On My
Way To
More of the coastal drive.
October 3, 2007

I have to say that I will never ever tire of the Croatian coastline. Never. If I could take a Croatian bus along the coastline every
day, I would. I know that’s a strong statement. But it’s true. It’s just that it’s that amazingly gorgeous.

After about an hour we passed our passports to one of the guys on the bus. We were crossing through a small patch of Bosnia-
Herzegovina into a town called Neum. It looked vaguely familiar…and for good reason. This was where Alicia and I crossed
through four years ago…though it looked quite a bit different this time considering I was able to see it in the daylight. Last time
it was pitch black as Zvonko drove us through here. We had a short stop at a café. Across the street was the gas station where
Zvonko fueled up his car. I remember this because Alicia and I had him take a ‘we’re in Bosnia’ picture there. Weird how these
memories totally stick.

The difference this time is that I would actually be staying in Bosnia. A little bit later we passed back through the border and I
would be able to see the Bosnian countryside. Mountains with trees and rivers. And lots of cemeteries. I can only believe that
most of these were filled with bodies of victims from the war. It is never long out here that a person can go without thinking
about the war.

And then we arrived in Mostar.

Of course I arrived without accommodation. I knew it wouldn’t be necessary as it is all-too-common for people to be waiting
for arriving buses to lure people to their
pansions. Pansion owners wouldn’t fail me here. A girl asked if I needed a place to stay
and she showed me the location of her place. In the center. Private room with private bathroom. Terrace. Satellite television.
Air-conditioning. 15 Euros. Sold.

We were chatting as we were walking and she told me a bit about herself such as her parents paying a pretty penny to move
their family to Berlin during the war (she was volunteering all of this information as I would feel uncomfortable bringing up this
topic with locals). Her uncle even lost his leg in the war and while he was getting treated for it in a Berlin hospital, he and the
nurse who was treating him fell in love. They are now married and living in Berlin. Just a little bit about her past. She was also
telling me how difficult it is for Bosnians to travel as they need to a visa to go anywhere with the exception of Croatia, Serbia,
Montenegro and Albania. Even for Slovenia…which used to be part of Yugoslavia…they need a visa. Just another reason why
we should never take our freedom to go wherever we want (well, no trips to Cuba any time soon) for granted. It is quite a gift
for us.

Soon she was asking me how old I was. She nearly fell over when I told her I was 31. She thought I was 20, maybe 21. I think
part of this was due to my new haircut – I was thinking it might have taken a year or so off my age. I then asked her how old
she was. She is 19. It was at this point…as she was still in her state of shock…that she told me I was ‘old enough to be her
Technically, maybe. But realistically, probably not. But we were laughing about it. And of course I thanked her. I will
have someone say I look ten years younger than I am any day.

As for Mostar, this is yet another city where it is love at first sight.

I only recently heard about this town…probably only because I was taking this trip out here. But based upon what I have only
seen tonight, this should be a town that everyone is familiar with. Upon arriving in the center, you can’t help but be totally
taken by it.

And then I came across the ‘Old Bridge’. It took my breath away. Sadly, the Old Bridge is pretty darn new. This bridge was
one of the victims of the war. If you can believe it, it was only rebuilt (to look identical to the old bridge) in 2004.

I can’t wait to get up tomorrow to see what this place looks like during the day!
Back to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The drive from Dubrovnik.
First look at the Old Bridge in Mostar.