Safarnevesht

Bosnia and Herzegovina; From Mostar to Sarajevo

Today I said goodbye to Croatia, temporarily, and came to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Distance between Split in Croatia and Mostar was around 4 hours by bus. I had no problem passing the border, although Croatian border police took 5 minutes to go through all the visas and stamps on my passport, as if looking at a photo album. 😅

Iranian citizens need visa to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia is not part of Schengen but will allow Iranians who have a multiple-entry Schengen visa to visit Bosnia for 7 days. I entered the same way.

Mostar is the most beautiful city in Bosnia. Of course beside this beauty, it still has some deep wounds from Balkans war.

Mostar used to be the symbol of harmony of ethnicities. During Bosnia war and after collapse of Yugoslavia, Mostar was the most bombed city in Bosnia. Almost all of the city was ruined and after the war most of it was rebuild with help of foreign aids. But it got extremely polarized and there appeared an imaginary line between the Christians and Muslims in the city.

After crossing the border into Bosnia, all passengers had to move to another bus. This Bosnian lady joined us there.

After crossing the border into Bosnia, all passengers had to move to another bus. This Bosnian lady joined us there.

Flower shop in Mostar

Flower shop in Mostar

Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Colorful windows of Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque

Colorful windows of Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque

City of Mostar

City of Mostar

The manager of my hostel, Adi, a Muslim himself, puts the pen on the map with anger and says “This street is the border between us and them. They spend all funding on the buildings and offices on that side of city. The mayor is a Christian and never even visits this side of Mostar. On our side most of the buildings still have bullet holes in them…”.

Adi talked and talked. It seems the peace is very fragile here in Mostar.

I’m sure if I listen to someone from other side, they will have something to complain about too.

Adi, manager of hostel

Adi, manager of hostel

Stari Most bridge which is from Ottoman era is the city’s symbol. It was destroyed during war and rebuilt after that. Jumping into the river from the bridge is one of the hobbies here in Mostar.

Entry ticket for Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque was €6.

Old Bridge view from above mosque's minaret

Old Bridge view from above mosque's minaret

Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque' minaret

Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque' minaret

There are around 300 hostels in Mostar city center all of which are fully booked during summer. The price ranges from €6 to €12 a night. September each year Red Bull has a festival here and there are several competitions for diving from the Old Bridge (Stari Most) into the river. Adi said during this time people even sleep on the streets!

Paving made of round stones in Mostar

Paving made of round stones in Mostar

Mostar souvenirs

Mostar souvenirs

Old Bridge or Stari Most

Old Bridge or Stari Most

Paving made of round stones in Mostar

Paving made of round stones in Mostar

Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque

Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque

I really liked this part of Mostar. A mix of gardens and alleys

I really liked this part of Mostar. A mix of gardens and alleys

Bosnian Pljeskavica dish, 8 Bosnian marks

Bosnian Pljeskavica dish, 8 Bosnian marks

Copper plates are also among Bosnian souvenir

Copper plates are also among Bosnian souvenir

Sunset in Mostar

Sunset in Mostar

Café in Mostar

Café in Mostar

Mostar at night

Mostar at night

Mostar at night

Mostar at night

Two and a half hour road from Mostar to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, goes alongside of the river, vineyards, olive gardens and through mountains and a forest. It was snowing in some parts which made the view of snow beside spring blossoms interesting. Winter was back in Bosnia for a day.

Bus ticket was 20 Bosnian mark or around €10, which was a little pricy.

A friendly conversation about Bosnia with 17-year-old Amin made the ride even more pleasant. Amin was a madrasa (religious high school) student.

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

Road from Mostar to Sarajevo

A village on the side of road from Mostar to Sarajevo

A village on the side of road from Mostar to Sarajevo

I had booked Haris hostel in a hurry. It was 15 minutes from the old town. It was 18 Bosnian marks for a bed and wasn’t a very clean place.

Haris hostel's kitchen in Sarajevo

Haris hostel's kitchen in Sarajevo

Haris hostel

Haris hostel

I left my backpack in hostel and went to old town which is called Baščaršija. Sarajevo city tour begins at 4:30pm everyday. Starting point is in front of Latin Bridge and the tour guide is a nice man called Ziyad. According to Ziyad he is the only one having an official tourism guide license from the former Yugoslavia. A communist and a Muslim who still misses good old days of Tito, leader of Yugoslavia.

