He knows no fear!

My daytrip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2013

Today I was going to go onto another daytrip minibus tour. This time I was crossing the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and in particular to the city of Mostar.

The last time I was in Bosnia and Herzegovina was during the 1990’s civil war when the British Army was deployed on UN and later the NATO SFOR operations. It was no place for a young 4 year old cuddly toy that I was back then.

An old photograph of me on peacekeeping UN duties serving in Bosnia in 1992.

I am the one driving the Warrior armoured personnel carrier.

I am the one driving the Warrior armoured personnel carrier.

I was awarded a medal for my peacekeeping duties.

Me proudly wearing my SFOR medal for service to peacekeeping.

Me proudly wearing my SFOR medal for service to peacekeeping.

Mostar is famous for the Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most recognizable landmarks. The Old Bridge and its vicinity are listed by UNESCO onto the World Heritage Sites List.

During the 1991-95 civil war, the old bridge was destroyed by Croat forces. However, a new bridge was reconstructed after the war and this was opened in 2004. Prince Charles opened the new bridge.

This video footage is of the destruction of the Old Bridge in 1993.

With funding from the international community, a new bridge was built after the war.

As with minibus tour yesterday, Pauevnic Roaiski was to be my tour guide. It was a three hour drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar but we did stop in Počitelj just over the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina for a little half way stop. The historic site of Počitelj is located on the left bank of the river Neretva, the same river that Mostar stands on.

Počitelj has a mix of medieval and Ottoman architecture.

Počitelj has a mix of medieval and Ottoman architecture.

The old fortifications of the town were built in 1383.

Me posing with Počitelj Tower.

Me posing with Počitelj Tower in the background.

Počitelj tower stands over the town and was built during the medieval peroid.

Počitelj  Tower stands over the town.

Počitelj Tower stands over the town.

The influence of the Ottoman Empire is evident in this town.

Počitelj mostly has an islamic population.

Počitelj mostly has an islamic population.

I was exploring the back streets.

I was exploring the town.

We stayed here for thirty minutes before heading to Mostar.

The mosque that stands in Počitelj.

The mosque that stands in Počitelj.

Back on the road to Mostar, I recall to the tourists on the minibus my service in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. They were very impressed by how brave a cuddly toy I was.

Upon arrival into Mostar, I could see both damage from the war as well as newly constructed buildings.

The evidence of war still remains.

The evidence of war still remains.

The Old Town has been completed rebuilt.

The Old Town has been completed rebuilt.

The Old Town is very popular with tourists on daytrips from Dubrovnik.

The main street of the Old Town.

The main street of the Old Town.

Mostar is very popular with tourists now, most of who are daytrippers from Dubrovnik.

It was very busy with tourists.

It was very busy with tourists.

The Old Town and bridge is a World Heritage Site.

The Old Town and bridge is a World Heritage Site.

I was glad to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina since the war had ended in 1995.

Me in Bosnia for the first time since the war ended.

Me in Bosnia for the first time since the war ended.

Since the end of the civil war in 1995, great progress has been made in the reconstruction of Mostar.

The bridge has been rebuilt.

The bridge has been rebuilt.

The bridge was opened in 2004.

The bridge looked just like the Old Bridge destroyed in 1993.

The bridge looked just like the Old Bridge destroyed in 1993.

These days, a popular tourist attraction is watching local dive off the bridge into the river. It is a 25 metre drop. The locals divers charge tourists 30 Euros for them to dive off and to allow tourists to video record them.

Of course some tourists dive off the bridge themselves and get their mates to video record it (for free!)

However, one must jump on the correct side of the bridge so that they will not be jumping/diving off into shallow water as has happened already this year to one unlucky tourist.

I posed next to the Old Bridge.

I posed next to the Old Bridge.

After three hours of sight seeing and buying tacky souvenirs, I returned back to Dubrovnik for some ice cream and girls.

The next day I was flying back to the UK and back to work with the British special forces.

For more information about Bosnia and Herzegovina please visit:

www.bhtourism.ba

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