Mostar - In The Footsteps of My Father - 28th Mar 2013

The Mostar Bridge in Bosnia Herzegovina:

"We came to Mostar by bus, which is totally different from anything we expected. It is a much bigger industrial area and only one tiny area of picturesque nature, where the famous bridge and the tiny streets of old Turkish houses still remain. There are many mosques showing the Turkish influence. We at first wanted to come on to Dubrovnik, but decided against it as we wanted to make the journey in daylight. We were rewarded by being able to see the bridge floodlit at night" 

Destroyed in the Serbo - Croatian War:

So wrote my mother in October 1972, and little did she know that in November 1993 the bridge that had stood since 1557 would be destroyed in the Serbo-Croatian war.
The Old Bridge, or Stari Most spanned the Neretva River, and when it tumbled in pieces into the river, the mortar inside, which contained pink bauxite, turned the water red as it fell. Locals said their old friend was bleeding.

Rebuilding the Bridge and the Country:

It took longer to rebuild the bridge in the 21st Century, but in July 2004, at a cost of $13 Million, the new Old Bridge was inaugurated and now stands again as a symbol of reconciliation.
Mostar is still rebuilding, and bullet holes and destroyed buildings are ugly reminders of the scenes we witnessed in the nineties on the nightly news.

Following in their footsteps forty years on:

I had seen the painting of the bridge that my Dad, Tom Esplin had completed, and I was drawn to Mostar like a magnet. In October 2012 we were in Split and a day of rest presented the opportunity to take a bus ride the two hour journey to Mostar for a day trip. 
My camera and I finally found the ideal viewing spot from another bridge downstream and the precious photograph assisted me this month to complete a watercolour of the iconic scene, and gave me another chance to connect with the travels of my parents over forty years before me.

View images by clicking this link:
Mostar - In The Footsteps of My Father

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