We did the last thing last summer and I would suggest you do the same. We went to Mass in Medjugorje and then had lunch there and proceeded to Mostar. We were a bit apprehensive about everything too but I don't think you have anything to worry about. The people of Mostar were very welcoming and it was neat to be there. The bride is a must! It is a great photo opp. Depending on when you are going you might also have the chance to see someone jump off into the Neretva from the bridge. I think the jumper in his speedo waits for tourists to offer him 25 Euro to take the plunge.
Most of the time we spent in Mostar was spent shopping on the Muslim side of the river. There is a long cobblestone street that you walk along and just stop and shop in whatever place you want to stop. This area was full of tourists from all over the world. I did feel safe when walking around this area, but there is still quite an uneasiness about the place. I am sure that the wounds have not fully healed in this place and it hopefully will heal as time goes on. The scars of war are still evident throughout the city, on both sides of the river there are still bombed out buildings and pock marks all over other buildings.
This being said I think you are still ok. I think the city of Mostar is pretty dependent on trying to get the tourists back here to spend some money. All of the shopkeepers were very pleasant and very happy to see us. The only problem we had was being followed by a bunch of gypsy children who continued to ask us for handouts, only to be chased away a few times by the police. They were very persistent though!! On my next trip to Croatia I will make every effort to get back to Mostar and maybe even spend a night there. We had planned to spend a night there in our last trip, but backed out after we made our reservations. We had the same concerns as you have and decided not to stay there. I would love to stay there in the future though. All in all our day trip from Dubrovnik was well worth it. To be a such a holy place like Medjugorje and then to go to Mostar was one of the highlights of our last trip. Have a great trip and get yourself to Mostar!
Just got back from Balkan trip. I would opt not to stay in Medjugorje and stay in Mostar. We spent 3 nights in Mostar and loved it. We had no reservations and just showed up. Pansion Oscar in the old town was fantastic www.pansionoscar.com . Pansion Botticelli looked even better. www.bhtourism.ba
We organized a day tour with a local guide Feda (fegya) Ibrulj (firstname.lastname@example.org) who spoke great english. He brought us to Blagaj, Pocitelj, kravice, and Medjugorje. We set it up throught Almira, who, to my dismay, takes a 50% cut.
Mostar is recooperating, slowly. The people are wonderful, we spent an evening talking with locals drinking coffee. The best part was when a tour group walked by and took a photo of my brother and I with a local Bosniak -- the three of us chuckled -- he only got 33% true Bosnian in that pic.
Have a wonderful time. It is a truly moving place.
We ended up staying in Mostar from 1 -4 p.m. It was great. WE had a local guide meet us at the Franciscan Church and she took us around. WE went to the Turish home, to the free picture museum about the old bridge and then wandered around on our own. I didn't buy anything, but took LOTS of pictures. Great place!
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