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And let the Vacation begin...... - Page 310  

post #9271 of 9418
Hi there Rapunzel, welcome to the tour. Sadly, you cannot come to Sarajevo without seeing evidence of the war, as it is all around you. As you see the many cemeteries you realise how many graves are new, and belong to young people.

As you walk around the town you will see holes in the pavement stones that have been filled in with pink or white paint. These are called ‘Sarajevo roses’ and are the remains of where shells landed. They are kept as memorials.

And of course, as well as actual ruins, there are many scars of war on buildings that remain standing. This is the gutted parliament building, still unrestored.

But much is being rebuilt, and Sarajevans have a pride in their city that means they keep it spotless – there is no litter to be seen anywhere, and the many parks are kept full of flowers all summer long. The Eternal Flame is a memorial to those who were killed, and people come here to lay flowers.

post #9272 of 9418
We always think about the Moslems, Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholic) who constitute the main three religions of the region, but it is worth taking a minute to learn about the history of the Jewish community here. For a thousand years, Sarajevo prided itself on being an intellectual and cultural haven that welcomed people of all faiths and races. Many Jews who fled Spain and Western Europe during the persecutions of the Middle Ages came here, where they set up schools and universities. One of the most enduring symbols of Sarajevo is called the Haggadah, a beautiful handmade illustrated book dating from 1350, which was brought here by a Jewish family fleeing Spain, probably in 1492. It has been rescued from war and hidden from invading armies three times in the last hundred years and is now in the National Museum.

Sadly, the Jewish inhabitants did not fare so well – they were put into concentration camps by the Germans in the 1914/18 war, then by the Nazis and their collaborators in the 1940s, and finally most of those who were left emigrated or were driven out in the last conflict. The central Jewish synagogue is now an art gallery, but the old Jewish cemetery is a spiritually uplifting place to visit.
post #9273 of 9418
Hmmm...it's sad to see the scars of the war, but heartening to see the spirit of the people reflected in the restorations.
post #9274 of 9418
Yes, especially among the younger generation, who now really want to build a modern, tolerant society.
post #9275 of 9418
For dinner tonight we can go to the Park Princeva, a restaurant that overlooks the whole city, a beautiful view as the lights go on. The food is good too! Excellent veal, cooked a number of ways, pasta, seafood

Park Princeva

Then it’s time to hit the town! The more intellectually minded can go to the Opera in the National Theatre (Tosca tonight) or there are a number of jazz clubs, coffee bars with music, and loads of bars. If you are lucky you may find a display of local dancing or a ballad singer in one of the bars.

The local wine from Herzegovina is pretty good, red or white, and you can try rakija, strong spirit made with plums. Not many barmen know how to mix cocktails. One great place is the bar/restaurant attached to the Brewery, with a variety of local ales and beers, wines and a great atmosphere till 2 in the morning or later. It was after a night here that I found my little Persil, black with oil, crouching under a car. There are also some nightclubs and even a casino, the Coloseum! Taxis are cheap, so you can easily get back to the hotel. Have a great night, and don’t forget we are off to Mostar in the morning!
post #9276 of 9418
Hi Jenny, wow great tour. I'm learning a lot about Sarajevo. The picture's are great, the food looks delicious. I think Gordo is still playing with the pigeon.
post #9277 of 9418
Jasper, you've had one too many Cevapi.


I'm still at the cake shop.

I think I'd like to see some of the traditional dances.

Jenny? Out of curiosity. What does your neighborhood look like? Is it is an old or modern area?
post #9278 of 9418
Thanks for showing us around today. I've enjoyed looking back and catching up!
post #9279 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson
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.
post #9280 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson
If we hit the shops we can see the craftsmen at work. There are metalworkers, leather workers, painters and jewellers.

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

I like this pair of slippers!
post #9281 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson

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.

post #9282 of 9418
Well, I hope everyone is recovered from whatever you did last night, as the TCS bus is waiting to take us through the mountains of Herzegovina. southeast of Sarajevo, to the city of Mostar. This is normally a 2 hour journey, but with the magic of a virtual tour, it will be less of course, and we will have plenty of time to see another couple of things in Sarajevo as well as on the way to Mostar.

