Eastern Europe really is a treasure trove for travellers. From incredible architecture and epic nightlife, to gorgeous mountains and beautiful beaches, this diverse and delightful part of the world really does pack it all in. That’s not to mention the fairytale castles, the quirky coffeehouses, the rattling trams and the fiery Rakija! And who can forget the people, wild, welcoming and a whole lot of fun, from the Baltics to the Balkans, the Bulgarians to the Bosnians, I doubt you’ll ever be made to feel more at home…
For those seeking adventure, head to the ancient Bosnian town of Mostar where on can get their high by jumping off a historic bridge into a fast-flowing river. Welcome to the annual traditional diving competition. For those who won’t dare to do this, here’s a glimpse of what takes place. | Would you dare take this leap of faith?
It’s a place straight out of a fairytale: deep forests, bottomless lakes, rivers that pour out of gaping holes in the mountainside, waterfalls, crystal clear azure seas and a thousand islands dotting a coastline where Roman ruins, medieval city walls and arcane necropolises sit amongst modern buildings that bear the scars of war. This complex and misunderstood (by Americans, at least) part of the world is rich with history and natural beauty, and it’s an underrated motorcycling destination—which is why I was so excited to experience it on Adriatic Moto Tours’ Adriatic Riviera Tour. Slovenia-based Adriatic Moto Tours (AMT) specializes in introducing motorcyclists to the lesser-known destinations of Central and Eastern Europe, far from the typical crowds of tourists, and showing off the region’s 2,000 years of culture and history.
Thirteen years ago, in 2004, in front of the newly renovated Old Bridge in Mostar, a monument of the 0 category on UNESCO’s world heritage list, 650 liters of coffee were made while divers competed, and the citizens of Mostar drank 8,000 cups of coffee.
The largest coffee pot in the world in a sense became the protected sign of BiH tradition and cultural heritage. The coffee pot has become a regular guest at virtually all cultural manifestation both in and out of BiH. It steals all the attention from other attractions.
The huge coffee pot is an attraction of its own, while a million people from across the world at various manifestations and events, such as the World Expo 2010 in China and the World Soccer Championship in Brazil in 2014, have drank coffee from it.
For more than three decades Semir Kazazic-Miro has been leaping from a bridge and plunging 70 feet into the ice-cold, fast-flowing waters of the Neretva River below.
Since the span was originally built in 1566, the Stari Most — or “Old Bridge” — Mostar’s main attraction has been a place where residents show off their high-diving skills.
The Stari Most has also been a prominent symbol for the peaceful co-existence of Muslim Bosniaks, Christian Croats and mostly Orthodox Serbs.
Yet rising tensions between the ethnic groups following the collapse of Yugoslavia culminated in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, that left an estimated 100,000 people dead and nearly two million others displaced.
Despite sniper fire and heavy shelling from the nearby hills, Kazazic-Miro and his fellow divers continued to jump from the landmark through the war.