into.) Fears were confirmed when the proprietress brought a plate of cheese, a basket of bread, and a Turkish-style honey-sweet thing for dessert (I hadn’t ordered anything), spread her hands over it all, and said “that’s lunch, everything!”

I gestured questioningly at the menu and she shook her head with an amused/pitying look. Apparently I was either too late in the day or too late in the season to order whatever my heart desired from the menu. Silver lining: the soup was great, and I was hungry enough to eat it all, most of the good bread, some cheese, the sweet thing, a small bottle of mineral water, a coffee, a glass of local white wine. Let’s see what the bill is…

Tonight I’ll shoot the bridge at sunset, have a light dinner (?), get to bed early, and hopefully catch the 9am bus to Sarajevo.

Ok, so the bill came to KM13, which is about €6.50. Considering that the soup alone was three full servings that would go for 4-7 euros each in Amsterdam, and everything was tasty, I’m ok with it. :-)

More photos >>

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