We are planning a trip in early June that would take us from Dubrovnik, to Mostar (1 night), to Korcula, to Kotor (2 nights) and back to Dubrovnik. Given the recent unrest in Kosovo and Serbia would you expect American travellers to run into any trouble? If anyone has experience or an opinion on this topic, I would appreciate your comments. Thanks in advance.
Excellent advice from all posters, Rhett. If 'twas me, I'd take a bus Dub to Mos; the driving situation described on this site is not overstated. Where you're going you shouldn't come close to Rebublika Srpska but if you do, be prepared for all the road signs, etc., to be in Cyrillic. The recent Kosovo/Banja Luka/Belgrade incidents should not affect your travel plans. You'll know by June where it stands and can make changes accordingly. If you decide you'd like to see a bit of the countryside around Mostar, I'm sure your hotel/B&B/homestay will be able to arrange a driver if you let them know in advance.
Thanks to all for the great input. This is an excellent way to gauge issues. I'm leaning towards driving but using great care and bulding in time. Of course, no night driving, etc... I've driven in many countries and we tend to prefer the independence. The issue of 'american visibility' is something we've dealt with in the past and we always keep a very low profile. I like to think if you handle yourself right you can actually counter stereotypes given the right conversation and opportunity. Again, this type of input from everybody really allows one to roll-up a decision, many thanks.
Individually, you have nothing to fear from Serbs. Just avoid crowds of angry looking young men. But, Mostar is in the Muslim-Croat Federation area of Bosnia, so you shouldn't run into many Serbs. Bosniaks and Croats tend to be somewhat pro-American (but less so than Albanians), so you should not run into any trouble based on your passport. But of course, petty crime knows no national predjudice.
The Cyrillic alphabet shouldn't pose a problem. I found that on most of the major roads in regions where the Cyrillic alphabet is the native script (ie, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro), the signs use both Latin and Cyrillic script, although this may have changed since I last traveled to the region. But as already mentioned, your route avoids Republika Srpska.
in august 07 we drove from Split to Dubrovnik, but the coast road was a parking lot, so we went east up into the mountains, which was gorgeous, then south along the Bosnian border into Bosnia just west of Mostar, then down the fjord to where Bosnia bisects Croatia. It was a beutiful drive, and we encountered no problems anywhere we stopped.