Saturday, April 25, 2015


A beautiful day in Sarajevo.  There were a few possible titles for this post as I was considering both City Of Tears and The Happy Bosnian for reasons that will be soon apparent.  Up early and wandered around the old Turkish bazaar quarter, an easy walk as the hotel is right in the middle of everything downtown.

Another great place to be continuously and gloriously lost.

I had originally thought to latch onto the local short walking tour but the enrollment wasn't enough so I sneaked onto the Times of Misfortunes tour where a guide who had lived through the the siege in the early 90's brought the group around to significant points of that era.  It was a far far far more than that.  Through this former city policeman's life story we got not only the story of the siege but also of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Standing up at the White Fortress over looking the whole of the city I was brought to tears as he went through the sequence of events that led up to April 1992 and then unfolded over the next 1425 days.

We then headed across town passing places of worship of 4 of the major world religions (Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish), some of the 1984 Olympic sites and to the airport site of the Tunnel.  Cut off from the rest of the world the city's only connection was through a hand dug tunnel that ran under the UN controlled airport.

Eventually there were electrical power lines (12 Megawatts) and a diesel pipeline installed but mostly the city was supplied 40kg at a time on the backs of the citizens.

After the tour it was back to the bazaar where the streets had become packed, not with tourists but locals.  Locals of every walk of life were out enjoying the beautiful spring afternoon.  There were huge groups dressed up to the nines, I can only imagine there were several weddings taking place.  There were the typical packs of roving teenagers doing what typical packs of teenagers do.  And there were the young and hip heading out to the bars on typical Saturday night.  I found a seat at an outdoor table on one of the main strolls and ordered my meal - The Happy Bosnian, a grilled meat roulade stuffed with all sorts of stuff from all over.  It was perfect.

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