or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › And let the Vacation begin......
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

And let the Vacation begin...... - Page 309  

post #9241 of 9418
The city was built in a long river valley that could be easily protected, with high mountains all around and the Miljacka river gushing out of a narrow gorge at one end. This has resulted in ‘rings’ of architecture, with the original Turkish settlement now forming the Old Town at the very end of the valley, then ornate rococo architecture making a ring around it, dating from 1870 when the country was occupied and taken over by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Beyond that, we have 30s buildings, 50s and 60s constructions from Communist times, and then New Sarajevo from the 70s, consisting of tall apartment blocks for the workers and ugly concrete complexes of shops and facilities. Many buildings from all periods were destroyed by shells in the war, but now there is some splendid new architecture rising up, as well as careful restoration of buildings of historic value. Sarajevo was under siege for almost 4 years, from 1991 till 1995, and there are many marks of that time, including far more cemeteries than most cities have, reflecting the 10,000 civilians killed.

As we leave the airport there is a site that symbolises the siege years when the city was completely surrounded by heavy guns, and people got shot from the hills as they walked in the streets. The citizens built a tunnel going under the airport runway, and for a long time it was the only way out of the city. They used it to bring back foodstuffs, oil, and other essentials, and also sometimes to get their children away from the fighting. Now the first 20 metres of the tunnel have been preserved as a museum, a poignant reminder of a terrible time.

The house under which the tunnel started.

Inside the tunnel:

post #9242 of 9418
So Sarajevo has seen no fighting for almost 10 years. BTW, how do you get to Sarajevo? Do visitors need visas and what is the money called?
post #9243 of 9418
No, there has been no fighting here since 1995, when the Dayton Peace agreement was negotiated, guaranteeing the borders. You can get here by air direct from Vienna, Milan, Zagreb, Munich or Budapest. Those cities all have connections with major airports anywhere in the world. Of course, you can drive here, going through Croatia or Serbia. Most tourists and visitors from the west do not now need visas for short visits, though it is best to check with the BiH GOvernment website to be sure. As for money, the currency now is called two things - usually we call it the KM or convertible mark, though on currency exchanges it is sometimes called the BAM (BA standing for Bosnia). There are around 2 KM to a Euro, and many shops and restaurants here will accept euros.
post #9244 of 9418
As we reach the main road into the city you will see the new glass tower that is home to ‘Oslobodenje’, the newspaper that kept publishing every day of the war, from a one room basement after the building was destroyed around the journalists. I have a picture of the burnt out shell alongside the new construction, proving you can’t silence free speech.

post #9245 of 9418
BTW, what is the local favorite dish?
post #9246 of 9418
Oslobodenje, what does it mean?
post #9247 of 9418
I hope some other people will join us before lunch, and I will take everyone through the local cuisine! Can you and the cats wait a short while?
post #9248 of 9418
I'll be around for another 10 minutes. It's dinnertime here!
post #9249 of 9418
We will drive the 12 kilometres from the airport straight along the valley, to the Hotel Saraj, a new hotel that looks straight down the valley and has wonderful views of the mountains and the old city.

Hotel Saraj perched above the river Miljacka

This will be your base for the next two days; as the weather is at last improving I thought some of you might want to take advantage of the swimming pool! I will leave you to get settled in and then we will have a tour of the old part of the city, the Turkish ‘Bascarsia’ ( the same word that gives us ‘bazaar’). The hotel has a bar and coffee house, though you might want to wait to sample the real thing in one of the old coffee houses in the town!
post #9250 of 9418
Yayi, the food here is a wonderful mix of middle eastern/central european and mediterranean. All Bosnians love sweet things, so there are many kinds of cakes and pastries. I will show some pix later.
post #9251 of 9418
It's beautiful!
post #9252 of 9418
Thread Starter 
I also didnt know there hadnt been any fighting there for 10 years. Thats great!!
and yes you cant stop free speech can you - thats just an amazing comparison between those 2 pictures. I bet there are many stories similar to this in a city so wreaked by all the fighting. The tunnel is another amazing example of this. You cant stop free speech and you can not stop human nature protecting themselves and doing all they can to survive - its just great to keep these images as reminders too.

