Today we planned to explore a bit more of Dubrovnik outside of the walls, we had heard about a little beach hidden away and decided to head in that direction. So saying goodbye to our lovely Croatian host we walked down the steps for the last time and went out through the northern gate.
From here we just kept following the coast on the main roads, branching left when needed. Finally we saw a path heading downwards along the side of a hotel. We followed this down and after nearly going into the hotel we were greeted by steps winding down the cliffside to a little beach completely surrounded by cliffs on either side.
There wasn’t a soul to be seen as we sat on an old concrete jetty and marveled at the amount of marine life we could see. The sun was out again and the water glistened as we dumped our bags and walked around to the beach, climbing over rocks and even finding some hermit crabs!
The beach was the usual stony type with another jetty sticking out into the sea. We wandered back and sat enjoying the morning warmth and relaxed atmosphere. Fish swam below us as our legs dangled down and we tried to spot new ones, there were thousands of tiny baby fish up near the surface, probably sheltering in the cove before hitting the big open seas.
We spent a good amount of time here but we eventually had to go. So we went back up to the main road and turned left towards the marina. Our thinking was to be close to the bus station ready for our 4pm to Bosnia. So we wandered the length of the marina, stopping to marvel again at the amount of marine life we could see. Discuss which of the boats we would buy if we had the money, and stopped off for a coffee sat looking out over the marina.
We were starting to get hungry so we decided to go get our tickets for the bus and then get some food. It was easy getting the tickets at the station they cost around 12€ and there were a few places to eat across the road.
We settled on one with an extremely friendly waitress with bright pink lipstick and a very revealing outfit. The food was pretty good for the price and we sat in the sun for a while after finishing.
The station has a huge supermarket right next to it so with the last of our Croatian money we got drinks and snacks for the journey. We still had an hour to wait so we went down to the waterfront again and sat enjoying the last of the sunshine as we’d be on a bus until it went dark from this point on.
The bus arrived late, something we knew to expect and we set off. This bus journey was one of the most amazing journeys either of us have been on. We followed the coast for a couple of hours, with the sun sending it’s rays down over the sea and islands popping up all over the place. Going round corners we’d find sleepy little fishing villages and tiny hidden beaches.
It was incredibly beautiful and I don’t think pictures can do it justice. We went into Bosnia for about 15 minutes then back into Croatia as we passed through Bosnia’s only coastline. Then we started to head inland and finally entered Bosnia for real. The amazing scenery continued as we found ourselves looking out over vast plains surrounded by huge mountains, going over and alongside lazy looking rivers and minimal structures.
The sun was going down at this point so we had lovely sunset colours lighting up our bus.
Our bus suddenly slammed the brakes on and we just saw a police officer waving something at the bus. It pulled over and the drivers looked nervous as the police came over and started speaking to them. We weren’t sure what happened but a couple of passengers started a heated conversation with a bosnian policeman who had got on a few miles before.
We sat watching and wondering what was going on when the drivers got back on and we continued our journey. I’d love to know what had happened but we were too scared to ask someone. We soon arrived in Mostar, and it was a lot different to what I was expecting. I didn’t realise it was a huge city! The bus station is about 15 minutes walk from the old town and luckily our hotel was only 2 minutes from the station.
We arrived at hostel lena, greeted by an old bosnian lady who quickly called Lena her daughter in law and made us coffee which she promptly shovelled two huge spoonfuls of sugar each.
Lena arrived and we chatted for a while, she was extremely friendly and welcoming. Sarah had a bit of a dodgy eye that wouldn’t stop watering and she gave us eye drops and a chamomile tea bag assuring us the combination of the two would work (Which it did). Lena also said she could arrange the trip we wanted to do with her husband as he was a taxi driver.
We were shown to our room and told how to get to the old town and the bridge that Mostar is famous for! We had a quick change and walked down a long street filled with local bars, cafes, bakeries etc. They were re-paving the street while we were there so we stepped carefully. We passed a mosque on the way, a reminder that we were now in a country with a 50% muslim population.
You could see the beautiful minarets peaking out from the rooftops all over the place as we walked along the main street. Here it was full of old wooden turkish looking stalls lining the path, a throwback to the Ottoman empire that ruled Bosnia for 500 years. We continued until we came to a stunning view of Stari Most, the old bridge that was bombed by the Croatians in the 90s war. It had lasted from the 16th century until that fateful day but was rebuilt after the war with some of the original stones and bricks.
We walked over the bridge which had a very polished floor, it was actually quite slippery! Navigating our way down we found a restaurant right in front of us that did a national Bosnian plate for 2. We went for it and sat outside with a fountain trickling in the background and lots of foliage…it was very pretty.
We ordered local beer while we waited for the food, when it arrived we couldn’t believe it was only for 2 people! It was so cheap too. Like £7 each, the Cevapi was delicious along with the bread we had with it. There were selections of peppers, onion and vine leaves stuffed with mincemeat, slow cooked lamb, potatoes and Bosnian cookies – these tasted like dense falafel.
It was almost too good as we had cream cheese and Ajvar, a red pepper based dip to go with it. We were absolutely stuffed and had to wait at least 20 minutes before we ordered baklava, the syrup soaked Turkish pastry filled with chopped nuts.
The piece was huge and Sarah only just managed to finish it. We hauled ourselves back to the hostel and passed out…happy and content, ready for an adventure out to the countryside the next day.