Euro Tour 2017

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by Goran Phuket, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Approaching Zabljak, town with population of about 2,000 people and 10 times more tourists during winter ski season.


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    The current name of town dates from 1870, when in a single day the building of a school, church and captain's home began.


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    After Žabljak was established as a town, stores and cafés were opened. As such, in the 1880s Žabljak became a market town, leading it to become administrative center of the region. Even before WW2 this area was renowned tourist destination drawing large number of local and especially Italian tourists because of close ties between Montenegro and Italy at the time.

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    This is moms and pops store....unbelievably well stocked considering this town being quite remote up in the mountains
    I just ate here non-stop....what is deli-store in Asia here is just another corner shop. Home made produce, just about every farm here has it's own brand of cheese, dry meat, wine or brandy.


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    Just 3 km outside the town at an elevation of 1,416 m is Crno Jezero or Black Lake. Here in Montenegro, these glacial lakes are called "Eyes of the Mountain".

    It is the premium tourist attraction of the Durmitor area. It is the largest and the best known of 18 glacial lakes on the mountain.

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  2. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Following day the highlight of our Montenegro ride, the Durmitor Mountain P14 road.

    My wife has ridden with me so far in almost 40 countries but during this stage she told me Montenegro and Durmitor in particular are the most scenic places she has ever seen.

    P14, Spectacular and dangerous, steep and narrow mountain road in Montenegro, with a length of 44.6km, going through the Durmitor National Park. The road starts just outside Zabljak and ends in Suvodo, near the stunning Pivsko lake. It climbs up the Prevoj Sedlo (Saddle Pass), a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2,200 meters above the sea level.

    The road features at Worlds Most Dangerous Roads website.

    This video was taken on August 12th 2017.


     
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  3. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Fantastic scenery, we have seen only 3-4 bikes here, 1 Bosnian couple and rest were all Italians.
    I got Bosnians on camera...


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    Stopped many times just to enjoy the scenery


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    This little coffee shop in the middle of nowhere. Simple looking and in harmony with nature, no kitschy outside decorations.

    There is no electricity so we get our coffee made on gas stove. The 17 year old boy who looks after the place says in winter they dismantle entire cabin until spring due to avalanche.


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    Birds of prey circling over our heads....


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    The route


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    Found this "mountain pub" called "Stala" which on Montenegro/Serbian language means barn.
    Lady owner from Belgrade, Serbia. She said her husband died of cancer, sold everything, bought the land and moved up here. In winter time she is totally isolated due to snow storms, roads are closed most of the time.


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    She sells all sorts of home made schnaps and other products.

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    This one for the road - wild peer schnaps.

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    We are about 40-50 kilometers from the border.
    There in distance, ominous Bosnia mountain peaks and it's highest mountain Maglic (Foggy Peak).


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  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Great photos, Goran. Looks a great place to ride.
     
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  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Wow... Tara River Canyon..... looks amazing....... The Tara Bridge too.

    The glacial lake photo is beautiful.

    Then the Durmitor P14 road video... just brilliant mate. Top quality movie with great music, again.

    Thanks for posting these reports, Goran. It is fascinating to see these places, that I will never visit. Seen from a biker's perspective too. Really enjoyed it all. Super......!
     
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  6. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member


    Thanks Ian but why say you will never visit? Never say never :)
     
  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Well, I agree with you.... Never say Never....

    Let's just say Unlikely then......

    Not because I don't want to go there....... but more because there is so much I want to do here. After travelling the world for 30 years at sea, I really enjoy sleeping in my own bed too........
    So, I am quite happy to watch great videos like yours...... :grinning:
     
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  8. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Video from Tara Canyon.

    Tara River Canyon, Montenegro, is the second largest canyon in the world after the Colorado River. It is 82 kilometers long and the last 36 kilometers constitute the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. The canyon at its deepest is around 1,300 meters deep. These parameters make the Tara River Canyon among deepest river canyon in Europe and indeed the world. The canyon stretch within Montenegro is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    This video was taken on August 12th 2017.


     
  9. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Video from Piva Canyon Road, taken August 12th 2017.

