It’s rather difficult to stay in a ‘Ten Month Travel Slump’ when this is what your Monday morning not only looks like, but involves before getting on a bus to jump countries in the afternoon. Mondays are the worst. Unless you’re on a ‘Round the World’ trip… and then, sometimes, Mondays are the best! We spent part of our early afternoon on this pebble beach inside a little cove on the outskirts of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The rocks were hot. The water was not. And it was a little slice of heaven, just as beautiful as is in the picture.
It’s my humble opinion that Croatia has the prettiest water. Andrew could not stop talking about how pretty the water was between the islands in Greece. It is, also pretty. But Croatia is where the water is at. Just look at it!
The beach wasn’t too crowded, although when we left (towards 2ish) more and more people were arriving. My favorite part was watching everyone run across the too-hot-for-bare-feet rocks to get to the water. Only the water was quite cold, so everyone would stop suddenly, and let their bodies adjust to the temperature change, deciding which was worse: getting in the cold water or walking back across the hot beach to their towel or chair.
Young ones climbed up the bluffs and jumped into the sea, sometimes from quite high, sometimes making me squirm hoping they would jump far enough away from the cliffs. Needing to get going so we would make our bus into Bosnia and Herzegovina, we tore ourselves away from the beach as best we could. I have to admit, having had our sunscreen taken from us in Crete’s Airport (we forgot to put it in our checked luggage) it made leaving the burning sun a little easier. I took one last picture to remind myself what a ‘typical (even though on this trip, there really is no such thing) Monday’ on the road was like.
And then, a few hours later we were greeted like we were old friends by one of the sweetest hostel owners we have met so far. We felt so bad we were a little over an hour late arriving in Mostar, but Taso shrugged and told us not to worry. He informed us of the buses having GPS and he wasn’t waiting long. He whisked us off to his guesthouse, which really felt more like his house (in a really great way, not like staying in ‘the lady’s’ actual house in Dubrovnik). We had juice and cookies and he told us all about the town. We chatted like we were old friends, and I smiled at how great it is when you get to meet people for the first time and your interaction is so pleasant.
Taso talked about the old bridge that is the city’s main attraction. It was originally commissioned by Sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent in 1557, and survived all the way up until the war in 1993, when the bridge was bombed and destroyed. It has since been rebuilt and declared an UNESCO World Heritage site. (You can read more about the bridge here, if you’re interested)
I knew a little about this bridge (mostly relating to the war) before our arrival. I knew nothing about the bridge jumping that has become a rite of passage for the men (and some brave women) of the town. Taso told us that at just 25 meters above the water below, men would jump from the bridge, and women would give the man they liked a wreath of flowers afterwards, to signal wich one they liked the most. I asked if Taso had jumped off and he laughed, saying that he was too old to do it now. When he was younger, there was a wooden bridge in place of the older one that was bombed. He jumped off of that, but he suggested it wasn’t as high as the original (or current) bridge.
We walked through town to get an early dinner, above are some of the views of both sides of Mostar from the bridge. Beautiful, right?