Exploring Southwest Towards Mostar City
After I’ve been staying a long time in Central Asia, I wanted something new here in Bosnia… something totally different, just to refresh my mind. I want to see different kind of people, different attitude and listening to different language. But once when I bought something in a nearby shop… the woman said “cetiri piet sot” which means 4.50. “Oh you guys speak Russian here?”, I asked her. She said “Da… quite similar”. I then realized here in the Balkans, they speak Slavic language, similar to Russian. I guess I didn’t travel far enough then. It’s fine with the Russian language, its just that I would prefer something totally different, as I hope this trip will refresh my mind from my long journey in Central Asia. But at least this helps a bit, when I go to countryside… I will speak English first to the locals and if they don’t understand me I will switch to Russian… and perhaps they will catch a word or two which is similar to Bosnian language.
I finally decided to rent a small car, the cheapest car available and drive around the country. I think that’s the best idea to spend two weeks here in Bosnia… to drive around the country. I then found the cheapest car here at 30 euros or around 60km (Bosnian currency) per day. While its quite pricey for me, I can reduce my travel cost here by sleeping in the car at night so I can save on accomodation. And this is much better than taking public transportation. After so long I’ve been travelling free like a bird on my bicycle, I just couldn’t travel the normal way anymore, I just couldn’t be punctual to take the public transportation and let the timetable influence my freedom. Plus the access to places is very limited if I take public transportation. I want to go wherever I want anytime I want… just like how I do it on my bicycle. So I bought 2 books in Sarajevo and rent a small car… and the journey starts right after I ignite the engine of the car.
I then drove to Mostar which is only about 130km southwest of Sarajevo. The view is amazing and I drove slowly and stopped a few times to capture the surroundings on my camera. The road is winding and narrow but it’s a good experience. Traffic isnt so heavy and I think it gonna be great to explore this country on a bicycle soon. Everytime when I came across nice places, I will stop the car and start making timelapse videos… and start reading the book I purchased in Sarajevo while waiting for the timelapse videos to be recorded. I talked to many curious local people too along the way…
While I was filming some timelapse scene in one of the beautiful village not so far from Mostar, a local came and talked to me… curious on which part of the world I came from. We started talking and he said please take good photographs of this country and say good things about Bosnia. Many people thought that they are barbarians and the country isn’t a safe place to visit. I then replied that no one actually think that theyre barbarians and everyone knows that Bosnia is a really safe country to travel. At least us Malaysians… we love Bosnia and its people. I told him we had the same problems too sometimes. Lately my country always appeared in the international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Let it be politics, economy, plane crash or crime… but deep inside we are all a lovely nation. But thats a normal thing. The news seems to be concentrating only on the bad things. I guess thats what the audiences want… reading about bad things. Maybe not many want to read about the good things that are happening around the world. The news concentrates so much about wars and crimes… making the people having this impression that anywhere outside their home country isnt a safe place.
After a few hours driving slowly and taking photos on the road, I finally reached the city of Mostar. It’s rather a small and quiet town. Looks very peaceful and people are laidback here. I stayed in a guesthouse near the old bridge of Mostar. Woke up very early in the morning and walked around the town. It was so nice to walk around this town when everyone is still sleeping. I was practically the only person on the street. Climbed one of the hill nearby to see the surrounding view of the city… and sit on top of a rock for hours reading my book under the sunshine. It was great. This city has been badly destroyed during the war but no one here talks about it. People here are so friendly. They live in harmony now as I see it. Mosques and cathedrals are standing side by side. Sometimes I heard the sound of Azan (muslim prayer call) and sometimes I heard the sound of bell from the church just next to it. The food is good and cheap… probably even cheaper than in Kyrgyzstan. I stayed two days in this lovely town… exploring it very slowly… as slow as when I take my time drinking a nice hot coffee in a cold morning.