As we wandered through Mostar in the dark, a little brown dog not more than a few months old ran up to us and decided not to leave our side. She was panically looking for someone but still walked right by our side. After darting into the busy street and us motioning for cars to stop more than once, we scooped her up and took her with us to the van. Now with some clothesline attached to her collar, we safely walked to a cafe to find internet and figure out our next step. Some people in town mentioned lots of dogs are dumped here, some shrugged their shoulders and others showed us which FaceBook group we could leave a message on. We knew in our hearts she was lost, not dumped, especially with a brand new yellow bandana around her neck. We also knew that we had to leave Bosnia the next day so finding her owner was our top priority. After no returned messages on FB, we returned to the van with a little brown pup. She immediately curled up and went to sleep on a little rug. We were worried she would chew up our cabinets, have an accident or bark all night. But nope. Not one peep (or pee).

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

In the morning, we all woke up unusually early worried about our new little friend.

Lota Mostar Bosnia

With our clothesline back on her collar, we found ourselves back at the same cafe with good news.

Lota Mostar Bosnia

The FB group found her owner and the pups name was Lota. As soon as we said “Lota” out loud, she tilted her head.

Lota Mostar Bosnia

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Within minutes, Lota and her owners were reunited and a huge weight was lifted off of all of our shoulders. We all knew what would have happened last night if she didn’t find us. Be safe, Lota.

Lota Mostar Bosnia

Back to the van we go now. With all the excitement this morning, some of us forgot to brush our teeth.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Now that Lota is back home, we are ready to start exploring the old town of Mostar.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

The Stari Most (Old Bridge) was first built of wood but then was built out of stone by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The original stone bridge was destroyed during the Balkan War in 1993 but reconstructed again in 2004.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

The old bridge divides the old town into the east side and west side. The west side is considered the Croatian Catholic side of town and the east side is considered the Bosniak Muslim side of town. This is the view from the bridge looking east.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Petting cats always.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Because we were awake so early for the lost puppy, we got to enjoy the soft morning light. Thanks, Lota.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

And with barely anyone else around.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Too. Bright. Mama.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Not for us!

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

As we walked around the city of Mostar, we passed by a large number of bullet-riddled and destroyed stone buildings. 

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Between neighborhoods, we also passed cemeteries with headstones all ending with the year 1992. 

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

The signs of the past war are still so visible here. So instead of rushing back to the van to start our math lessons today, we carefully tried to answer all the questions that came from our children and soaked in the beautiful with the not so beautiful.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Now it was time for a well deserved treat.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Before.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

During.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Our overnight spot in town.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

And after.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Because we have our US-plated vehicle in Europe just temporarily for a few years, it is only allowed to be in the EU for six months at a time. The last time our van was out of the EU was back in June when we were in Serbia so we are collecting proof of our border run with diesel receipts, in addition to our liability insurance receipt. 

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

And just like that, we are back in Croatia again.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Headed back to Split.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

To say goodbye to my parents who are headed back to the US.

Mostar, Bosnia in our Sprinter van

Here’s a little video clip from my Instagram stories summarizing our day in Mostar.

Thanks for reading,
Marlene

Categories: Europe

2 Comments

Suzanne · December 19, 2019 at 6:21 am

I was there in 2002 when there was only a quarter of a bridge, and construction had just begun. So nice to see it back in its full glory!

    marlene · December 19, 2019 at 6:52 am

    That must have been quite a sight as well. We were so lucky that we woke up early to catch in the most beautiful light.

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