so glad we are here Jenny - I am so looking forward to learning more about Sarajevo unfortunatly its Friday evening here and I wont be online long tonight - but there is always tomorrow
post #9253 of 9418
Here is something which is almost the national dish - Cevapi, or little square meat patties, madde with onion and spice added, then grilled and served in flat bread with optional onion salad and 'kaymak', which is like sour cream. It is the Bosnian version of a hamburger, and at lunch time the streets are full of the delicious smells from the stalls and fast food places that sell them.

post #9254 of 9418
If you are suffering from jetlag a shot or two of strong Bosnian coffee will soon put it right! It is like Turkish coffee, without milk and has sugar and spices in it. It is boiled up to make froth, and served in the little brass jugs it is made in. Be careful not to pour the grounds into your cup – they are bitter and grainy.

For those who prefer tea, Bosnian tea is always fruit tea, but very refreshing. Or there is delicious fresh lemonade. Bosnians spend a lot of their free time sitting having coffee and watching the world go by.

post #9255 of 9418
Yayi - I am sorry, I just checked back and realised I didn't answer your question about 'Oslobodjenje', the newspaper. Its name means 'Liberation'. Bosnian people's names often have meaning and it is ironic that the first name of Milosovic, the Serb dictator who more than anyone else was responsible for the war is 'Slobodan', which means 'Freedom' while his wife was Mira, 'Peace'!
post #9256 of 9418
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Bosnian people's names often have meaning and it is ironic that the first name of Milosovic, the Serb dictator who more than anyone else was responsible for the war is 'Slobodan', which means 'Freedom' while his wife was Mira, 'Peace'!
wow that is ironic!!

can I have some fresh lemonade please
post #9257 of 9418
I would just like some coffee!

I can't stay but checked in to see where we were. Eager to see this, Jenny as you know since my Uncle is there, I will try to check in today during lunch if I have time but I'm short staffed today .
post #9258 of 9418
Our tour of the old town will begin in Pigeon Square, the centre of the old Turkish town, where the big public fountain is a regular meeting place.

(Pigeon Square)

Don't let the cats catch any pigeons - we will not be popular!

The square is full of little shops and cafes, and is the gateway to the pedestrian streets that form the Bascarscia.

We will walk down to the Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, built in 1531.

As it is Friday, the Moslem Holy day, people are praying and we cannot go in.

People come here to pray every Friday, and those who can’t get in stand outside. Women and men pray separately. This Mosque was very badly damaged but has been fully restored, including a beautiful fountain in the courtyard outside
post #9259 of 9418
Thread Starter 
TIPSY!!! CEDAR!!! come back here!!! did you not hear Auntie Jenny?????


ACK!!! boys!!!
post #9260 of 9418
Jasper! Don't you dare touch one feather on those pigeons!

Stories from this area back in the mid-nineties left me so depressed. I kept remembering the broadcasts that Good Morning America did during the 1984 Olympics and how diverse the population was.

I'll not regale you with how I would butcher the dictator's name...

Jasper, you may only have one cup of that coffee. You'll be bouncing off the walls...

To late...
post #9261 of 9418
This is the fountain in the courtyard outside the Mosque.

There is another public fountain on the street corner that has a legend attached to it - anyone who drinks of it will always return to Sarajevo. So be warned - I drank it years ago, and so have all the people I know here!

Beyond the Mosque is the old gold market, now full of trendy little boutiques, and then we suddenly find ourselves out of the Turkish part and we could be in Vienna. The buildings are Austro-Hungarian and covered with plaster decoration.

The Catholic Cathedral

Here we find the Catholic Cathedral, the Orthodox Cathedral and an old Jewish Synagogue, all within 100 meters of each other, giving proof of Sarajevo’s multi-cultural heritage.

In between the two cathedrals is a square where old men play chess, whatever the weather!

post #9262 of 9418
Are there still metalsmiths in the old section. I recall them from broadcasts back in 1984.
post #9263 of 9418
If we hit the shops we can see the craftsmen at work. There are metalworkers, leather workers, painters and jewellers. There are no real department stores in Sarajevo - mostly people buy from small shops and stalls.

Craftsman in his shop.

Here are some examples of things to buy, all handmade on the premises.

post #9264 of 9418
I find some souvenirs macabre, like the brass cannon shells and bullet cases that are engraved and made into everything from pens and pepper pots to umbrella stands.