    Piva River Canyon Road is a scenic ride in the southwest of Montenegro near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The road's winding design, provides miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. It is a feat of engineering in itself, clinging to the cliffs and passing through 56 small and unlit tunnels carved out of the stone. The River Piva, one of most spectacular rivers in Montenegro cuts through canyon 33 km long and deep up to 1,200 meters. River generates immense power used for the power station of Mratinje which dammed the canyon in 1975. The dam is 220 meters high, one of the highest in Europe and the view from the top is astonishing. The dam created Lake Piva, third largest in Montenegro with maximum depth of 188 meters. Situated at elevation of 675 meters above the sea level, making it the most elevated artificial reservoir in the world.

     
  10. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    More wonderful movies, Goran, of splendidly scenic locations. Extremely professional and artistic. A pleasure to watch, Thank you indeed.
     
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  11. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Ian. I got at least another 7 coming up.
    It takes a lot of time and effort to edit, feels nice to receive appreciation from fellow rider.
     
  12. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    The quality is so good, I'm sure the movies take a while to make. May I make a suggestion........?

    How about a credit for the music, at the end?. Partly simply to give credit to the musicians who made the great sounds, but also for those watching who may wish to search out more music by the same people......
     
  13. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah I can do that no problem.
    But these days most of the folks including myself use Shazam App. Just turn it on and place your phone next to the speaker and it will tell you the artist and song title.

    LINK:

    Shazam - Android Apps on Google Play

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  14. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Never heard of Shazam. Clever idea....

    Written credit for the musos would still be a nice touch.
     
  15. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Entering Eastern Bosnia, next stop it's capital Sarajevo some 95km away.

    This is actually part of Republika Srpska, Serb predominantly populated area living at territory guaranteed to t hem by Dayton Peace Agreement. Road signs and immigration checkpoint don't even mention Bosnia & Herzegovina, only Republika Srpska. Old habits die fast....these guys still looking for trouble.

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    Late afternoon and we are in Sarajevo.

    This famous city settled within Miljacka River valley and surrounded by enormous mountains is colder then any other bigger Bosnian city all year round. City center is situated at 500 meters above sea level while eastern parts of the city are at altitude of almost 2000 meters.The lowest temperature ever recorded in city center was -26,4 Celsius on January 24th 1942.

    So, only 95 km's away from sunny Montenegro and this is what we get: cold weather and rain. August 13th, 2017. 12 degrees Celsius compared to 35-42 we experienced in Eastern Austria, Hungary, parts of Romania and Bulgaria.


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    Bottle of wine, compliments from the hotel to warm up a bit


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    Sarajevo is a city of turbulent past and also known as Jerusalem of Europe due to it's distinctive culture where Islam, Judaism, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity mix together.

    Even wallpapers in our hotel room depict this phenomena


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    I booked in advance Robert De Niro room, named after one of my favorite actors, who often visits Sarajevo during summer film festival and usually stays at this hotel (President).


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    First mention of the city dates back to year 1238 when first churches were built. Orthodox and Catholic Christians were the first habitants until Ottomans arrived in 15th century. Their goal was to vicitimize and expel Christians while doing Islamization of entire region. And they ruled for 400 years here, bringing no economic development of any kind.

    However, they left behind some really amazing architecture.
    Most notable is Bascarsija or Old Market. The bazaar was established in 15th century and thrives to this day.

    No wonder my wife took her fist Sarajevo pic right here in the center of bazaar:


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    Friendly Tourist Police happily agreed to photo:


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    Obviously this is pedestrian area only, lots of small sokak's (Turkish word for Soi) featuring all kinds of shops, restaurants, pubs, cafeterias, museums, ancient structures etc.


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    The food in Bosnia is simply amazing. It is kind of fusion of western and middle-eastern cuisine with added Balkan touch.
    There are so many restaurants within this area it is almost impossible to make up your mind where to eat. And on top of all, so cheap compared to rest of Europe.

    Pictured here poor Bosnian man national meal "cevapcici": Somun (kind of pita bread but much better) filled with pieces of beef, onion, cream cheese and yoghurt. This is Bosnian version of somtam.

    Now, keep in mind, this is just a small meal to cheat the hunger before hitting restaurant featuring real traditional specialties.


