Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Days 11-13: Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Day 11: Budva and Kotor, Montenegro

Today we drove from Budva to Kotor to tour the walled city there, and then returned to Budva where we toured the Old Town.

Hotel Budva, our home in Budva

A hotel and mall across a park from our hotel

Another view of modern Budva

Oreos are everywhere

Part of Kotor outside the walls

Part of the walls surrounding the old city

Kotor is now a popular cruise destination

One of the entrances to the walled city, with a Yugoslavian marker

The clock tower dates from the 17th century

Kotor Cathedral, dating from 1166

Inside Kotor Cathedral

Organist in Kotor Cathedral

In the walled city

A modern church, built in 1909

This guy was playing "House of the Rising Sun"

A street in the walled city

I'll bet she got her gown in Albania

A view from the top of the wall (photo courtesy of Jeff Anderson)

One of the towers in the wall

Part of the wall

On the shoreline outside the walls

After touring the walled city, we drove up into the mountains and got some spectacular views.

There were several towns up in the mountains, where Montenegrans who had been driven out of the main cities by the Ottomans lived.

We went over the top of the mountain and back down the other side, stopping at the town of Cetinje on the way back to Budva.

At the top of the mountain

Vlaska Church in Cetinje, dating from 1450
In Cetinje, we stopped at Biljarda, the former residence of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, an Monentegren leader.


Statue of Ivan Crnojevic, founder of Cetinje

Main square in Cetinje

On a side street

Models waking in the main square after a photo shoot

A wall on the way out of Cetinje

From Cetinje, we drove back to Budva.

Overview of Budva

Back in Budva, we took a walking tour along the shoreline and through the old town of Budva.

A not-so-great beach in Budva

On the shoreline, looking at part of the old town

Fresh eel, anyone?

More action on the shore

Part of the old town walls

More of the old town and another beach

St. Ivan's (St. John's) church, dating from the 1500s

Artwork outside the church

A vendor outside the church

Church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1804

Another view of the town wall 

Another view of Holy Trinity church

Along the shoreline after dark

A popcorn vendor viewed from my room

Day 12: Budva to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

We left Budva and drove along the Bay of Kotor, into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Shoreline of Kotor Bay

In Kotor Bay, there are a couple of small islands (Svete Dorde and Our Lady of the Rocks) that are pretty much empty except for a couple of old churches.

Svete Dorde
Our Lady of the Rocks

Along the shoreline of Kotor Bay

Eventually we crossed into Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The country Bosnia and Herzegovina is actually comprised of two smaller republics--Srpska (where most of the Serbians live), and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (where most of the Bosniaks live).  When we crossed the border from Montenegro, we entered into Srpska.

Mountains in Bosnia and Herzegovina

We stopped for lunch in the town of Trebinje.

A distant view of Trebinje

Not a firm I want to do business with

World War II monument in Trebejne

A pedestrian street in Trebinje

Waiting for lunch (which never came)

A very small church near Trebinje

Inside the church

Some 14th-century gravestones

Our next stop was the town of Medjugorje, which became a pilgrimage site after some children "saw" the Virgin Mary there in 1981.

St. James Church in Medjugorje

Either a priest or a baseball player

The town was lined with religious souvenir shops.

Religious items on sale

From Medjugorje, we drove to Mostar, our destination for the night.  Mostar is famous for its Ottoman bridge (Mostar means "old bridge"), and was heavily damaged during the Bosnian war in the 1990's.

View of modern Mostar from my hotel room

After checking in to our hotel, we drove to the center of town.

A modern shopping center

Franciscan church bell tower

Bullet holes from the Bosnian War

More war damage

Tourist street in central Mostar

Copper souvenirs

There were a lot of souvenirs made with old ammunition (presumably) from the Bosnian War.  I wanted to buy one, but I figured I would have a hard time getting it through airport security.

Some Bosnian souvenirs

The Old Bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, but was severely damaged during the Bosnia war.  Parts of the bridge were fished out of the river and it has since been completely reconstructed.

The Old Bridge (Stari Most) 

Souvenir shop near the bridge

The bridge after dark

On the bridge after dark

Franciscan Church tower after dark

Day 13: Mostar and Sarajevo

We began the day by traveling back through Mostar to revisit the Old Bridge area during daylight.

Memorial on the site of one of Mostar's synagogues

A closer view of the memorial

A building destroyed during the Bosnian war

A mosque in the old part of the city

Another old bridge (not Stari Most) in central Mostar

Stari Most

Another view of Stari Most

View of the old part of Mostar

Wider view of old Mostar

After visiting old Mostar, we headed towards Sarajevo.with a stop in Jablanica.  Jablanica was the site of a famous incident in World War II, where a group led by Josep Tito blew up a train while it was crossing a railroad bridge.

Museum in Jablanica celebrating the event

The train and the bridge (what's left of them)

Don't try this at home

What they're drinking in Bosnia and Herzegovina

We then drove from Jablanica to Sarajevo.

Building in Sarajevo damaged in the Bosnian war

Some Communist-era (or maybe post-Communist) apartment buildings

Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our hotel in Sarajevo

The remains of a 15th century inn, next to our hotel

Sarajevo is allegedly the only city that had a church, synagogue, and a mosque within a block of each other. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral

Jewish Museum, in the old Ashkenazi synagogue, a block from the cathedral 

Near the cathedral, we encountered a "Sarajevo Rose",  a piece of concrete with shrapnel holes that have been filled with a red resin--sort of a symbol of the war.

A Sarajevo Rose

The "Meeting of Cultures" line is a line across a street, where on the east side of the street are Ottoman buildings, and on the west side are buildings from the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The line

Looking east, to the Ottoman section

Looking west, to the Austro-Hungarian section

From here, we walked into the old Ottoman market area of town.

Allegedly the oldest public toilet in the world

Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, built in the 1600's and about a block from the cathedral

Copper shop in the old marketplace

More shops in the marketplace

Feeding pigeons in the market plaza

From the old market area, we walked to the Miljacka River. 

Sarajevo town hall 

Some older buildings along the river

More buildings along the river

A museum near the spot where Archduke Ferdinand was shot, starting World War I

The spot where Archduke Ferdinand's limousine was traveling when he was shot

A few bullet holes from the war

For our "farewell" dinner, we went to a restaurant overlooking Sarajevo.

A wide angle view from the restaurant

Another view--town hall is on the right side

A view of the western part of Sarajevo

One last Sarajevsko beer

View of the city after dark

That's all, folks!