On New Year’s Day a few years ago...
This wasn’t to be...
I soon discovered that the general consensus among my companions was to head down to the river, where the local populace, including such pillars of the community as the vicar, the farmer and the pub landlord, were congregating to view daring youthful types strip off and fling themselves from the bridge into the perilous waters.
Noting the 10 degrees below freezing conditions
...my first reaction was panic, but this was obviously a well observed local tradition and who was I to argue? Turns out if there is a better hangover cure than bacon, it's fending off unexpected hypothermia. Indeed, find any community which centres around a body of water and chances are there’ll be some sort of local tradition which involves auspicious folk hurling themselves into it.
A village gathering around the river Honddu is one thing though, Mostar Bridge Jumping Festival is quite another.
It couldn’t have been long after the impressive 20-metre arch was completed in C16th that some bright spark Ottoman decided to launch himself off of it and into the Neretva river below. Not even that pioneering soul could have guessed things would reach this fever pitch.