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    Done with food, move over few meters to Turkish Cafeteria.
    Drinking coffee Turkish style is an absolute ceremony, a special pastime equaling English passion of high tea.

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  16. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Year 1878 and Austro-Hungarian empire has annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and ruled the area until start of First World War. Ethnic Croats and Muslims somehow tolerated the occupation but ethnic Serbs and neighboring Serbia as a whole had an ambition of Greater Serbia creation.

    It all culminated on June 28th 1914 when Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated visiting Crown Prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife while touring the city in open top limo JFK style.

    Moments prior to assassination

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    Aftermath


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    This marked the start of World War 1, the empire declared state of the war against Serbia, Russians join the Serbs and domino effect covered entire Europe resulting in brutal 4 years of global conflict.

    This is how world press reported on this tragic event:


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    Prior to this trip I educated my wife of historic significance of events that took place in Sarajevo in 1914.
    She was even more fascinated when I brought her to the very spot from where Gavrilo Princip shot the Archduke and his wife.


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    There is a museum next door with hundreds of photos taken during assassination, actual weapon that killed the Archduke and even un-exploded hand grenade. There is lot more material including photos from court proceedings against assassins, crown prince's funeral and lot more, fascinating stuff.


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  17. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    World War Two and Sarajevo under Nazi occupation went through it's darkest hour. So we thought.

    Incredible atrocities committed not just by Nazis but Serbian Fascists / Nationalists known as Chetniks, Croatian WW2 Nazi State and Muslim Head-Hunters called Handzar division (Handzar is a type of Turkish machete that cuts your head clean off). Absolute chaos, seed of hatred planted forever.

    Interesting story, hope I don't bore the hell out of you.

    My grandmother was Bosnian, born in Sarajevo and lived there her entire life.

    In winter of1942 she gave birth to my mother, year of coldest weather in Sarajevo history. 2 years later, in 1944 her father (my grandfather) dies of tuberculosis. German soldiers who were stationed at the attic of the house felt sorry for them: almost every morning one of them would come down from attic, politely knock on kitchen door and offer them bread, chocolate, milk, canned food.....amazing act of humanity.

    Fast forward to 1992, start of Yugoslavia Civil War.

    My grandma is still there, same house as in 1942. This time Sarajevo is under siege by Serbs. From 5th of April 1992 to 29th of February 1996 (1,425 days), non-stop shelling from neighboring mountains, 12,000 dead and 50,000 wounded. The Siege of Sarajevo was the the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The siege lasted three times longer than the Battle of Stalingrad and more than a year longer than the Siege of Leningrad.

    May 1995 - my grandmother dies from hart attack.

    She survived German, Croatian, Serb Nazis, Muslim death squads and all the hell from WW2 but never lived to see Sarajevo liberated again. And from who? The first door neighbors, the people we shared good times, mix marriages, the people who denounced all the bigotry and ethnic intolerance seed planted during WW2. The Serbs.

    How ironic.

    My wife says and she was not joking: no wonder you people are nuts with history like this.

    When my mother received the news of grandmas death she had to reach Sarajevo from Croatia (where we live) and make funeral arrangements. But city is under siege, her brother (my uncle) in rows with Bosnian Army fighting enemy and unable to do anything. Until today I have no clue how my mom managed to reach Sarajevo city center through that secret tunnel built by Bosnian Army under the airport.

    The tunnel was known as Tunnel of rescue and Tunnel of Hope, constructed between March and June 1993. It was built by the Bosnian Army in order to link the city which was entirely cut off by Serbian forces, with Bosnian-held territory on the other side of the Sarajevo Airport, an area controlled by the United Nations. The tunnel allowed food, war supplies, and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and allowing people to get out. It became a major way of bypassing the international arms embargo and providing the city defenders with weaponry.

    Today, Sarajevo Secret Tunnel is a tourist attraction.

    The actual entrance to the tunnel was through private property belonging to family Kolar.

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  18. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Latin Bridge, in medieval times connecting Latin (Christian) and Muslim parts of the city was built in 1541.

