Bosnia and Hertzegovina

We managed to secure a sweet deal for 4 days use of a hire car, starting in Dubrovnik (Croatia), travelling to Mostar (Bosnia), then to Split (Croatia) and finally to Zagreb (Croatia).

We had to dismantle the 2 bikes completely in order to fit them in and with all the panniers etc. there was just about enough for the two of us…but, with the aid of a shoe horn, we managed it.

The drive to Mostar was mostly in the the rain. Shortly after crossing the border into Bosnia (Herzegovina is actually the southern region of the country) we stopped at a service station, where we sat at a covered outdoor table and made our lunch in chilly 4 degrees temperatures. In the distance, we saw a sole cycle tourist climbing the hill towards us. When he reached us, the ‘drowned rat’ pulled over and we shared stories. He was from the UK and had been cycling 8 weeks and had not yet paid for a night’s accommodation…mostly through a combination of camping or Warmshowers. He was obviously made of stern stuff, as it was cold and wet and he only had shorts on! We wished him well as he continued his cycle East into the approaching winter weather.


We headed north to Mostar, stopping briefly to look at some architecture.


We had arranged to stay with a Warmshower host (Bamby) just outside of town. We arrived after dark and the car told us the outside temperature had dropped to 2 degrees. Bamby lives, with a puppy and kitten, in a converted shipping container set in 16 acres of agricultural land, where he grows olives, cherries, cabbage, tomatoes and various other fruit and vegetables. He lets Warmshower guests camp on his land in exchange for a little assistance if any is needed.

In our case, we decided that, due to a combination of rain, low temperature and mud, we would find a cheap room nearby but thanked Bamby for the offer and agreed to come back in the morning to share a pot of tea and run an errand for him with the car, as he had only a bicycle.

The following morning, after running the errand and discussing his permaculture vision, the two off us set off on foot to explore Bosnia’s number one attraction…the Mostar bridge.

Stari Most (literally, “Old Bridge”) is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that crosses the river Neretva and connects the two parts of the city. The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on 9 November 1993 by Croat military forces during the Croat-Bosniak War. Subsequently, it was reconstructed and the rebuilt bridge opened on 23 July 2004.

The bridge is 20m high at mid-span. In summer, it is possible (in exchange for around €40) to train with the Mostar diving club and then jump off off. Not for the faint hearted.

As it happened, we were there at the wrong time of year to jump* (legally), which was probably just as well because the water temperature was pretty low. However we did have the advantage of having the bridge pretty much to ourselves whilst we took a photo or two.

*this fact was more of a disappointment to Jon than Vanessa

Kravica Waterfalls

Our second destination in B & H was the Kravica Waterfalls, which are in a National Park approximately an hour south west of Mostar. The drive there was through beautiful snow capped mountainside, during which it stopped raining :-). There was an entry fee of around €5 each (can’t remember the exact amount) then a descent of 100m or so to the falls.

We have seen quite a few waterfalls during our trip and we’re pleased to say that these were up there among the best. We took a few photos as we approached and were pleased that there were only a handful of people around (unlike Iguazu falls).


We then noticed that one hardy (some would say foolish) sole had ventured into the water…albeit very briefly. For some reason this spurred Jon into action as he had previously been unaware that swimming was possible and he insisted (after we had had a spot of lunch) on going in himself…Note that swimming after eating is generally not a good idea but then again neither is swimming in ice cold lakes when the temperature outside is not much higher.

Anyway, Jon jumped in and swam around for a while (retrieving an errant plastic bottle from the lake), before getting out, whilst cursing the (not surprising) chill factor preventing him from feeling his extremities. Vanessa, of course, was having none of it and had little sympathy for the self-inflicted.

Back in the relative warmth of our car, we set off back towards Croatia (Split) but not without taking a few more mountain photos before leaving beautiful Bosnia & Hertzegovina.