Bosnia is lovely, green and with plenty of small fields and mountains just like ireland, but no matter how much you know about its recent history, nothing quite prepares you for the sight of bombed out homes. Most of the houses that we saw were newish and largely unfinished. it seems to be the way of things in this part of the world that you save for a load of bricks and cement, then build part of your house, save more and build more...build as you go, so there were a lot of scary looking balconies on upper floors with no railings and more of the buildings were unrendered than ones that were rendered.
In common with much of the rest of the places that we have seen, everyone has a veggie garden, but then i guess if war was in your recent history, you would assure yourself of food supplies too. We even saw hay being saved with scythes, and everywhere large haycocks. In many ways it was like Ireland of 3ö years ago..certainly the tractors were as old as that. And the cars! ifyou want a real vintage beatle or a citron 2CV, this is where you should be. There were car graveyards everywhere and people ones too. But the saddest thing of all are the many many old women that you see begging in the streets. You just think what those women were promised under socialism, then the dissolution of the USSR and the war, now capitalism and rampant consumerism that they cannot afford.
The first city we reached was Mostar, I didnt have any great expectations, many scars on buldings and many bombed out buildings, We arrived at night and the old town and the bridge (rebuilt after the war) was simply the most enchanting place I have seen so far in our travels. It was completely beautiful, atmospheric, all floodlighting and dimplya lit resturants, such a romantic spot. If any of you want a romantic get away, come here'! We ended up staying the night in a 24 hour (security guarded..they knew we were in the van) car park, beside a bomb site. in the middle of the old down, a juxtaposition so extreme, it was head spinning.
The next day we left early and hit the road for sarajevo. Another pretty town, but I am afraid Mostar stole all of the Bosnian thunder. We parked (illegally I think...I reckon Rositas numberplates have saved us from a few tickets!) and had another wander through the old town, this was a lot more touristy, but still lovely. all minarets and churches, competing to see who can have the tallest building..and hot. We are loving the sun.
After Sarajevo we drove towards the border, driving through the countryside, still largely untouched by tourism. Eventually arriving at a little border town of Zvorn