Sunday Special – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Situated along the beautiful Neretva River lies Mostar, a city of cultural importance to the southern region of the Herzegovina area. Despite being one of the most heavily bombed cities in Bosnia during the Croate-Bozniak War, following the breakup of Yugoslavia, it has rebounded by rebuilding much of what was damaged. Today it is a popular destination for travellers (summer and fall mainly) and is said to have a festive and spirited vibe.

Among the most well-known and well-loved landmarks in Mostar is the Stari Most (The Old Bridge). In 1993 huge sections of it fell into the river during the war. Easily considered the heart of the city this 16th century Ottoman bridge was restored years later. Portions of it were even retrieved from the bottom of the Neretva. It is the pinnacle of the river and the pride of the city. It also is where Mostar Diving Club members gracefully dive 24 m/78.9 ft into the Neretva’s chilly 12C/53.6F waters.

Mostar’s Old Town is another popular area of the city. Admist the Medieval Ottoman style architecture that is prevalent you can find some pretty mosques and houses, such as the The Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque and The Biscevica House. And for something completely different and random, there is a Bruce Lee statue in the city as well.

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Stari Most (The Old Bridge) in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by Mark Ahsmann

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Interior of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Mostar – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Stephen Hense

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Sunday Special – Pont du Gard, France


I tell ya, those ancient Romans had a pretty long reach (though not as much as Genghis Khan had in his day). The Romans traversed far. With them they brought some fairly cool inventions of the time. Today’s special is one of those: the Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard in the south of France. 

This three story stone aqueduct, which looks to me to be in quite good condition, was built around 50 BCE to move water to the Roman city of Nimes. It is almost 50km/31 miles long and is the tallest of the aqueducts constructed by the Romans. In 1985 it was claimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  

Sunday Special – Ephesus, Turkey


A city beyond old, Ephesus was built around the 10th century BCE. It has seen much through the various ages including Bronze, Archaic, Hellenistic, Classical, Roman and Ottoman. Located in the Izmir province of Turkey it is close to the city of Selcuk. It was a main port in centuries past and was a key player Roman and Byzantine eras. Once it was under Ottoman rule in was eventually abandoned in the the 15th century CE.

Today it is a plethora of historical ruins. It is the location of the Temple of Artmeis, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Serapis, Basilica of St John, the Terrace House, the Scolasticia Baths and much much more.

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Celsus Library, Ephesus. Photo credit: Taken and owned by Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Muller) via Wikimedia Commons

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Terrace Houses, Ephesus – Photo credit: Taken and owned by Rita124 via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday Special – Hadrian’s Wall, England


The reach of the ancient Roman Empire was quite an expanse. At the time of Emperor Hadrian (117 – 138 CE) parts of what is now modern-day north Africa, Turkey, Europe and England were under Roman rule. In hopes of preventing invasions from the northern “barbarians” and to maintain his northernmost border Hadrian had the wall built. This wall, much of which remains standing today, runs 117.5 km (73 miles) from east to west from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway in Northern England. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visiting this ancient wall is relatively easy. Many sections have cycling paths or can be seen on foot. Hadrian’s Wall Path spans the length of the wall and is often quite close to it.  Walks, farms, castles and Roman history can be experienced at many places along the wall. Additionally, it is completely unguarded, thus allowing people to touch or stand on it should they desire. Though one may want to remember that doing so may damage this part of English history.

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Portion of Hadrian’s Wall near Housestead, England (photo is Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)


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Remains of Housesteads Roman Fort along Hadrian’s Wall (photo credit: Owned and taken by Mediatus via Wikimedia Commons)