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Cavtat - Day 9 Monday 9/9

On the road again...


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Before leaving Bosnia, we stopped to see the village of Počitelj, a settlement built by Bosnia's King Stjepan Tvrtko in 1383. The village is considered to be an open air museum. Let us share with you some of the gorgeous sites.

Perched high atop the hill is Sahat-kula, a silo-shaped fort overlooking the village. It was used to house watchmen and military to guard against possible invasion.

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You can see the minaret of the Hajji Alija mosque, which was built in 1563. The mosque sustained significant damage in the war, but was restored in 2002.

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Here are some views from our walk into the city. Note the fig tree growing through the wall.

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There was some significant uphill climbing.

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There were many stands with homemade products. Look at these beautiful paper cones full of dates, nuts, and other goodies.

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We crossed the border to return to Croatia, taking the coastal route to Dubrovnik. Along the way, we passed through Metkovic, the delta growing area, where the fresh water meets the sea. It has been dubbed "Little California."

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We made a stop in the town of Ston, where we admired the Wall of Ston, which is the second longest continuous wall in the world (exceeded only by the Great Wall of China). Only about three miles remain, but they were believed to have covered at least five miles when built in the 14th Century.

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Ston is also known for its ancient salt production.

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This statue represents the importance of "a pinch of salt."

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Here is the arched gate of the town, and a few other views.

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The interior of the church was closed, but here is the exterior.

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Last, but not least, Ston is famous for its oyster beds, and we had the opportunity to experience these delicious gems. Charlie did not share the enthusiasm of most of the group. No problem, I ate his!

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From Ston, we traveled along the "Dubrovnik Riviera" to our hotel in Cavtat. The Greeks established a city here in the 6th Century BC (Epidaurum), and it was renamed Cavtat in the Middle Ages. We caught a glimpse of Dubrovnik on our way.

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We checked into our final "home" in Croatia, Villa Pattiera, where we will spend our last four nights.

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We had time to poke around the charming seaside town.

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The Church of St. Nicholas was open.

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We took a long walk all around the peninsula. The area reminded me of Maine. Little beach "clubs" are set up right along the rocks.

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Before dinner, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

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Photos are tagged Croatia, Mostar and Cavtat

Posted by Cybercsp 01:29 Archived in Croatia Tagged croatia mostar cavtat Comments (1)

Mostar - Day 8 Sunday 9/8

An early start...


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This morning, we bid farewell to Komiža with a 6 AM departure. We arrived in Vis City by 6:30, and had time for a short walk-about as the sun was rising.

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Jane had packed each of us a breakfast sack, which we ate on the 7:30 AM ferry that took us from Island Vis to Split. Here are some sailaway views.

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After docking in Split, we met a private coach that took us to the neighboring country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were sorry to have to say goodbye to Josip, who has driven us thus far. We are now in the hands of Zoran, riding in a full size bus that holds 50 people. We are 15...so we have lots of room.

Zoran's mom met us at the van/bus transfer with cheeses, prosciutto, bread, wine and chocolate liquer. This country is seriously a feeding frenzy. Food as love.

Crossing the border from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina took close to an hour. Fortunately, we were able to remain on the bus while our passports were presented by Zoran.

At about 2 PM, we checked into our hotel, the City Star Hotel. Here are photos of our room.

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Here is the view from the hotel patio. Note the terrible grenade damage done to the beautiful stone building. So many of the buildings that we pass have damage from shelling. It is heartbreaking.

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After a few minutes to settle in, we were led by our guide, Nino, to the historic city of Mostar. The city spans the valley of the Neretva River and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was established initially as an Ottoman frontier town during the 15th Century, and later was annexed by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1908. Traces of both cultures can be seen today in the architecture of this lovely place.

We walked through the Old Bazaar, the Kujundžiluk. As we walked along the cobblestone streets, many of the old crafts, such as rug weaving and copper work, could be observed in the shops. Of course, the bazaar has plenty of tourist shops, as well as cafes and restaurants. There was plenty to admire!

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This is the site of the oldest bridge built in Mostar. This smaller bridge was the prototype for the Stari Most, the main bridge of the city. The Turkish architect who was sent to build the bridges was a student of the master bridge builder, and was uncertain as to whether a bridge could be supported by a single arch. When the supportive scaffolding was removed, the architect was forced to stand below the bridge, so that he would be killed should the bridge collapse. The bridge lasted for hundreds of years, but had to be rebuilt in the 1900s after flooding.

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Here are the original city walls that are close to the bridge.

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The walking in Mostar is not easy.

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While much of the architecture in the city is Turkish, this building reflects the city's Austrian influence. While the design was supposed to "blend in". with the Turkish, Islamic leanings of the city, the building was criticized as its window designs resembled the Christian cross.

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The city of Mostar gets its name from the bridge keepers (mostari), who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) that spanned the river. The Stari Most was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, and is considered to be an exemplary piece of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. It is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most visited landmarks. It is very difficult to walk across as the pavements are slippery, and the pitch is fairly steep.

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Between 1992 and 1995, Mostar sustained significant damage during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Much of the city center was left in ruins, and the Stari Most was destroyed. The subsequent reconstruction has been aided by UNESCO, and serves as a symbol of reconciliation and international cooperation.

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We enjoyed a typical Bosnian meal on a lovely outdoor covered patio that afforded beautiful views. During dinner we saw two people jump from the bridge into the river (65 feet). Apparently it's a common fun activity, with a little boat waiting in the water to check on the brave souls. Happy to report that both jumpers are healthy (but wise?).

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After dinner, we crossed the bridge and explored the opposite side of the river.

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Here you can see the restaurant where we ate, with its multiple level patios.

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Photos are tagged Croatia and Mostar

Posted by Cybercsp 13:44 Archived in Bosnia And Herzegovina Tagged croatia mostar Comments (0)

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