After a perfect couple of days in Split, Croatia (which mostly consisted of going to the pebble beach, eating massive portions of things, walking, heating up left-overs, and tasting all the different kinds of ice-cream, and taking advantage of our disco ball), my brother and I hopped on a hot, over-crowded minibus to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Labour Day dance party at the beach, Split. It hasn't been that hot or sunny since.

Labour Day dance party at the beach, Split. It hasn’t been that hot or sunny since.

Having grown up with daily news of the Bosnian war, I was eager to see the country as it is, not as it is was in my head in 1994.

Although Mostar is a city still divided (and visibly so), the beauty we found in its streets, surroundings and people (greeted at a hostel with freshly-baked bread, homemade iced tea and a bunch of markers with which to draw? my idea of coming home), overshadowed the shelled out buildings and parks-turned-into-cemeteries-where-all-the-graves-date-from-1993.

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Pocitelj, an ancient fortified town on the river Neretva.

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Kravice Waterfalls. Pretty and pretty cold. Got funny looks for jumping in. But it was so blue! And sunny!

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Coffee, done right: strong and muddy at the bottom. So as not to stir up sludge, just dip your sugar cube in the coffee, bite of a bit and then take a sip.

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Beautiful Bosnia, view from high up.

After a couple of beautiful days in cozy, pretty, coffee-fuelled, bullet-marked Mostar, we took the train to Sarajevo. Sarajevo, a city that, in my mind, has carried heavy baggage.

We did learn lots about the siege and the genocide, but also about the 1984 Olympics, also about how the city is pretty and edgy and has a cool (but rainy) vibe.

Cafes line the streets and squares and people siat in them all day and night, drinking and smoking.

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A street in the old part of the city, Sarajevo.

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A street, seen from above (from a little café at the top of a hotel).

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Girls smoking, Sarajevo.

They smoke a lot and everywhere. I’m almost used to it. What I’m not used to yet are cars driving on the right side of the street.

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