East Meets West: Mostar & the Old Bridge
Leave Dubrovnik this morning and begin with a drive along the coast to Neum -- Bosnia and Herzogovina's only toehold on the Adriatic.
Venture inland through the lush Neretva River Delta area. This whole area is peppered with the remnants of cultures and civilizations that have shaped the multi-faceted society found here today.
The highway leads to the Bosnia city of Mostar. This lovely city, bisected by the Neretva River, grew up under Turkish rule and developed a flourishing economy in its role as an important trade center on caravan routes. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the graceful single-span Old Bridge is a startlingly beautiful landmark as well as a moving tribute to the people's determination to rebuild their lives after their war for independence.
Don't miss the loud, colorful bazaar where traditional handicrafts are sold, and the chance to step inside a mosque to see Islam in practice. A visit to a typical Turkish house offers an enlightening glimpse into the simplicity of life in southern Bosnia.
Heading back down the valley you'll stop at the fortress-town of Počitelj, perched on a hillside above the river -- a respite for artists and a well-preserved example of eastern architecture.
You will have time to purchase lunch in Mostar at your own expense.