Ziyad’s city tour was excellent mixed with his old memories of Sarajevo. He kept swearing at himself and “his country’s stupid political system”. 😂

Sarajevo view from Yellow Bastion

Sarajevo view from Yellow Bastion

Flowers in Sarajevo cemetery were also surprised by the snow in spring

Flowers in Sarajevo cemetery were also surprised by the snow in spring

A nice café in Sarajevo

A nice café in Sarajevo

Sarajevo was the first city in Europe to have tram. Around 100 years go, with horses of course

Sarajevo was the first city in Europe to have tram. Around 100 years go, with horses of course

Baščaršija square

Baščaršija square

Ziyad our Sarajevo city tour guide

Ziyad our Sarajevo city tour guide

Serbian Orthodox church and Peace Statue

Serbian Orthodox church and Peace Statue

Chicken steak with vegetables in a good restaurant, 13 Bosnian marks

Chicken steak with vegetables in a good restaurant, 13 Bosnian marks

Copperware, specially these Bosnian coffee making tools, are among Sarajevo souvenirs

Copperware, specially these Bosnian coffee making tools, are among Sarajevo souvenirs

After having dinner with a Norwegian friend whom I got to know during the city tour, I went back to Haris hostel. There was a shortcut through the cemetery but is was a little scary. 😈

Scary night in Sarajevo cemetery

Scary night in Sarajevo cemetery

Baščaršija square at night

Baščaršija square at night

Sarajevo at night

Sarajevo at night

Playing chess with not so small pieces 😅

Playing chess with not so small pieces 😅

Sarajevo’s Old Town needs only one day to visit and I must have left Sarajevo today. I wasn’t happy with Haris hostel, it was noisy and cold and was far from city center. This meant I should have definitely left for my next destination today but instead I moved to another hostel called Seven Heaven and decided to stay in Sarajevo for a second night. I fell in love with Sarajevo, I feel at home here.

Winter was back in Sarajevo

Winter was back in Sarajevo

Amin, I met him yesterday in the bus from Mostar to Sarajevo

Amin, I met him yesterday in the bus from Mostar to Sarajevo

Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque

Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque

Playing chess

Playing chess

I spent the morning walking around Sarajevo and visiting Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Afterwards I went to a famous restaurant to have Cevapi, the well-known dish of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All the tables were taken. I asked someone if he could share his table with me and he said sure and immediately asked me where I was from. As soon as I said Iran he smiled.

General Vahed had been a ranking officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina military during Bosnia war. He was very grateful for Iran’s help during war. After the war, around 20 years ago, he had traveled to Iran.

He did not let me pay for my lunch and was kind enough to treat me.

Cevapi dish

Cevapi dish

General Vahed

General Vahed

In the afternoon I visited Srebrenica Massacre Memorial Museum. It was very sad and put me in a depressing mood for the rest of the day.

1984 Olympics Memorial in Sarajevo

1984 Olympics Memorial in Sarajevo

My Italian friend that I met in my hostel. He travelled with his motorcycle and was due to arrive Iran in 2 months.

My Italian friend that I met in my hostel. He travelled with his motorcycle and was due to arrive Iran in 2 months.

Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

I met Stephen in hostel. He worked in Seven Heaven hostel. He was born in Serbia but had moved to Bosnia with his family when he was a child. His father was a Serb but during the war had fought with Muslims. War here has been very complicated and it is not easy to separate different sides.

Stephen

Stephen

Gold Fish Cafe in Sarajevo

Gold Fish Cafe in Sarajevo

Gold Fish Cafe in Sarajevo

Gold Fish Cafe in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is called European Jerusalem, because of its multiculturalism

Sarajevo is called European Jerusalem, because of its multiculturalism

Coffee, Bosnian style

Coffee, Bosnian style

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sarajevo

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Palace, the only presidential palace in the world with 3 presidents at the same time

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Palace, the only presidential palace in the world with 3 presidents at the same time

After visiting Srebrenica Massacre Memorial Museum, I joined another city tour about war. Our tour guide, Nina, remembered the war and told us about the war mixed with her own stories of war. Overall it was a very good tour. She also showed us a few of Sarajevo Roses. The places that a bomb landed in Sarajevo and has had casualties are filled with something red. Many of them looked like roses and later were known as Sarajevo Roses. There are between 50 to 100 of them around Sarajevo.

One of Sarajevo Roses

One of Sarajevo Roses

An interesting bridge and a church which was turned into a library during Yugoslavia regime

An interesting bridge and a church which was turned into a library during Yugoslavia regime

Remainders of war, Sarajevo

Remainders of war, Sarajevo

Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed During War

Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed During War

Monument for children killed during the siege of Sarajevo

Monument for children killed during the siege of Sarajevo

Our Sarajevo War Tour guide telling us the story of a Serb boy and a Bosnian Girl that were shot on a bridge by snipers and their bodies remained there for 8 days. Later, they were known as Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo

Our Sarajevo War Tour guide telling us the story of a Serb boy and a Bosnian Girl that were shot on a bridge by snipers and their bodies remained there for 8 days. Later, they were known as Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo

My last day in Sarajevo was a rainy day. I had a Bosnian dish for lunch called Pita. Best Pita is the one made on charcoal and you can have it in Sac restaurant. A circular bread filled with different stuff. There are several kinds of Pita like potato, meat, spinach and cheese. Pita’s price is per kilo. I ordered two kinds of potato and spinach and cheese plus a local yoghurt drink for 5 Bosnian marks.

