Sarajevo- A Bucket List Destination!
Sarajevo is a real life story of Survival, Courage but most of all Love.
This city is definitely one of the most interesting destinations I have ever visited – you really need to add it to your bucket list!
WOW – At breakfast I may have tasted the sweetest orange ever – they are grown locally here in Bosnia and are currently for sale at roadside stands. They are similar in size to a tangerine and their taste makes your tastebuds jump.
Our Croatian hosts are just so wonderful. Their smiles are warm and welcoming.
The Turkish tea that they serve at breakfast is certainly an eye opener – almost as strong as an espresso – I could get addicted to it!
The Muslim “Call to Prayer” worked perfect as this mornings wake up call. The singing chants echoed throughout Sarajevo at 5:45am. What a peaceful sound to wake up too. Considering we are in the heart of the city it was a quiet evening – didn’t hear any horns or sirens. The Muslims in this city are pretty modern. Very few wear burqas and they love to drink beer and for Muslims that is pretty unique.
Touring today really opened our eyes. I truly feel that every young person should come to Sarajevo to learn about their 1992-1995 war. If they heard the stores as we did, it might help to make this world a more tolerant place. We just can’t imagine what the Sarajevo citizens have endured. I recall watching our news during that war and was horrified as the reports showed snipers slaughtering innocent people who were often just walking to the brewery as it was the only source of water. There was no electricity, no water, little food – everything had been cut off. The city is surrounded by large hills and there was no way out for most. Surprisingly the locals had the courage to try to live a normal life during this difficult time – schools existed underground in shelters, over 1000 theatre performances were held underground and there was even a Miss Sarajevo beauty contest with a underlying message to the world that this city needed help.
We were mesmerized with our guide as he shared with us wonderful stories of Sarajevo along with ones about the horrors of war. He was 10 years old when Sarajevo was invaded and has leg wounds from that war that remind him daily of those terrible years. Mohamed is so well regarded, when VIPS and celebrities are in town (Morgan Freeman) he is hand picked as their guide. He was also hand picked for my group. We were so fortunate to spend the day with him. His heartfelt stories highlighted the bravery of the locals. He is one of the finest guides I have ever worked with. I wish he would write a book about his life experiences – mine pale in comparison.
Our morning walking tour took us throughout the old town. This part of the city is Sarajevo’s pride and joy. It’s unlike anything else you will see in the world and one can easily explore this area for hours.
Shopping is unique too. I purchased some local made products from a family that has been running their store for over 300 years. I met the daughter first and when her Mother entered the store it was a perfect opportunity for me to get a picture of both of them.
I purchased the round work of art (above) – couldn’t leave it behind…. yes, my suitcase is already bulging!
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is a popular street food.
We loved our lunch. We sat down with locals (no tourists) in a small but packed popular restaurant for a traditional Bosnian meal of grilled meats – brought back memories of my first time in Yugoslavia. This is the type of restaurant I like to include when you “Travel With Bradley” – locally owned, regional food, filled with locals, no tourists other than us. The waitress who was looking after us worked as hard as a beaver and apologized when she needed to put bills in a little container on our table (everything was pre-paid by “Travel With Bradley”) because inspectors often check to make sure bills/receipts have been given out (its a law that bills/receipts need to be given – obviously the government wants to collect the tax).
The afternoon part of the tour was intense as we visited an underground tunnel that some hearty Sarajevo citizens built during the war. This was a lifeline for them. Over 11,000 people were killed in the conflict that lasted 1425 days.
Before dinner we were wonderfully entertained by a local dance troupe and we toured a beautiful historic home (private events just for us).
Dinner was another wonderful experience. The ambiance of the tiny restaurant was wonderful and the cuisine tasted amazing.
The city of Sarajevo is definitely a tour highlight that will hold dear in our heart.