Mostar

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Mostar is a student city on the surface (engineering underneath) sitting abreast the fast-running Neretva riverwhich neatly and unfortunately divides the town into Muslim and Croat areas. The famous bridge, built by the Ottomans in their golden era was an ornate, engineering marvel. It was destroyed for tactical but most symbolic reasons by the Croats in 1992 bringing Mostar into the international spotlight. The sad fact that it takes the loss of a bridge rather than life to galvanise the international community is not lost. Rebuilding the bridge was again a Western attempt to symbolically rebuilt the city spirit. That has barely happened of late but at least all is peaceful in the sun.

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The river can be heard everywhere. It gives the city shape but also a false sense of coolness. For it was hot especially amongst the tourist hoards and twisty streets of old town. The cobbles were cool so I walked barefoot around. The old town is all Turkish stalls and shops selling all manner of shite. The bridge itself is small and impractical for anything other than tourists.

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The more interesting parts for me (aside from meeting a cool, old dude) were the destroyed buildings further away, on both sides but primarily the Turkish side. Ruined warehouse sized buildings stand testament  the random destruction of the war. Beyond the tourist trade there is little money to fund renovations. They, like Bosnia itself look beyond saving anyway. The reconstruction of a society input from more than an engineer to bridge.

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