November 14, 2011 - Posted by Erin in Travel, Travels in Europe

OK, so Dubrovnik wasn’t exactly what I expected. Sure it was spectacularly beautiful, but also a little heavy on tourists and light on good eats. No problem. The good news? The walled city happens to sit squished on the coast between Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina (I propose a name change: Bosgovina. It has a nice ring, right?). This means that hitting up three countries in a few days, or even a day, is entirely possible. With two full free days on my recent trip, this had to happen.

Bosnia bound, we first stopped in the ancient Roman city of Narona. Along the banks of its slow-moving river, I discovered Croatian bliss while making best friends with some local kiddies and a tethered-up donkey. Loved the donkey. (I might be just a little farm-animal obsessed.)

The eerily quiet village could have been Anytown, Croatia, what with real live natives outnumbering tourists and all. More than just any old town, though, it’s home to the fairly fancy Narona Archeological Museum built on the remnants of an ancient city. History buffs and pueblo lovers (eh hemm, me) will appreciate the stop. And the neighborhood kiddos. And the pet-worthy livestock.

Then it was on to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Crossing the border we made a quick stop in the medieval town of Pocitelj. Wobbling and slipping my way up the polished stone city paths, I alternated between taking pictures and noshing on juicy pomegranate seeds bought from an old lady street vendor.

Atop the hill, we scaled a vacant tower from which we peeked out rocky windows to see the town mosque and nearby river. Bosnia, I decided right then and there, was pure awesome. There’s just something about sweet villages – no matter the country – that get me every time. All that was missing was a Bosnian grandpa. (Incidentally, I suppose I’m also grandpa obsessed. But can you blame me?)

On to Mostar we went – a town famous for its giant iconic arcing bridge that connects the two sides of town. Our guide declared it as the most photographed bridge in the world, but even he admitted this with some doubt. Regardless, it might very well be one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen (with the exception of a golden-gated version back in the US).

After visiting another mosque in the once Turkish province, my mind flitted away to my new favorite Euro-meets-Asian city: Istanbul. Then naturally to baklava, because who doesn’t think of baklava when they think of Turkey? Really, who?? I asked our guide about this critical connection, and sure enough, Turkish food thrives in Bosnia. In fact I even had a little Turkish Delight before we hit the road back to Dubrovnik (and don’t worry, baklava was had before the trip was over, but more on that later).

I also discovered one other thing in Mostar, and I think you’ve already guessed it: a Bosnian grandpa. Isn’t he just a doll?

Bonding with Croatian kiddies, popping pomegranate seeds, reminiscing over Turkish desserts, and getting my Bosnian grandpa fix (and by fix, I mean a picture, people) – all the makings for Balkan border-hopping perfection. Next up: Montenegro.

5 Responses to “Balkan border hopping to Bosnia and Herzegovina”

  1. Lauren (Spanish Sabores) Says:

    Wow that lady’s basket was loaded with deliciousness! I’m now craving a pomegranate… Your trip looks amazing as usual.

  2. Erin Says:

    I know, right? I’m thinking about whipping together my own little basket of stuff to hawk on the Spanish streets for a little extra coin ;).

    And the pomegranate was AMAZING! I think I need more pomegranate in my life.

  3. Alexandra Says:

    I know what you mean about Dubrovnik. I definitely preferred Bosnia, and not just because I ate some amazing baklava in Sarajevo… Such a beautiful country!

  4. Federico @ MaiTravelSite Says:

    When I went to Mostar the bridge was still under construction. I remember the brutal heat during the nights…and the surprisingly arab music in the only club we checked out during the 3 week trip in the area!

  5. Erin Says:

    It was soooo cold and windy the day we were there – I can hardly imagine it being hot! The Mostar you describe sounds amazing, though. I’d love to return on a hot summer night with music clubs playing arab music – seems exotic and fitting for such a spectacular place.

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