On a recent trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, we set out to visit the southern historic city of Mostar. As we drove on the M6 highway through the mountains there were very few cars on road. There were vineyards and little roadside stands selling garlic, herbs, honey, and wine, as well as many lonely damaged buildings filled with bullet holes or just half gone. I was struck by the beauty of the landscape as we traveled throughout the countryside. Even with all of the destruction, it was quite beautiful. Over 20 years have passed since the end of the Bosnian War and the scars from it were still present everywhere you’d look.
While exploring the city we ended up at The Karadjoz Bey Mosque. For a small donation, you could view the inside of the Mosque. The Mosque had been severely damaged by the war and neglected during the following years but had undergone extensive repairs before reopening to the public in 2004, thanks to donations from visitors like us.
After spending some time inside, we were invited to walk up to the top of the Minaret for a view of the city. The view allows you to see the city from an entirely different perspective. From above you can really see the war-damaged and abandoned buildings sprinkled throughout the city and the landscape that makes this place so beautiful. For me, this was one of the most memorable experiences of our time in Mostar.
I wanted to make sure I capture one of the main attractions in Mostar, the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva river. The original bridge was built in 1557 as a strategic link between interior settlements and the Adriatic Sea. The bridge stood in perfect shape for 427 years. In 1993 during the Bosnian War, it was destroyed. Thanks to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Bank, the World Monuments Fund and “Aga Khan Trust for Culture” the bridge was rebuilt using the same materials and technology as the original bridge so that it can be visited and enjoyed for many more years.
It helps to have a somewhat flexible schedule while you travel, the benefits can be tremendous. On our way out of Bosnia and Herzegovina we saw signs for the Kravice Waterfalls and decided to detour to visit them. After a short hike to the lake, we were rewarded with an incredible panoramic view of the waterfalls and surrounding scenery. Had we planned every minute of our trip we would have never been able to see this wonderful place.
Camera gear I used while traveling
Cameras: Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm X100S
Lenses: Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR | Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R | Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R