Just a few hours south of Sarajevo, Mostar feels like a different world. It is closest destination in Bosnia to Dubrovnik, Croatia and as we entered this mixed Croat/Bosniak city in Herzegovina, we fell back in love with the Adriatic landscape that enticed us to return to the Balkans to begin with – particularly the drama of the mountains plunging into bright blue-green waters.
Mostar is one of the Balkan’s most well-known gems and it is a-bustle with tourists who stop by for an hour or two during the day; it’s even the cover of the current Lonely Planet Southeastern Europe guide book. There isn’t much to do in the town itself aside from take pictures on and of the eponymous bridge and, for the those who dare, jump off the bridge. That said, it’s well-worth the stop, especially as a point to relax and break up the drive to Montenegro or Croatia, and a great base from which to go out on day trips and excursion in and around the area.
The famous Mostar Bridge
Where to Eat, Drink, & Stay
Admittedly somewhat touristy, we enjoyed great food at Sadravan and Konoba Taurus, and drinks at the fun Black Dog Pub overlooking the water, included the locally brewed OldBridz brown ale. We stayed right in town at Villa Fortuna, which has the most charming inn keeper, if not the most reliable internet.
from the drive down to Mostar from Sarajevo
On our travels from Denmark to Iceland, we had a short stopover in Sweden, which, despite uncooperative weather (blustery rains from start to stop), we really enjoyed.
We began by visiting the Vasa Museum, which houses the eponymous Viking warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. Located on the island of Djurgarden (Stockholm is comprised of 14 islands), we then took the ferry to Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old city, and one of the world’s best-preserved medieval towns. Gamla Stan also is home to many of Stockholms best cafes and restaurants – and more importantly, the majority of the handful of restaurants open on a Sunday evening.
From Gamla Stan, we took the T-Bana metro back to Normalm, where we were staying, stopping at Icebar at the Icehotel/Nordic Sea Hotel along the way. Despite the kitsch, the atmosphere was fun and the drinks were cold (vodka + lingonberry juice, anyone?). With the summer sun, it was still light out when we left, creating the illusion our one Stockholm day was not as brief as it really was.
Where to eat: We loved Kryp In in Gamla Stan. Housed in a cozy space in Gamlsa Stan, this top rated restaurant serves beautifully presented traditional Swedish food, such as baked smoked salmon, dill potatoes, and bleek roe.
Where to stay: I’d aim for the neighborhoods of Normalm or Gamla Stan to be centrally located near the city’s top sites.
Amusement Park on Djursgarden overlooking Gamla Stan
Vasa Museum, Stockholm
Filed under Europe, Sweden