Pita

Pita

Spinach Pita with local drink

Spinach Pita with local drink

This place I'm standing is a very important place in history. In this very place, a war was started that wiped out 4 empires forever, 17 million were killed, more than 20 million injured and many countries were formed after that. Yes, this is the place Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated and set in motion events that led to World War I

This place I'm standing is a very important place in history. In this very place, a war was started that wiped out 4 empires forever, 17 million were killed, more than 20 million injured and many countries were formed after that. Yes, this is the place Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated and set in motion events that led to World War I

People in Sarajevo believe if someone drinks this water that comes from Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, he/she will return to Sarajevo again. I drank from this every time I passed by 😎

People in Sarajevo believe if someone drinks this water that comes from Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, he/she will return to Sarajevo again. I drank from this every time I passed by 😎

One of Sarajevo Roses

One of Sarajevo Roses

Music by the sidewalk

Music by the sidewalk

In the afternoon I was walking around the market that I saw a store called Esfahan. One of the salespeople was Mohammad. Mohammad was an Iranian who had come to Bosnia 20 years ago for a short visit, fell in love with Sarajevo and had decided to stay. We talked for about half an hour and he made me tea. The store sold handicrafts from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Handicrafts sold in Esfahan store

Handicrafts sold in Esfahan store

Mohammad

Mohammad

Bullet shells are also among Sarajevo and Bosnia's souvenirs

Bullet shells are also among Sarajevo and Bosnia's souvenirs

Having cookie and tea in a nice café

Having cookie and tea in a nice café

My last dinner in Sarajevo. 16 Bosnian marks

My last dinner in Sarajevo. 16 Bosnian marks

The next morning I said goodbye to the very clean and nice Seven Heaven hostel and went to the bus terminal. I had bought my ticket to Dubrovnik, Croatia earlier.

The wonderful Seven Heaven hostel. One bed in a 6-bed room was 20 Bosnian marks

The wonderful Seven Heaven hostel. One bed in a 6-bed room was 20 Bosnian marks

Seven Heaven hostel's kitchen

Seven Heaven hostel's kitchen

Trams in Sarajevo

Trams in Sarajevo

My last breakfast in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 3.5 Bosnian marks

My last breakfast in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 3.5 Bosnian marks

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar and Croatia border

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar and Croatia border

All my costs during my stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina was 174 Bosnian marks plus €21 bus ticket from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik, Croatia and €17 bus ticket from Split, Croatia to Mostar in Bosnia.

Travel date: Spring 2017

احمد خانی

Ahmad Khani Iranian backpacker and travel lover

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M
Mahdi
نزدیک ۲ سال قبل

It was such amazing and first hand experience that would bring me to 1890s when world war began .

Well done !

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M
Mahdi
نزدیک ۲ سال قبل

Hello , Ahmad.
Ive been so excited but your amazing article and your first hand experience. Although what we are getting from the photos are not equal physical sense of the place but i would imagine the historical places that you have mentioned.
Well done buddy 👍👍👍

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ahmad
احمد MOD
نزدیک ۲ سال قبل

Thank you dear Mahdi

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ahmad
احمد MOD
نزدیک ۲ سال قبل

Thank you dear Mahdi

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ahmad
احمد MOD
نزدیک ۲ سال قبل

Thank you dear Mahdi

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N
Nourbakhsh Karami
حدود ۲ سال قبل

سلام و وقت بخیر
خوشحال شدم ازینکه دیدم یه ایرانی داره قشنگ میگرده و اطلاعات سفرش رو مفید و مختصر به اشتراک میذاره
برام واقعا قابل استفاده بود داداشم.
راستی سال شادی رو برات آرزو دارم و امیدوارم بهترینها در سفر و حضر برات اتفاق بیفته...
بقول سعدی علیه الرحمه : بسیار سفر بایدتا پخته شود خامی...
ازینکه سفر نکرده موجبات پختگی نسبی خواننده ها رو و از امروز بنده رو فراهم کردی صمیمانه سپاسگزارم.
خواستم ببینم جمهوری دومینیکن کجاست که اتفاقی به تورت افتادم.
در پناه مهربانترین
نوربخش کرمی از گیلان رشت

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ahmad
احمد MOD
حدود ۲ سال قبل

سلام دوست عزیز
شما هم سالی همراه با شادی و برکت داشته باشید

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