Herzegovina

Picture of bazaar Herzegovina is the southern portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The traditional capital of this region is Mostar. It's the largest city in the area and the transportation hub as well. Mostar is a perfectly normal sort of city with one famous bridge. This is the market area on one side of the bridge.
Picture of mostar_bridge And of course, the bridge. It is rather impressive or rather the original (which looked just like this) was probably very impressive. This is a reconstruction after the Balkan war. Mostar (like much of Bosnia) suffered a lot of damage in the Balkan war. City parks that became graveyards during the war are a further reminder.
Picture of bridge Most visitors stop and see the bridge and the area immediately around it and then move on. We hate to encourage that sort of thing but we wandered around a pretty large area of Mostar and while it is a pleasant enough city, there really isn't much else to see. If you're not basing yourself here to see area attractions there probably isn't much to hold your attention.
Picture of east_side Like so many towns, Mostar exists because of a bridge. This one was built in the 16th century (the first time). The city takes its name from the local word for bridge (Most) and the oldest part of the city is clustered around the bridge site. The oldest mosque in the city, the Turkish baths and the oldest synagogue (not nearly as old as the mosque) are all found here.
Picture of upstream The bridge is a little chaotic. We are told it is worse in warm months when there are bridge jumpers and more tourists. Upstream from the bridge you can see the Koski Mehmed Pasa mosque (open to visitors!). There are dozens of restaurants with scenic views along here (mostly on the west side).
Picture of pocitelj If you're driving to Mostar from the west (say, Split) we recommend the route through Imotski. Imotski (Croatia) features two huge sinkhole lakes (Red Lake and Blue Lake). They're impressive up close but the view driving across the valley towards Imotski is amazing. If you're coming from the south (Dubrovnik perhaps) we'd recommend a stop in the fortified town of Pocitelj.
Picture of pocitelj_curtain_walls Pocitelj has fewer than 1000 people resident in the town; many of them part of an artistÂ’s colony. There's nothing specific to see here but it's a great place to wander amongst the walls (some ruined, some not).
Picture of pocitelj_fortress There's a small parking area along the road just in front of town. No roads enter the town and on the way in you'll walk through an erstwhile farmer's market. When we visited in October the town was full of ripe pomegranate trees. The higher walls have a great view of the river gorge.
Picture of stecci Between Pocitelj and Stolac (another awesome town to wander around in) is the Radimlja Necropolis. These are, in our opinion, one of the most fascinating things about Bosnia. These large white monuments are Stecak tombstones from the 1400-1600 range.
Picture of stecci_picture Stecci (the plural of Stecak apparently) are found exclusively in Bosnia with a little bleed over into neighboring Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. In many places there are just one or two of these isolated in the forest or a farmer's field. Radimlja is one of the larger (and more accessible) groupings. It also is one of the few that has a visitor center which helps protect the Stecci.
Picture of radimlja There isn't much information on these. They are basically pictograph gravestones. They've sort of vaguely identified some families connected to some of the tombs but largely their exact meanings are unknown.
Picture of sadrvan Bosnian food is without a doubt one of the highlights of our Balkan trip. After a week or more of (admittedly good) healthy Mediterranean seafood on the Croatian coast, it's nice to have a giant grilled platter of every meat you can think of. Also, stuffed onions which as far as we're concerned should always be ordered in every restaurant in Bosnia. This platter (which easily fed the three of us) comes from Sadrvan - a restaurant just on the west side of the bridge in Mostar.

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