Sarajevo

Arrived mid-afternoon after three flights with two smooth connections in Munich and Vienna. Beautiful day all the way. I had a window seat coming into Sarajevo which is surrounded by mountains, some still topped with snow. The overall impression was lush and green. I would have been surprised if I hadn’t read Tim Clancy’s Bradt guide on the plane which goes on with some passion  about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s largely undiscovered natural resources and the urgent need to protect them. 

My guide and translator Irfan met me at the airport and whisked me off for a coffee so we could discuss the week’s plans. Then he treated me to a Sunday meal at his parents’ house!  I had my first taste of the traditional meat pastry called the burek and the thin yogurt drink that goes with it. Both delicious.  Tired though I was I even had a taste of the proffered local spirit made of plums which my guidebook tells me is called Sljivovica. Irfan and his father took me to a window in the apartment and  pointed out how close the front line had been during the war and described life in the building when Sarajevo was under siege. 

Then a meeting with a prominent journalist and a friend of his who works as a translator at the International Criminal Tribunal  for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague. And after that an interview with a lawyer and sociologist and founding member of a new multiethnic party hoping to shake up the political landscape here in coming months.

Took in the sunset from a hillside above the old city in a park full of young people  chatting and laughing and wiling away what was left of Sunday.

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3 responses to “Sarajevo

  1. Have a great, fruitful week, Jeb. And go easy on the Sljivovica..

  2. Hi Jeb! It’s your niece, Emily!

  3. Jeb,

    I’m glad to hear you made it to Sarajevo, one of my favorite cities. Bosnia may be small but, as you’ve already begun to discover, it’s a really stunningly beautiful country (not even so small in a European context — it’s 25% larger than Switzerland, with almost as many mountains though not quite as towering as the Alps). I hope you get to see a lot of it and to speak with many Bosnians before you leave. I wish you a productive and enjoyable stay and a smooth trip back.

    Best,
    András

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