We know it takes at least 4 seasons to really “get to know” your new environment.
And while it already seems much longer, we have only been in Mostar for 6 months now. So, what do we really know?

Well, we are still learning every day! About the weather, for instance.

When we moved to Dubai, people were keen to warn us about the hot summers and the sandstorms. I was told that Dubai basically has 2 seasons: Summer and Hell.
In Changshu we were warned about the depressing winters and the hot and humid heat in summer.
When we moved to Mostar, which is supposed to have a quite mild climate (“Modified humid subtropical” according to Wikipedia) we were warned about 2 specific weather situations: Sandals to Boots Day and the Bura-winds.

In all these instances we felt a combination of slight uncertainty about what to expect, and some unfounded confidence that we have seen some extreme weather and we can handle it.
In most cases we were wrong.

Nothing could have prepared us for the smothering heat in Dubai that seems never ending. Entering your parked car with an inside temperature of +50 degrees Celsius was something we never got used to. Nor walking outside in the evening with a “breeze” that resembled an overheated blow-dryer.

But even the smothering heat from Dubai had not prepared us for the steam-room like humidity in Changshu’s summer. No matter how lightly-dressed, the warm, wet blanket easily took away your breath. Mould would creep up in the house, even with the AC on.

We learned to take the warnings seriously. So, in Mostar we kept an eye out for Sandals to Boots Day; when the sunny summer and autumn temperatures suddenly dropped from nicely warm to freezing cold, we were quick to bring out our winter clothes.
What we also found out, and we were not even warned about it, was the vast amounts of rain that hit in autumn. And not just a day of drizzle with some heavy rains now and then, like we had seen in the Netherlands and China. No, days and days of heavy, heavier and insane rain. Streets covered with whirling streams of ankle-deep water, all making their way down to the Neretva river. Days that you start to sound like Chandler Bing: “could there bé any more rain?"
But this Bura wind…was that really as bad as they say? Come ‘on, we come from a windy country, we can take a bit of wind…

We were wrong, again. Bura is not a wind. It’s a huge, invisible x-ray blowing freezing cold rays of air through your clothes, your house, your car…. through everything. No matter how warm you dress, a Bura blows right through it.
And even when the days are sunny and the temperature is not that low…, a Bura is ruthless in catching your breath. On these days everyone is tucked away in big, furry coats with hats and hoodies covering every inch of the skin. And while we have a solid and warm apartment, we had to keep the window blinds down to keep a little bit of warmth inside the house. Sunny days or not, the freezing wind crept up everywhere.

When we were exposed to a Bura early February we thought that we finally understood what the locals had been trying to tell us all along. Until we were told that “this was nothing yet, wait for a real Bura to hit…”. 😳

Well, that did not happen today. Today the streets were full of people, drinking coffee, chatting, wandering around. They all felt the same vibe: spring is in the air!

Maybe the worst is still to come. But luckily there are 4 seasons in a year, also in Mostar. We have not yet seen them all, but whatever they bring, we know that seasons come and go.

We are looking forward to experience Mostar in spring and summer. When we can finally say that have seen all the seasons and have gotten to know this wonderful, and at times windy place, just a little bit better.  



An attempt to catch the Bura at night, and do not get fooled by the sunny skies!