Mostar

Today I visited Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina. I wanted to see the Stari Most, the old bridge that became a symbol during the Croat-Bosniak War.

It felt awkward.

The bridge was covered by international media 24/7 for months, back during the war. Reading more about it it turned out that the front was never on the bridge, but the red line was a few hundred meters away. It was not a strategic structure, but the western media made it a symbol of the war and we all fell for it, ignoring all the more important events happening to the population during the war.

Something similar happened in Dubrovnik, where the media were focusing on the damage to the architectural heritage of the city, completely ignoring what was happening in Vukovar.

What you can find now in Mostar is a completely restored bridge, surrounded by thousands of small shops selling fake Chinese memorabilia, from brass bullet shells, to fridge magnets.

The streets are full of western tourists, gipsy kids begging for money, improvised parking attendants stopping cars and forcing them to park in their gardens for tens of euros per day.

The whole stari grad (old city) is a messy tourist trap. I don't think I'll be back again anytime soon.

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