Tim Clancy (an American from Sarajevo) on Mostar!

“ Mostar is an extraordinary town in every sense of the word. I lived in Mostar throughout the entire war as an aid worker and witnessed its destruction. It’s the most beautiful place I've ever lived... it even beats Avignon and Tepotzlan in Mexico. The beauty goes far beyond its ancient Babylon like 'Olde Towne' and the old bridge that once stood uniting the city from the rugged emerald Neretva River. Mostar was the city with the most mixed marriages in the former Yugoslavia...not a mosaic of cultures and traditions but a real melting pot of them. The Mediterranean climate makes it the warmest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina with mostly sunny days and clear blue skies. The Neretva turns the dry arid surroundings green with figs, kiwis, grapes, pome granites, rose hips, and even mandarins and lemons. The fertile grounds along the entire Neretva valley have made it a settlement dating back over 10,000 years. But lets talk about today...

Today Mostar is a city in transition. It was devastated by war but the reconstruction has seen the town bounce back to life. Recovering from the devastation is no easy task... the physical aspect of reconstruction is the easier bit, soul healing comes a bit slower. But the world has begun to return to Mostar. Its cobble stone streets in the old town are once again filled with visitors from all over the world, the cafes are teeming with the young and old enjoying the fresh air and breathtaking views of the Neretva and the surrounding mountains. Mosques and churches alike have been rebuilt and museums have been reopened. Believe me folks... it’s a place you've got to see! You can visit the Austro-Hungarian public baths and have a swim or a sit in the jacuzzi... stroll along her lovely streets and admire the centuries old Ottoman architecture... sit and enjoy a fine bottle of Hercegovinian red or white wine and smell the fresh array of wild flowers that stem from every patch of grass and every balcony along your way. Handcraft shops take you deep into Herzegovina's past by upholding the tradition of quality, original made goods. You'll love their beauty and appreciate the time and effort that's been put into each item. Walking through Mostar is a walk through past and future. Its ancient walls tell timeless tales of the way it used to be and its present struggle to keep its identity as a multiethnic community is an inspiring model for the future. Mostar is far more than beautiful architecture and sunny weather... it’s about a peace-loving community rebuilding itself from the ravages of war. You will effect Mostar as much as it will effect you... just go and see. The hardest part about going to Mostar may be leaving!!