But rugs, lace, some brass jugs and dishes are good value, and you can always buy original works of art from either shops or street artists. Carpets are good too, though hard to carry home. And I can’t guarantee that any of them will be magic flying carpets!
If you know what you are doing, gold jewellery is a favourite too, and there is a whole street devoted to it. Other shops sell only pottery, or carved wood.
Football is a craze, so there are shops devoted to team badges and shirts!

post #9265 of 9418
I'm off to the jewelry makers! I want to see what kinds of things they make. Maybe get some ideas for some of my projects.
post #9266 of 9418
You can buy gold, made into chains or brooches, and filigree silver in the shape of birds, flowers and many things. The jewellers import amber and turquoise as gemstones.
post #9267 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Hi Guys. Welcome to Sarajevo. The TCS bus awaits! As we drive from the airport let me tell you a little about the city, its history and geography. It is of course the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the 6 countries that used to be part of Yugoslavia in the Balkans. Here is a hyperlink to a map showing where Bosnia is in relation to the rest of Europe.

You can find Sarajevo and Mostar, the two cities we will visit in these short two days.

In the early 1990s Yugoslavia split apart in a horrific series of ethnic wars ( I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs of that now), and the 6 republics became independent. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only truly multi-ethnic country of the 6, and that is reflected in its rich diversity of architecture, culture, food and clothing. As well as lovely people, it has some of the most beautiful countryside, mountains and rivers, in the world, and we will have time to visit some of my favourite sites.

Sarajevo’s name comes from its origins as a trading centre in Ottoman times (Sarai means caravan) and it was always known as the most diverse city in the Balkans, often called the ‘European Jerusalem’. Before the wars it was home to Moslems, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Jews and others. We will see evidence of all these peoples as we go round.
Jenny, thank you for your warm Welcome!!!
post #9268 of 9418
Hey there, welcome to Sarajevo! You are in time to join us on a tour of the bridges.

The River Miljacka has a whole series of bridges through the city, some really old, over 500 years or so, some modern.

The most famous one is called the Latin Bridge, though people here often refer to it as Princip’s Bridge, as it is where Josip Princup shot the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, the event that set off the 1914-18 World War. Sadly, Sarajevo has figured in so much violent history over the last century, but now its people are trying to establish a happier reputation.

All along the river there are cafes and beautiful architecture of all periods.

This new pavilion will be open as a cafe within weeks.

But I suggest it's time for lunch and we will go to a typical Bosnian restaurant, the Inat Kuce, which is on the river bank.

I suggest you try the ‘Pita’, pastry stuffed with meat, cheese or spinach, all delicious.

Burek – Pita stuffed with minced lamb

Polenta, or maize meal, done in the Bosnian way, is also good, baked in the oven and topped with cream and cheese.
Or there are small kebabs, or veal soups. Cevapi are square Bosnian sausages served with sour cream and onion in flat bread – our version of a hamburger!

The Sarajevo Brewery is just around the corner and its beer is excellent, not too heavy. Or there is fresh lemon juice, yoghurt drinks, and of course, Bosanska kafa (coffee!) served with Turkish delight. If you can face a dessert then the apples stuffed with walnuts are recommended.

For those who have the energy after lunch, we can continue our walk to see some examples of Ottoman and Austrian architecture, mixed with some horrible examples from the Communist era.
post #9269 of 9418
After lunch you can walk in almost any direction and find something of interest, and you are never more than a mile from the hotel.
The NAtional Library was burned during hte war but is now almost restored.

The Fine Arts Academy used to be an orthodox church

You can always see the mountains from any street in the city

Ottoman architecture adorns the city; these tombs are ont he hillside over the old town;

When you get tired of walking stop at a Slasticarna or cake shop - there are viennese style cream cakes or Arabic nut and honey confections.

post #9270 of 9418
Hi Jenny and anyone else who's around...I've missed a lot of the vacation, but am managing to be here some today. Sarajevo is fascinating, Jenny, I'm enjoying the sights, and I think I'm about to grab one of those cevapi -- they sound wonderful and I'm starving! [insert here short trip to cafeteria to find something much less interesting to stuff in my face while I play -- back shortly]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
This thread is locked  
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › And let the Vacation begin......