Day 12 – Tito’s Bunker

We decided to stay in Mostar for an extra night, to give us the opportunity to ride about an hour and a half north to visit a facility called “Tito’s bunker“. It was recommended by Almir when he suggested our itinerary a few weeks ago.

Here’s some information from Wikipedia to get you up to speed on what it’s all about:

In 1953, as the Cold War was heating up, President Tito directed the Yugoslav People’s Army(JNA) to begin work on the ARK bunker. In the event of nuclear war, the complex was designed to function as a centre of military operations and a shelter for both the Supreme Command staff and Tito, along with his family and close associates. Its construction and existence were among the most closely guarded Yugoslav military secrets of the time and remained so until the 1990s, when the ARK was revealed to the public.

In 1979, it was completed after 26 years and US$4.6 billion in construction costs. After Tito’s death in 1980, the complex was mothballed but kept ready in case of war. In March 1992, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, the JNA general Milutin Kukanjac, ordered its demolition to deny it to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was prepped for destruction and rigged with explosives, but two military personnel sabotaged the plan by breaking the wires during evacuation. The military detachment later surrendered the structure to the Bosnian government.

The ride north this morning was absolutely beautiful. The road took us through some mountain valleys, with winding roads that were amazing to ride. It reminded me a little of riding through Franconia Notch in New Hampshire, except it went on for over an hour!

As we got closer to the site of Tito‘s bunker, the road narrowed to a single lane, and the asphalt was broken up. We eventually arrived at a closed gate. Instructions on the gate said that someone would be out to see us at the time of our tour.  The place looked abandoned. There were about a dozen of us gathered there waiting, it just didn’t seem like we were in the right place. There was really no parking area and everyone was just lined up alongside the road.

Eventually, someone did come out and opened the gate and told us to drive into a parking area up the hill. The buildings were old and in need of repair, and were camouflaged to keep them hidden. We eventually walked through an opening that lead straight into the mountain. The bunker was a horseshoe shaped facility with bedrooms, dining areas, and meeting rooms along the sides.

Blueprint of Tito’s Bunker

Diesel fuel tanks to power the generators

Air conditioning system made by Carrier, a US company

Encoding and decoding machines used for communication outside the facility
The center blocks were used for systems that kept the facility going. One block had a couple of massive generators along with some diesel tanks and another was the ventilation and air conditioning system for the whole facility. The place was massive, and you could appreciate the amount of work that went in to building it. Interesting fact…Tito never got to see the place.

We arrived back in Mostar around 4:30 and Suzanne got us settled in to our new apartment.

View from front of apt

View from side of apt
Even though we were back in Mostar, unfortunately, the apartment we stayed in last night was not available, so we found a new spot just around the corner. We walked down to the river looking for a swimming hole and found one just below the famous old Mostar bridge. There was a deep swimming hole, but the current in the river was quite strong so you had to get yourself right back to shore.

Here goes the old guy again 🤪

This guy showed me up…😳
Evening was beautiful with temps in the low 70s, so we took the time to walk the city again and enjoy how beautiful it is. Dinner was at a restaurant serving traditional Bosnian food. We opted for another fish plate.

Great Bosnian fish plate

The highlight was three trout each cooked in different ways. Glenn…eat your heart out!

Old Mostar Bridge

On the bridge looking at the old town of Morstar

Beautiful night view

Tomorrow, we plan to visit the Kravica waterfalls here in Bosnia before heading back to the coast to spend more time in Split. Should be another fantastic day!



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