From Dubrovnik, we took a four hour bus ride into the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, staying in the town of Mostar. Mostar has a large Muslim population, which gives it a completely different feel than Croatia. And the setting is stunning: the town straddles the banks of the emerald-green Neretva River, steep mountains surround the area, and the Turkish-style town center is a cobbled, 16th century with the mesmerizing Old Bridge seen below. Very cool.
The war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s was especially difficult for Mostar, and the scars definitely still remain. The town was a center of an ugly (and bloody) three-way war between Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, with neighbors, friends, and even relatives sometimes taking up arms against each other. Much of the town was left in ruins, which---roughly fifteen years later---is still quite evident.
We planned on spending one night in Mostar, but ended up staying two. We spent our time lazily wandering through the Old Town, which can easily eat up a day without doing much of anything (other than eating, drinking, shopping, and aimless walking). As a bonus, the town is quite cheap---everything seemed about half the price of Croatia.
You can check out all of our photos from Mostar by clicking here. From Mostar, we took a bus to Sarajevo and boarded a plane to Istanbul, Turkey. The rough plan is to spend three or four days in Istanbul, followed by ten days split between Cappadoccia and Turkey's Mediterranean coast. More good times ahead....