Miscellaneous: Bosnia and Herzegovina is a rapidly developing country, therefore an up to date guide book for independent travellers is highly recommended.
I must admit that it was quite difficult to find any guide books about the country.
As Mostar is a very popular day trip destination from the Croatian cost, it is sometimes even covered in books about Southern Croatia.
In our accomodation in Sarajevo we found the Bradt travel guide - Bosnia and Herzegovina which covers all sorts of information from historical background and descriptions of the sights to practical information about public transportation, accomodation and restaurants.
Also before the trip I read a lot in the German travel guide Trescher - Bosnien und Herzegowina which has very detailed background infos about all sights. Unfortunately, this guide is not available in English.
Bradt Travel Guides:
- Budget Travel
Through the Embers of Chaos - Dervla Murphy
Miscellaneous: I have read many of Dervla Murphy's books, most of which I have really enjoyed. 'Through the Embers of Chaos' charters Dervla's travels through the fcountries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania in the immediate aftermath of the Balkan conflicts. The engaging and informative read gives an unbias and very human account of the legacy of the war on the people of these countries. Murphy visits towns and cities which made the headlines during the conflict as well as the less documented areas affected by the conflict. My favourite of Dervla Murphy's travel writings so far. An essential read for anybody wishing to learn a little more about the former Yugoslav countries and Albania before travelling there.
New Europe - Michael Palin
Miscellaneous: Michael Palin's Book 'New Europe', is an interesting read for anyone visiting any of the contries in Eastern Europe. In the travellogue style book, Palin visits all of the countries of the Ex-Soviet Bloc and the countries of Eastern Europe which were once only the haunts of the most intrepid of travellers. From Estonia to Albania and from the Czech Republic to the Ukraine, Palin delivers an engaging, thoughtful and well constructed account of his travels, with attention to detail and an insught into the culture, history and politics of these countries.
The BiH chapter in Palin's Book covers Sarajevo, Mostar and Medjugorje in detail.
Lonely Planet - Eastern Europe
Miscellaneous: I'm a lonely planet fan. I find the lonely planet series of books the most informative and easy to use guide book out there and their Eastern Europe guide is my Bible when travelling around this part of Europe.
The Eastern Europe book doesn't have the detail you would expect from individual country guides but is a handy book to bring with you if visiting several countries in one trip. Although bulky it does mean you won't need to carry anyty other book. I don't rely too much on guide books when actually in a place but I do find them useful to decide on where to go and how to get there.
The BiH section of the Eastern Europe Section gives good background history to the country in general and Mostar and sarajevo in particular. Ir also has advice and tips on Travnik, Jajce, Banja Luka and Bihac as well as the surrounding towns of all of the above.
Free map of Mostar
Miscellaneous: During our two days in Mostar we also visited the Tourist Information Office to get some free brochures and to ask for info about the local transport to Blagaj.
The girl in charge was very helpful and spoke English very well.
We also picked up a free map of Mostar, as well as a brochure called "Mostar - Come Discover". The latter one not only included a map of the city, but also small photos of the sights with brief descriptions.
The Tourist Information Office can be found at Rade Bitange street 5; just about 200 metres west of the Old Bridge.
- Budget Travel
If Going to Mostar's Old Town...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: wear flat, rubber soled shoes!!! Walking up and down the stone paved hill is tough to do in heels. I saw a group of girls holding each other up trying to get down the hill, and they were only wearing small heels...it's slippery, full of gaps and not evenly paved. Not conducive for heels....trust me!
Luggage and bags: If you go by coach take a bag that you can also stick your feet on top of to stretch them on a long journey. Also one with plenty of space for souvenirs.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Decent shoes are important. When you are walking around some of paths are steep and especially the paths in the old town are made out of old stone which was a little bit slippery. (I still wore nice sandals but they weren't with ankle breaking heels).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: When the wind gets up then you find that all the dust from the damaged buildings can get in your eyes. I have contact lenses and after wandering around for several hours I could hardly see anymore. Take something soothing to wash your eyes out with just in case. Failing that - camomile teabags soaked in lukewarm water and laid on your eyes come a close second. (If you don't need them you could always drink tea!)
Photo Equipment: Film for flash and not only sunlight. As you see my pictures turned out a bit dark but I got them on CD as well and with digital pictures you can always play around later!
Miscellaneous: If you are travelling by bus then I would recommend ear plugs (loud Bosnian music was played all night) and a cover for your eyes (lights were on all night too!)Umbrella if you know it will rain although a windproof one is advisable!
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