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    Favorite pastime of Sarajevans: chill in cafe, have a drink and sweets and observe the people.
    I could sit like that for hours, so relaxing


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    Unlike other countries, in Bosnia you may mingle around the compound and even enter the mosque as a tourist, no problem. Just take your shoes off and be respectful. In most of other (predominantly muslim) countries you would be in whole lot of trouble.


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    Jerusalem of Europe - indeed.

    This is what Sarajevo was always about and I for one am happy to see the city getting back to normal.

    Churches, Monasteries, Cathedrals, Mosques, Temples, such a beautiful.sight.


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    And here comes the food, check out the menus and prices.

    Owner is that mean looking dude sitting right behind my wife. He kept screaming on his waiters reminding them to pay attention to guests needs. Lots of expletives used lol...

    Best part is halal sign on the window and yet they sell bier too.
    Just love secularism :)


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    Sarajevo City Hall designed in 1891.

    At the time used to be one of the biggest libraries in the region. The library held 1.5 million volumes and over 155,000 rare books and manuscripts. However Serbian aggressors shelled the building and in resulting fire most documentation was lost forever. Some citizens and librarians tried to save some books while they were under sniper fire, at least one person died. The structural repair of the building was carried out in four stages: 1996-1997 (financed by a donation from Austria), and 2000-2004 (financed by a donation from the European Commission), and the city of Barcelona among others. The third stage ended in September 2012, with an estimated cost of €2.37 million and will return the city hall to its former grace. The fourth stage began following the completion of the third stage and lasted about 20 months, finishing at the end of 2013 and cost of €7.23 million which are secured through the IPA. In this stage the whole interior was built and reconstructed (paintings, sculptures, books), meaning the building is brought back to function. Everything that was possible to restore has been done so, while those things that were not possible to save have been made anew through special molds. The whole reconstruction and restore process was predicted to cost about about €13 million.


    Now and during the Serb bombardment: what a crime against culture, history of the nation and humanity :(


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  19. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Leaving Sarajevo and riding south towards city of Mostar.

    As soon as we crossed Ivan Pass (Ivan Sedlo) we are in geographic region of Herzegovina. The main attractions along the highway are Jablanica Lake and yes, yet another canyon: Neretva River Canyon.


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    Beautiful ride here, quite spectacular scenery.


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    Stopping along the way for refreshments


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    Writing was on the wall...finally got stopped by Highway Police, and in Bosnia of all places. Cop asked me if I am aware what I did wrong and I admitted overtaking at full line because of Swiss registered turtle in front of me. Fine: Euro 300, 2 points deduction and 1 month driving ban. Instead, I offered KM50 (local equivalent of Euro 25) and we and cops parted ways with huge grin on our faces 1f642.png South-East Asia Deja Vu lol...

    More on this story in upcoming video
    .


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    The site of historic WW2 battle.

    Battle of the Neretva, also known as the Battle for the wounded, is a common name for a series of battles in the Neretva valley between Yugoslav Partisans and the Axis forces during February and March 1943. This was the Operation Weiss II, the culmination of the 4th out of total of 6 enemy Offensives. During the Axis Operation Weiss I, the Partisans’ leadership decided to initiate the offensive towards the valley of the Neretva river. In late February, Marshall Tito’s Main Operational Group found itself in a critical situation. There was constant pressure from the north on Prozor (the Central Hospital was there), and increasing pressure from the Italians and Chetniks (Serbian Fascists) from south and southeast while Ustasha Brigades (Croatian Nazis), 7th Geman SS and 369th Division were approaching from the west. In that situation, Tito decided to reverse the direction of the attack. Instead of pushing over Neretva, he decided to strike hard at the Germans pressuring Prozor. He also ordered the Pioneer company to destroy all the bridges across Neretva. With this tactical move, Tito tried to bluff the Axis forces and make them think that the Partisans want to break trough in the north, not in the south. The German command realized that the Partisans want to break through towards the north, but they made a wrong conclusion. Tito did not want to continue the attack. He achieved what he wanted – to save the wounded and sick soldiers. He ordered an 180-degree turn and redirected the bulk of his army back to the Neretva. In the night of March 6th, a group of soldiers called "thunder of the tenths“ crossed Neretva, cleaned all Chetniks from the eastern bank and secured the bridgehead. The same pioneer company that has destroyed the bridge constructed again a new, improvised bridge, resting on the skeleton of the old one. The Partisans crossed the river under intense aerial bombardment. After they had crossed, the small improvised bridge was destroyed. With this act, most of the wounded and sick were rescued. Battle of the Neretva, also known as the Battle for the wounded, was the most humane and the most complex battle of the National Liberation War.


