After doing as much research as we can online, we finally get an address and a little information about Tito’s Partisan Cemetery. It was opened in 1964 by Tito himself. It suffered considerable damage during the 1992-95 war and fell into a state of disrepair afterwards. It was cleaned up and restored in 2005 and proclaimed a National Monument of Bosnia i Herzegovina in 2006. It has recently been abandoned again and today is a victim of abject vandalism, graffiti and litter.
Nowadays nobody goes there.
Except Mike and Dionne!
We walk along the bottom of the big hill topped with a gigantic white cross. Ever since I arrived in Mostar, this cross has given me an uneasy feeling. It feels oppressive. Besides I don’t understand what is it doing looming above what is supposed to be a mostly Muslim city? Granted it stands on the Croats’ side of the divide.
As we get closer to our destination, we start feeling vaguely uneasy; although I can’t quite put my finger on it, I know we have entered another world. We are parched and I decide to sit at a one-table terrace bar we come across. Mike doesn’t like it. Pretending to need the facilities, he goes inside. He comes back and says quietly, almost a whisper, drink your tea and let’s go; now. Of all the men inside the very dark room filling racing sheets, not one looked up to say hello – an extremely unusual thing in Bosnia! There is palpable tension. It is very obvious the server has never served before in his life, this bar is just a front. I doubt any tourist has ever stopped here. We must have startled them.
We still have a few blocks to go. Everything around us has changed. The atmosphere is heavy. Men stand outside their shops and watch us suspiciously; we are not welcome here. Our smiles and “dobr’ dan” no longer break the ice. It’s a warning…