It is October… The time of streets filled with a smell of baked chestnut, crunchy leaves, and cozy sweaters has finally arrived. Woods are dressing red and gold sweaters giving all the essence of the earth to be inhaled in one breath, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea. For me, this is the smell which gives me feel of the home. If someone writes a book of most beautiful pleasures on Balkan this would probably be one of the main topics in that book. Balkan Hygge, some would say.
For the last seven years I haven’t been in my hometown to experience all the magic of autumn, but this time I decided not to miss one second of it. Since Mostar opens the eye to the world before more than 400 years, a lot of foreign tourists come to experience unique climate, landscape and lifestyle of the people who are living here. Tourists who have come here are fascinated by local restaurants, sense of humor and culture which is impacted by western and eastern culture. Unlike some big cities in which different cultures just passed through the history of the city, in Mostar these cultures made some sort of the cultural knot located between 1-hour ride to the mountains in north and 1-hour ride to the sea at the south.
Mountain viewpoint – Vrda
Only a half hour ride from the city center you can experience the most beautiful mountain viewpoint. In the canyon, you can see the river which carved the landscape of the area. Neretva (old Ilirains called it Water of Gods) is one of the most beautiful rivers of the Balkan. Its color is the inspiration for poets, writers and artists.
Main attraction of the city is spanning deep valley of Neretva from the 15th century. Stari Most is hump-backed, 4 meters (13 ft 1 in) wide and 30 meters (98 ft 5 in) long, and dominates the river from a height of 24 m (78 ft 9 in). Two fortified towers protect it: the Halebija tower on the northeast and the Tara tower on the southwest, called “the bridge keepers” (natively mostari). Destroying Old Bridge during the Balkan Conflict can be seen as a turning point of the war. However, the bridge is rebuilt in 2004. and it is on UNESCO World Heritage list.
Okay, okay, this one is a little bit harder to find and even a lot of locals don’t know about old well on the north of Mostar. It is a place where you can go on a bicycle for a barbeque or camping. This time the weather was not very good for any of these but the beautiful colors of leaves are so relaxing that it was worth to visit. Nights can be very cold and windy in this area so it is not very clever to go for a camping in winter or late autumn.
Last on this list but not least is the easiest one to find. Placed in the middle of town main park of the city is at the same time its soul. Park “Zrinjevac” is a favorite place for walking and recreation of all locals. It is made in 1953 and rebuilt in 2007. On its 3 hectares, you can find a lot of interesting statues like a “Bruce Lee” statue with “Your Mostar” lettering, beautiful Easter Egg made by students and a small fountain.
Just to be clear there are much more places to visit in Mostar than it is mentioned in this post but these are the most beautiful and de-stressing one for me. If you have any suggestion of a place that you found in the area be free to leave me a comment, I am very open to make this post a little bit longer.