Great city, Awesome views

Today was a beautiful day in Sarajevo. Not that the sun was fully out but that it didn’t rain and I’m grateful for that. I started my day really late because I’m so not a morning person. The good news for me is that the city is not so big, so I was able to get a lot done today.

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Sarajevo, like many Bosnian towns, is surrounded by houses on hills and it just makes the views absolutely amazing. The diversity of religion here is also amazing – I mean on the same street you have a Mosque, Cathedral and Synagogue. You can see traces of the Ottoman Empire and Austrian architecture all over the city. You can still see some buildings with scars from the war and most places outside of the old city has new buildings and you can see that it is fast developing.
In the old city, water doesn’t run between midnight and 5am – it is a way to regulate water use I guess. I find people here to be nice and friendly – the ones that speak English always try to help you. I feel like a bootleg celebrity because most folks here stare and smile at me because of the caramel color of my skin – a couple even asked to take pictures with me. This is random info but I find that most Bosnians are very intelligent and you can find a lot of professionals amongst them – most people here take education very seriously.

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Anywhoos, I started my day by walking from the old city (where I am staying at Traveller’s Home Hostel) to the National Museum (which is currently closed) and then I  walked to the Museum of Arts History, which is right beside the National Museum. The Arts museum looked dead inside, so I didn’t bother going in. I continued walking using the “a day through Sarajevo” guide I found in the hostel as a guide. I went behind the museum and took a stroll along the path filled with trees called Wilsonovo Šetalište along the Miljacka River. I walked all the way down to the end of the street and then back towards Skenderija sports complex. I took a different route back and discovered the Old Bridge that led me to the Ali Pashina mosque.

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You may not know this but Sarajevo apparently has the cleanest tap water in Europe. It’s so good that drinking water here is free in restaurants unlike in other European countries. Nothing tastes better than fresh spring and mineral water right from the source. Sarajevo is greatly blessed with natural springs.

I stopped to write part of this post at one of the many shopping complexes Sarajevo has to offer while waiting to meet up with a new friend for coffee (cafés are a big deal in Bosnia, so make sure you indulge in Bosnian coffee before leaving) in a few hours at Eternal Flames. So I’m sure you’re wondering how I have a friend in Bosnia. Yes, one of my very good friends in London has a very good friend in Bosnia but she lives in Banja Luka which is 3hrs from Sarajevo. And since she couldn’t meet up with me she linked me up with her best friend in Sarajevo. “Zero” degree of separation. You see, who woulda thought i’d make a friend in Bosnia. The one thing I enjoy most about diversity and traveling are the endless opportunities and experiences that are waiting to be discovered in our adventures.

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I’m so glad I met up with Selma, she’s such a great person, host and tour guide – you honestly cannot put a price tag on good people – she is one of those people. She just met me but has mentally mapped out how she can make this trip of mine unforgettable – my trip just took a different turn for the best. We went to Hotel Hecco for coffee and enjoyed a great view of the city. After coffee, we met up with her friend, picked up the car (luckily she has a car) and we drove around Sarajevo. We drove to the top of the hill by the fortress to enjoy the view of the city. After taking tons of pic from up there, we drove down to Ilidza – a little town connected to Sarajevo – for a different view of the city. We stopped at Pizzeria Ilidza for pancakes. After, we drove back to the apartment for dinner. We had traditional Bosnian food called Sogan-Dolma and Sarma, which is really good. The rest of the night will be spent relaxing and chilling.

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I had an awesome day 2 in Sarajevo. This has set really high expectations for my trip – I hope I can keep up. The sun is out and I hope it’s here to stay for the rest of the trip. I want to visit the city of Travnik tomorrow and I want the weather on it’s best behavior.

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