Another nother look at Bosnia…

Sorry. This really should’ve gone in the previous post but I didn’t wanna update it again.

The reason the above picture is in the gallery I just posted may not be abundantly obvious, as on its own it’s not particularly noteworthy. To me it is, for a couple of different reasons.

Firstly from a historical viewpoint – that tower block was one of the ones used by Serbian snipers to camp out in and shoot people while they went about their business in Mostar. That makes it damn interesting, in my book. The tower was shelled during the war and is pretty much destroyed inside and out. That’s why it stood abandoned ever since.

Which is the second reason it’s noteworthy. I, in my infinite wisdom, heard the story of this tower and was told where it was and immediately thought “I shall climb that thing.” And I did. On my own, at dusk, with about a thousand pounds of camera equipment with me, miles from the hostel, with no one knowing where I was. So that ranks pretty highly on the list of stupid stuff I’ve done so far.

As you can see, the inside of the place was literally left for dead after the war and so it’s a complete shambles. This made it a pleasure to stroll through.

It only struck me after I’d actually entered the tower that it might be a good place for local homeless people / criminals / gangs of feral youths to congregate and harass the passing public. At this point I was one or two floors up and hadn’t heard anyone, so I discarded this as a worry for a later time.

Speaking of climbing floors, the stairs were concrete, with cracks in them and no railings or walls at all. Open stairwells to both the outside of the building and the ground below. Good fun to climb. I was determined to make it to the top to check out the view though, as the owner of the hostel I was staying in told me it had wonderful views at sunset.

I did make it to the top, although at that point the wisdom in waiting around for my only source of light to fade and then having to climb back down started to dawn on me. At the top were huge walls that I couldn’t scale to get a view from the highest point anyway, so you’ll have to make do with a picture from about a third of the way up.

At one point there must have been elevators in the building – either that or they needed the huge shafts for ‘worker incentive’ or some such.

As I made my way back down from the roof one of two things happened. Either I started to go slightly mental and started hearing things, or some people entered the tower and were making some noise a few floors below me. This, on the whole, did not thrill me. I didn’t want to make my way down the main stairs that I’d climbed to get to the roof in case there were roving bands of miscreants in the building, so I started looking for alternate routes of egress.

I was in a broken down tower block with no doors, windows, and certainly no emergency exits (unless I could, you know, fly. Or bounce.)

I frantically (and it was frantically, at this point) started running around the floor I was on making as little noise as possible, looking for another way down. I eventually found a tiny little staircase at the back of the building so I started making my way down that way. It was covered in debris, so doing this while attempting to make the noise of a ninja walking on a cloud was a challenge.

Upon reaching the ground, I immediately and with most haste got my ass back out onto the street, and started to make my way back to the hostel. So, that was my tower climbing adventure. Probably ranks in the top three of damn stupid things I’ve done for a decent photograph, but in retrospect it was a lot of fun and definitely worth it.