After a long bus ride meandering through the lush forest and green hills of the Bosnian countryside we arrived in the capital city. Sarajevo is known as the meeting point of cultures in the Balkans. With mosques, synagogues, and churches filling the city it has a rich history of tolerance and homogeny. Unfortunately, it also has a recent history of war with the longest siege ever, which remains as a weight many residents bear to this day. Scars of the past remain as the progress of a bright future rises all around. This is an amazing city and should not be over looked when visiting the Balkans.
When arriving at the bus station we were greeted with smiles and hugs from our cousins Jessica and Goran Vuk who were gracious to host us and showed us amazing Bosnian hospitality. Goran being a chef and Bosnian led us around the city to sample many specialties such as chevapi, pita and made Klepe for us one morning. Their newest venture is opening a restaurant called ‘Bon Appetit’. This is very exciting coupled with tons of hard work and tough decision making. We were grateful they allowed us to help and use our restaurant experience to translate their menu to make an English version. The menu looks great and Sarajevo diners are lucky to have a new upscale restaurant in ‘Bon Appetit’.
Unknowingly, we were visiting them on their second anniversary. In the midst of their restaurant planning they didn’t have any special plans, so Zane cooked them an anniversary dinner as Katie served them Cava and wine. Our hope was to give them a special night off.
Our days in the city were spent walking around the relatively small downtown area seeing all of the historic sights such as the Latin Bridge (where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia took place and marked the start of WWI), and many of the religious buildings. Walking along Sniper Alley, the main boulevard, which during the Bosnia War was lined with snipers’ posts, shows the the remaining physical damage in the city. There are also many fountains that have delicious drinkable water flowing from them and one is shrouded in lore that if one drinks from it they will come back to Sarajevo in the future. Looks like we’ll be coming back! Jessica also took us on a stroll through one of the many parks that leads to the source of a large spring, which bursts from the ground and creates the stream that runs through the park.
Our time in Sarajevo was filled with family, food, and history. We thank Jessica and Goran again for the hospitality and look forward to the next time we see them! As there is a vast, beautiful countryside in Bosnia we would have loved to see more of it. But unfortunately, the country was in a state of emergency a few days before we arrived because of flooding and many areas were unreachable. Keep the people affected by this natural disaster in your thoughts.
More Pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/105315223482012434599/Sarajevo
Currently, we are in Dubrovnik, Croatia and then on to Kotor, Montenegro in a few days. Our route will then take us back into Croatia for 2 weeks until we fly to Italy to meet Katie’s parents. Lastly, our final 2 weeks will be northwestern Italy. Its hard to believe there is only 6 weeks left in our journeys abroad!