We were really keen to visit more of the Balkan countries, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo etc but we knew it would be difficult to travel there in the motorhome. Our vehicle insurance didn’t cover us and we were pretty sure that even if we could find campsites, we would struggle to find ones with simple public transport links into the cities. In the end we decided to leave poor momo behind and hire a car instead.
From Dubrovnik we drove straight to Mostar in Bosnia and checked into our hotel which was housed in a brand new shopping complex completely out of character to the rest of Mostar but perfect for us. We had clothes we needed to buy, there was a cinema showing films in English and the hotel had a gym and a pool with a hot tub, as much as we love living in momo, this was a very welcome break.
We did manage to tear ourselves away from these luxuries to visit the Mostar bridge and a photography exhibition which showed images of Mostar and the bomb damaged bridge during the war. Then to fill in the gap in our historical knowledge of the country, we embarked on the ‘Death of Yugoslavia’ tour which gave us the full low-down on the rise and fall of the former Yugoslavia.
From Mostar we drove to Sarajevo and spent a few days in what we found to be a lively and interesting city. There is a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in Sarajevo, more so than in Mostar where there seems to still be a lot of tension. We visited some of the many tea shops in the city, something that I particularly enjoy being a non-coffee drinker, and ate our way through a list of recommended local dishes to the point where we were fit to burst. We stumbled across a superb exhibition called ‘Gallery 11/07/95’ which focussed on the massacre at Srebrenica and the Siege of Sarajevo – events I was too young to fully understand at the time. The massacre at Srebrenica was named the worst act of genocide on European soil since WWII, over 8,000 Bosniak boys and men were killed and the Siege of Sarajevo lasted for nearly four years and killed almost 14,000 people. The exhibition was formed of extremely powerful black and white images and two very moving films showing footage and interviews from people involved, it left us with a heavy heart but was something we were glad to have seen.