    Some authentic photos




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    And here is how this place looks today: original bridge from WW2 left in that state forever.


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    This significant WW2 event was immortalized in 1969 motion picture "Battle of Neretva"

    It is the most expensive motion picture ever made in Yugoslavia. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the year after Sergei Bondarchuk (playing the role of Martin) won the honor for War and Peace.

    One of the original posters for the English version of the movie was made by Pablo Picasso, which, according to movie director, the famous painter agreed to do without payment, only requesting a case of the best Yugoslav wines.


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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  20. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Approaching Mostar, city named after the famous old bridge.


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    Stari Most (literally, "Old Bridge") is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that crosses the Neretva river and connects the two parts of the city. It was built by Ottoman Sultan’s architect Mimar Sinan who built many of the key Sultan’s buildings in Istanbul. The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on 9 November 1993 by Croat military forces during the Croat–Bosniak War.


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    The Stari Most is hump-backed, 4 meters wide and 30 meters long, and dominates the river from a height of 24 meters. Two fortified towers prominently feature at each end of the bridge.


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    The original bridge was commissioned by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557 to replace an older wooden suspension bridge of dubious stability. Construction began in 1557 and took nine years: according to the inscription the bridge was completed in period between 19 July 1566 and 7 July 1567.

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    Little is known of the building of the bridge, and all that has been preserved in writing are memories and legends and the name of the builder, Mimar Hayruddin. Charged under pain of death to construct a bridge of such unprecedented dimensions, the architect reportedly prepared for his own funeral on the day the scaffolding was finally removed from the completed structure. Upon its completion it was the widest man-made arch in the world.



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    The bridge quickly became a wonder in its own time. The famous traveler Evliya Çelebi wrote in the 17th century:

    the bridge is like a rainbow arch soaring up to the skies, extending from one cliff to the other. ...I, a poor and miserable slave of Allah, have passed through 16 countries, but I have never seen such a high bridge. It is thrown from rock to rock as high as the sky.


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    The Old Bridge was destroyed on 9 November 1993 during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After its destruction a temporary cable bridge was erected in its place. Croatian General Slobodan Praljak argues in his document "How the Old Bridge Was Destroyed" that there was an explosive charge or mine placed at the center of the bridge underneath and detonated remotely in addition to the shelling that caused the collapse. Most historians disagree and believe his research was trying to absolve his men and himself from crimes committed during the war. He has since committed suicide by drinking poison after being convicted of war crimes. After the destruction of the Stari Most, a spokesman for the Croats admitted that they deliberately destroyed it, claiming that it was of strategic importance. Academics have argued that the bridge held little strategic value and that its shelling was an example of deliberate cultural property destruction. Andras Riedlmayer terms the destruction an act of "killing memory", in which evidence of a shared cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence were deliberately destroyed.

    I was actually visiting Mostar just a few months before war between Bosnian Muslims and Croats broke out. Bridge was still in it's original condition: not in my wildest dreams have I ever imagined such barbarian act would take place. I remember watching news of bridge destruction on TV channel in Singapore.....I cried...fell physically sick afterwards, resulting in deep depression.


    See for yourself and tell me how you feel.....


     
  21. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    These photos from Wikipedia depict temporary bridge after the destruction and it's reconstruction.

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    After the end of the war, plans were raised to reconstruct the bridge. The World Bank, the UNESCO, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the World Monuments Fund formed a coalition to oversee the reconstruction of the Stari Most and the historic city centre of Mostar. Additional funding was provided by Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Croatia and the Council of Europe Development Bank, as well as the Bosnian government. In October 1998, UNESCO established an international committee of experts to oversee the design and reconstruction work. It was decided to build a bridge as similar as possible to the original, using the same technology and materials. The bridge was re-built with local materials by Er-Bu Construction Corp a Turkish company, using Ottoman construction techniques. Tenelia stone from local quarries was used and Hungarian army divers recovered stones from the original bridge from the river below. Reconstruction commenced on 7 June 2001. The reconstructed bridge was inaugurated on 23 July 2004, with the cost estimated to be 15.5 million US dollars.


