Kapoor Year 14A: Croatia And The Balkans travel blog

We Arrived On A Sunday Evening In Sarajevo, It Was A Little...

No Worries, We Had A Decent Meal And Fended Off Three Teen...

This Is How The Street Looked The Next Morning, Old Yes, Much...

We'd Had To Hump Our Luggage Up Two Curving Flights Of Stairs...

But Once We Opened The Security Gate And Then The Door To...

We Set Off Again To Walk Marsala Tita, The Main Street That...

A Sculpture On An Older Building Opposite The Central Bank Had A...

A Little Further On The Road Split In Order To Pass By...

This Gorgeous Building Is The City Market, Not So Lovely Inside, Stalls...

The Street Was Now Pedestrian Only And As We Neared The Old...

Three Guesses Why We Were Drawn Into Checking Out Their Extensive Menu

It Wasn't Yet Quite Noon And Locals Eat A Little Later So...

We Ordered A Dish Of Assorted Vegetables Stuffed With Meat And Rice,...

We LOVED The Serving Dishes, A Little Reminiscent Of The Moroccan Clay...

The Courtyard Was Open To The Sky And We Could See The...

The Minaret We Had Been Admiring Belonged To The Ferhadija Mosque Complex...

I Stepped Inside To Have A Better Look, This Is Where Worshippers...

The Leafy Courtyard Was Relatively Quiet That Afternoon, But Its Very Busy...

Just Opposite The Mosque Stood A Row Of Silver Jewellery Shops, Some...

Vicki And Anil In Sarajevo, Don't We Blend In Well With The...

We Continued On Through The Pedestrian Street Till We Reached A Large...

I Was Drawn To A Sign Posted Near The Centre Of The...

Anil Had Read About This Old Fountain Made Almost Entirely Of Wood,...

Just Beyond The Fountain Colourful Old Trams Run Along Mula Mustafe Baseskije...

We Plunged Into A Narrow Lane Commonly Referred To As Coppersmith Street

It's Not Hard To See Why, There Were Even Artisans Working On...

After Passing Through The Dozens Of Amazing Eateries We Emerged Near The...

It Was Built By The Austro-Hungarians In 1898, Seriously Damaged During The...

We Turned And Walked Along The North Bank Of The Miljacka River,...

This View Is From The Famous Latin Bridge, Up High You Can...

We Turned Back Into The Old Town Again, I Loved The old...

It's Now Filed With Over 70 Shops Selling Souvenirs, Trinkets, Scarves And...

On Our Back To Our Apartment We Passed The Sacred Heart Cathedral,...

It Was Hard To Get A Photo Without Someone Sitting Literally At...

I Thought The Face Looked Familiar, And Indeed It Was, It's A...

Instead Of Heading Back 'Home' We Decided We Should Eat Some Traditional...

Unfortunately Smoking Is Allowed Inside And Out In Bosnia, But We Managed...

What Luck! When We Stepped Inside We Found They Were Making The...

I've Never Seen Anything Like This Style Of Cooking, They Also Cook...

I Meant To Get Back And Take A Photo Of A Burek...

After Our Meal, Anil Ordered A Turkish-Style Coffee And Was Surprised to...

We Had A Lovely Chat With A Local Woman Sitting At The...

Now, Time To Walk Home, We Passed This Sculpture And When I...

Here Is The Sign, A True Event That Took Place During The...

The Nearby Monument Is Dedicated To The More Than 1600 Children Who...

The Monument Sits At the Bottom Of A Lovely Park, We Passed...

We Weren't Entirely Sure About These Clearly Muslim Headstones, They Appear To...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Eastern Europe chapter Bosnia has to say about Sarajevo:

“In the 1990s Sarajevo was besieged and on the edge of annihilation. Today, its restored historic centre is full of welcoming cafes and good-value lodgings, the bullet holes largely plastered over on the city’s curious architectural mixture of Ottoman, Yugoslav and Austro-Hungarian buildings.

Ba????ščaršija

The antique stone-flagged alleys of Ba????ščaršija give the delightful old town core a certain Turkish feel. Directly north and south, steep valley sides are fuzzed with red-roofed Bosnian houses and prickled with uncountable minarets, climbing towards green-topped mountain ridges.

Centred on what foreigners nickname Pigeon Square??, Ba????ščaršija is the heart of old Sarajevo with pedestrians padding pale stone alleys and squares between lively (if tourist-centric) coppersmith alleys, grand Ottoman mosques, caravanserai-restaurants and lots of inviting little cafes and ćevapi eateries.

Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque

Bosnia’s second Ottoman governor, Gazi-Husrevbey, funded a series of splendid 16th-century buildings of which this 1531 mosque, with its 45m minaret, forms the greatest centrepiece. The interior is beautifully proportioned and even if you can’t look inside, it’s worth walking through the courtyard with its lovely fountain and the tomb tower of Gazi-Husrevbey off to one side.

Sarajevo City Hall

Storybook neo-Moorish facades make the 1898 Vijenćica Sarajevo’s most beautiful Austro-Hungarian-era building. Seriously damaged during the 1990s siege, it finally reopened in 2014 after laborious reconstruction. Its colourfully restored multi-arched interior and stained-glass ceiling are superb.

The ticket also allows you to peruse the excellent Sarajevo 1914-1981 exhibition in the octagonal basement. This gives well-explained potted histories of the city’s various 20th-century periods, insights into fashion and music subcultures, and revelations about Franz Ferdinand’s love life.”

Žuta Tabija

To gaze out across Sarajevo’s red-roofed cityscape, one of the most appealing yet accessible viewpoints is from this chunk of old rampart-bastion, now sprouting mature trees and a popular place for picnickers and canoodling lovers.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

It seems to me that the majority of people who visit the Balkans come for the beautiful scenery and historic buildings along the Adriatic coast, most of them on the hundreds of cruise ships that ply the Mediterranean during the spring, summer and fall months. While I can certainly appreciate the attraction, we don’t travel on cruise ships because we want to be free to wander and make up our own itineraries as we go.

Also, we like to see more than the tourist hot spots, and hope to avoid the worst of the crowds wherever possible. However, when we were searching for flights into the region, we decided to head straight for Dubrovnik and then travel in a circle through Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina before returning back to the coast to lazily drive from Split to the Istria peninsula and then on to Zagreb to end our trip.

In this way, we could see all the historic places first and then end our time away by lazing by the sea, poking into quiet little fishing villages and enjoying the quiet season once most of the cruise ships slow things down for the winter. For me, Sarajevo was an absolute must – it’s figured in so many historic events over the centuries, many of which we are old enough to remember many of the highs and lows that occurred.

I knew we would learn a great deal about the break-up of the former Yugoslavia during our time in Sarajevo, but because I typically don’t so a lot of research about a place we’re going to visit, I didn’t know that the city had such a vibrant and beautiful old town centre, much of which dates back hundreds of years.

I know that there’s a book entitled ‘The Cellist of Sarajevo’, a book I haven’t read, but plan to read once we are home from our travels. This is what I learned about the book from the Internet, “The whole tale behind The Cellist of Sarajevo is a fictional work based on the true story of Vedran Smajlovic who actually played Adagio in G Minor for 22 days to mark the death of each of the 22 people killed in the street queuing for bread.”

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