Balkan with my mother

Bosnia

We had been riding a few hours into Bosnia, when it was time to find a place to stay for the night. When riding though the town Kljuc, I spotted a hotel sign in the corner of my eye. We made a U-turn, and got off the bikes in front of hotel that appeared to be a little above what we’d like to pay. Thonny and I went inside, into a small, but very new reception and got a couple of rooms, and got the paperwork done.

My mother had stayed outside with the bikes, as we didn’t want to leave the bikes unattended with our valuables. When we got back, she was talking to a couple of ladies. Some people appear to get a little surprised when they see a 72-year old woman taking off the helmet. It turned out to be the hotel owner and the manager of the restaurant.

They joined us for dinner – after all, it was their hotel and restaurant. We talked about life in Kljuc, and Bosnia in general, during the Balkan War. And also after, where her family built everything from practically nothing. It was a very interesting story. In return, we told them stories from our adventures.

We had a little to drink, including traditional Bosnian coffee. It is pretty much the same as Turkish coffee, where the ground coffee is left in the cup.

Later, we went for a small walk in the town. Everything was closed, so not much happened. My mother had already returned to her room. Thonny and I quickly returned and went to sleep too.

Mostar

After a nice breakfast, we continued our adventure towards Mostar. We rode in to some very nice scenery.

But first, we wanted to visit the bronze statue of Diva Grabovčeva. According to the legend, she refused a marriage proposal from a Turkish nobleman. Because of that, she was killed. The mortal remains of a young woman was found in a grave associated with the legend. As a virgin martyr, she became the symbol of virginity.

Thonny and my mother at the bronze statue of 17th century virgin martyr Diva Grabovčeva.

I knew that the road to the statue was gravel, but I did not know that it was as technical as it was, with its steep washed out gravel road. Where I could stand up and let the bike move around, my mother had to spend quite a lot of energy holding on. We didn’t ride any more gravel on the trip. But, as I told her, it’s not an adventure if you always stay in your comfort zone.

Also, interestingly, there is quite a few Necropolis sites scattered around the area.

Tombstones from the 12th century

Rain was coming in, so we decided not to stop for too long as we still had a little distance to cover before getting to Mostar. We ended up riding in heavy rain, that fortunately ended before arriving at Mostar.

We rode to B&B Villa Anri, which is run by a really nice lady. It was my second time there. I really recommend this place. Very motorcycle friendly. The location is great, close to famous bridge, Stari Most (meaning old bridge) which was destroyed in the Balkan War and later rebuilt from its original pieces. As much as could be reused.

We got out favorite room, on the roof top with a nice view. Time for a beer.

Enjoying a beer on the roof top terrace at Villa Anri. Time to check the photos taken along the route – and of course get updated on social media.

As weather wasn’t playing along, we ended up staying in Mostar for two days. Weather forecast for Durmitor, Montenegro – which was a day’s ride away – was very depressing with heavy rain and thunderstorms. So we decided to stay in Mostar. There was plenty to see and to do.

Some of the things we try to always do when we get to a new place, is eat the local dishes, and beer. Mostar is for the most part muslim, but you only know when you hear the singing from the speakers.

Opposed to what many think, Islam isn’t necessary all about burkas, and oppression. Just as with a lot of Christian, not all Muslims practice their religion. And while they may not drink alcohol and eat pork, they have no problem serving it to you. Mostar is definitely worth a visit.

Thonny having Turkish coffee
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