The last few days have been packed with activities per usual. Life has continued to be pretty great. I went to Hvar and Split in Croatia over the weekend and it turned out to be one of my favorite excursions of my time abroad. Sadie and I got into Split at 4am and then caught a boat to the island of Hvar an hour later. We got off the boat in Stari Grad a couple hours later.
Stari Grad is quite small, but it has charm, peacefulness, and beauty that pretty much no other city I have seen can compare with, and that is saying a lot. Stari Grad, which literally translates to “Old City,” was established over 2300 years ago, so it is a fitting name. The buildings and streets of Stari Grad make you feel like you are living in another time, but in a very authentic way. Some places you go to seem like they have lost some of their unique character as the years pass, the city modernizes, and many tourists visit. I do not think that that is the case here. Once you walked past the beaches and got into the city, Stari Grad just felt like it is the way it is meant to be.
My day in Stari Grad was incredibly enjoyable and extremely relaxing. It is hard not to relax in such a wonderful place though. Sadie and I essentially went from coffee, to swimming, to exploring the town, to wine, back to coffee, to hiking, to swimming again, etc. It was so nice to just hang out and enjoy life. In the evening we caught a boat back to Split. After getting shown to our apartment for the night, we promptly went out and checked out Split’s late night scene. Even though I had not really slept the night before due to our travels, I had no trouble getting in the mood to go out on the town.
After getting back from Croatia, I was also able to witness a couple of major annual events in Mostar. Sunday was the last day of Ramadan. It was neat to see how people celebrated around the city. Many people, myself included, had a day off of work on Monday for Bajram (Eid al-Fitr).
There was also a bridge jumping and diving competition on Sunday afternoon. People from across the region came to jump off the Old Bridge. I have seen people jump before, but never this many people. It was really cool to watch it all play out. I had a prime viewing spot from a nearby bridge. The competition lasted for about two hours. This video is not from this year’s competition, but you can get an idea of what the event is like.
This is now my last week in Mostar. I begin my journey home on Sunday and will be back in Minnesota two weeks from Thursday.