First, we will make a stop at one of my favourite museums in Sarajevo, the Turkish House. This is a completely preserved and furnished house, which belonged to a wealthy family in the 19th century. It is a perfect time capsule of Ottoman life, with the harem quarters, the visitors' rooms and pretty courtyards. Don't get the word 'harem' wrong - this was certainly where the women lived, but men have never practiced polygamy here, and the harem was merely the centre of the house, its seat of organisation and usually of power, as all domestic arrangements were left to the wife, and often also the grandmother, of the family. Under Islam women could own propertyand were respected, but lived their social lives apart from men. Bosnian Moslem women never covered their faces but wore head coverings, which some but not all, still do today.
post #9283 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson
You can always see the mountains from any street in the city
post #9284 of 9418
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jennyranson
You can always see the mountains from any street in the city

wow that certainly is amazing
it reminds me a bit of some Austrian cities where you can also see mountains from whereever you are.
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Ottoman architecture adorns the city; these tombs are ont he hillside over the old town;
I just love ottoman architecture
post #9285 of 9418
Gemlady - to answer your question, I live on a hill in a side valley, where I can get into town in five minutes but I have the peace of what is almost countryside! I have a house and garden, with an orchard and fields by the side of the house, where the cats can play, and incredible views across the valley. I used to live in town but it was too cramped and noisy.

post #9286 of 9418
Thread Starter 
sounds wonderful Jenny
post #9287 of 9418
It is lovely here - I shall be sorry to leave, though the house I have bought in France is similar in its views.

On the way out of town this morning we will see some of the restored apartment blocks of New Sarajevo. These were first built in the 60s and 70s, were badly damaged in the war, and are now quite in demand. Bosnians like to paint their houses and flats in a variety of colours!

We leave the main city via the suburb of Ilidza, which used to be a spa centre and is gradually attracting visitors again. Near here is also the source of the River Bosna, which gives the country its name. It is a favourite place to go at the weekend for families and lovers! You can hire a horse and carriage to take you round or you can walk.

post #9288 of 9418
Thread Starter 
oh gosh... are you moving to France? did I miss that somewhere? sorry
when are you moving?

wow they surely do like to paint in bright colours dont they!! good on them I say!!

oh the park looks marvellous
post #9289 of 9418
And now we are heading southwest towards the mountains of Herzegovina, whose name means ‘Dukedom’ and refers back to mediaeval times when it was a separate country. Today the population are mainly Croats, though some cities, including Mostar, have Moslem or Serb communities, Sadly, this is still often a source of friction, not diversity.

The road is spectacular, through mountains, gorges and river valleys.
There are many tunnels on this road, some without lighting, which makes them dangerous.

You never know what you will see round a bend – Bosnians often take their sheep and cows onto the main roads.
post #9290 of 9418
Yes, I have bought a little farm in Normandy, with space for horses and of course lots of safe room for the cats. But whether I will move this year or next is in the lap of the Gods right now!
post #9291 of 9418
Thread Starter 
sounds totally wonderful Jenny

I am about to go out for dinner so I will be back in a few hours
post #9292 of 9418
Originally Posted by jennyranson
You never know what you will see round a bend – Bosnians often take their sheep and cows onto the main roads.
It's like in the rural areas in the Philippines! It's not sheep though, but water buffalos
post #9293 of 9418
You hit one of those, you're in trouble! What often scares me here too is that an old person or very young child will be given the responsibility of leading a cow along the road grazing as they go. They never look out for cars or trucks, though thankfully there are fewer army tanks or convoys these days.
post #9294 of 9418
So what can a motorist do? Cruise slowly behind or do they move if you honk?
post #9295 of 9418
I just move out and give them a wide berth! I am frightened of scaring the animals and making them bolt. It can happen anywhere - there is very little (12 kilometres or 8 miles) of motorway and so it is a constant danger.
Mind, in bad weather this road can be dangerous enough!

The road soon follows the Neretva river, one of the three main rivers that cross central Bosnia. It flows right down to the Adriatic sea. The river is known for its bright blue/green colour, which I have variously been told comes from algae or dissolved copper. There are fish farms all along it, so it must be considered safe!

post #9296 of 9418
Even if it is dangerous, I think it would make a great "cycling" adventure!
Okay gang, breathe the cool mountain air! Aaaah, feels good!
post #9297 of 9418
You do see bikes on the road sometimes, but sadly it is VERY dangerous to go off roads or marked paths as there are still many thousands of landmines around the country. The government is slowly clearing the land and opening it to tourism, but as international aid has almost disappeared (other priorities) it is a long process.

All along the way you see other streams emptying into the Neretva river.

The river widens out in several places to form lakes where there are fish farms and tourist spots. You can hire canoes and kayaks.
Jablanica lake is part of a massive hydro-electric scheme on the river
post #9298 of 9418
Herzegovina is full of spectacular rocks and mountains.

You can walk up to see these natural formations and go rock climbing.

Not far from Mostar the river goes through a deep gorge

The suddenly it opens out onto farming country where there are tomatoes, fruit and cereal growing (not at his time of year!)
post #9299 of 9418
And finally we reach the ancient city of Mostar, for hundreds of years a symbol of learning and diversity.
post #9300 of 9418
Rock climbing? Not me! I'll stick to canoeing!
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