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    Old Bridge was an important venue during Yugoslavia times: ever since 1968, every July or August, official diving competition took place.

    The earliest record of someone diving from the bridge is from 1664. In Mostar, 16-year-old boys must plummet about 24m off the bridge, into the chilly abyss of the Neretva river. Locals say a man will be a complete life failure if he doesn’t take the plunge — he can forget about a job and a girlfriend. But this tradition, causing them to hit the water at about 80km/h in three seconds, is no longer just something for Bosnian men. It’s now an attraction for tourists passing through. The Mostari diving club mans the bridge daily and charges tourists fee of 25 euros if they want to jump. If a tourist successfully plunges, they are hailed into the club and can jump for free for the rest of their life.


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    Since 2015, Stari Most has been a regular tour stop in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
    More on that in upcoming video.


    Nearby Old Town Mostar is simply incredible. You can feel history radiating from those old walls, preserved narrow medieval market streets bustling with exotic restaurants and shops.


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    Just like in Sarajevo, non-muslim or atheists are allowed to enter Mosque and take photos.


    Bear, brandy, wine, schnaps freely flows in Halal certified restaurants. Bosnia was always highly secular state and stayed that way even after such brutal civil war. The only islamic extremists were Mujaheddin's who came from middle east in their thousands during civil war to fight Serbs and at some point Croats too. They didn't care about Bosnians or their freedom: all they wanted is to spread their sick ideology, become martyrs and go to 70 heavenly virgins waiting for them spread open.



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    Beside the famous Stari Most (Old Bridge), a genuine symbol of the town destroyed in 1993, there is another ancient bridge in Mostar: the Kriva Cuprija or the Crooked Bridge.

    It crosses the Rabobolja creek, a right-bank affluent of the Neretva River. The exact date of its construction and the name of its founder are not known.

    Kriva cuprija is a stone one-arch bridge of small dimension and closely resembles the Stari Most. The arch is a perfect semicircle 8.56 meters in width and 4.15 meters in height. The frontage and vault are made of regular stone cubes incorporated into the horizontal layers all along the vault. The space between vault, frontal walls and footpath is filled with cracked stone. The bridge footpath and the approaching roads are paved with cobblestones, as is the case with the main roads in the town. Stone steps enable people to ascend to the bridge either side. The floods of December 2000 destroyed this bridge.

    A reconstruction project has been initiated by UNESCO, financed by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The project was completed in the year 2001.


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  22. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Further south from Mostar there is a beautiful village called Blagaj.

    It is situated at the spring of the Buna River and historical Tekke or Dervish monastery. The Blagaj Tekke was built around 1520, with elements of Ottoman architecture and Mediterranean style and declared a national monument. Blagaj Tekke is a monastery built for the Dervish cults, very secretive and unusual Islamic sect.

    Of course, this sect no longer exists in these parts and obviously monastery houses no Dervish.


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    The Buna River spring is like sight out of fairy tales: crystal clear water comes out of the cave situated under enormous rock.


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    You may rent a kayak and paddle inside the cave but not without the guide for your own safety.
    Apparently there are number of whirlpools there and could be quite dangerous.


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    Simply spectacular sight. This was my 3rd visit here but first time with my wife. Never enough and will come again for sure.

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  23. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    And here is the video documentary from our Bosnia trip.
    It includes the episode with Highway Police too.


     
  24. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Home sweet home.
    From Bosnia into south-easternmost Croatia and pearl of Adriatic: city of Dubrovnik.

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    It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport with total population of just over 42,000. Since 1979, the city of Dubrovnik is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

    The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade; as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.

    In 1991, after the break-up of Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik was besieged by Serbian and Montenegrin soldiers of the Yugoslav People's Army for seven months and suffered significant damage from shelling. After repair and restoration works in the 1990s and early 2000s, Dubrovnik re-emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.


    Dubrovnik.


    No need to post photos, video covers entire story.


     
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