Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Part Two

While on our way to Croatia (again) we stopped in this small village in the Bosnian-Herzegovinan countryside to explore for a few hours and enjoy a sunny lunch on the river banks. 
^^ This is the famous Mostar Bridge. An iconic and historical landmark that was destroyed during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s and only recently rebuilt. Mostar is essentially equated with this bridge and its history. It became an international symbol of the destruction of the wars.
The view from the bridge: a mosque, a turquoise river, terraced outdoor dining, a red barn and mountains.. not usually elements you see all together in one picture! 
I could probably write a whole blog post about this delicious food staple in Eastern Europe called börek. It is in the pastry family with a flaky dough base and filled with goodness. As far as fillings go, I stuck with the cheese or cheese + spinach böreks, but I also saw many meat varieties. Pictured here is a miniature cheese börek (top) and a slice of a cheese + spinach börek (bottom). I ate no less than five of these over the course of academic travel. What can I say? They were the perfect savory afternoon snack!
And then on our way out of Mostar we stopped somewhere in the middle of the Bosnian countryside to see these mysterious gravestones. They look pre-historic but historians are pretty sure that they are for a group of Bosnian Christians that existed somewhere in the 1400s/1500s.  Next to nothing is known about this group, but our professor really wanted to see the tombstones.. so we did.

And thus concludes the Bosnian portion of my Academic Travel posts! Such a cool country to visit, with a rich and complex history that involves a strong Ottoman Empire influence, a devastating/recent war and everything in between. Bosnia isn't your typical tourist destination, but I loved it all the same!

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