What I like about my current job is that it allows me to travel to countries that are not a typical holiday destination. Thus, I was three times in Bosnia and Herzegovina and more specifically in the capital Sarajevo. My first travel was in September 2009. At that time I did not know what to expect. I had a vague knowledge referring to the war in the mid-90’s when I was a teenager. So, some 15 years later I started my first travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also called by natives “Snaga BiH”. This is due to the fact that the shape of the country resembles the thigh of a lady.
With a flight of the local air company B&H we landed at the airport of Sarajevo. There were not many passengers on board. We asked our fellow passengers about that. We were told that many people still do not trust much the local airline. Other established European air companies have been preferred even if their flights are more expensive and often not direct.
Well, I cannot judge about it as we landed safely and without any problems. Afterwards I checked some statistics about B&H and I did not find any information about incidents. It is a member of IATA and since late 2008 49% of the company is owned by the Turkish Airlines.
The airport of Sarajevo is rather small. When thinking of the airport in Frankfurt on the Main, I would say that there is absolute no chance to get confused and lose your way.
Sarajevo impressed me with its very friendly and hospitable people. As of 2009 it had about 305.000 citizens, which makes it the biggest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sarajevo is remarkable with its religious diversity. When you walk along the streets in the old city it becomes evident how many different religions have coexisted since many centuries: Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism.
One of the main attractions in Sarajevo is the Cathedral Jesus’ Heart in Sarajevo.
The Monument of the Eternal Flame was built to commemorate the victims of the Second World War. You will find it at the corner of Marshall Tito Street, where the pedestrian area with shops and cafes starts.
Sarajevo is filled with life. Even in the late hours in the warm evenings it is difficult to find a free table to have a drink with friends. It seems that after the war people know how to cherish and enjoy life.
Old Town of Sarajevo
I really enjoyed walking in the Old Town of Sarajevo. It is very charming with its old handcrafts and restaurants. There are a number of small shops selling cutlery, different pots and jewelry.
Miljacka River crosses Sarajevo and east Sarajevo. It is another symbol of the city. There are several bridges that span the river. One of them is the Latin bridge. Close to it is the site, where Gavrilo Princip assassinated Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sofia on 28.06.1914.
Graveyards in Sarajevo
When walking to the east hills of Sarajevo you will see the graveyards covered with white tombstones. It is a sad reminder of the victims in the Bosnian war. It is estimated that around 10.000 people were killed or disappeared during the siege of Sarajevo.
Vrelo Bosne is a beautiful natural park about 10 km south-west of Sarajevo. It is a lovely green park to relax during the weekend. You walk along winding paths, cross small bridges and enjoy the sight of greenery, springs and beautiful waterfalls.
A traditional dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Chevabdzici. This is grilled rolled minced meat (mixed lamb and beef). It usually served in flat-bread and with chopped onion. The restaurants that are serving this dish are called Chevabdzinica.
Pljeskavica tasts almost the same as Chevabdzici. It differs from it in its shape, which resembles the form of a steak.
Another tasty dish is Begova Corba. This is soup prepared mainly of chicken meat, okra, carrots, parsley, celery and eggs.
As a dessert you can try Baklava. Baklava is rather a regional specialty on the Balkans. It is a kind of pastry filled with pieces of nuts and drenched in syrup.
In Sarajevo you can enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee prepared in beautiful copper dzezve. It is an attraction also for the non-coffee-drinkers. The aroma of the coffee coming from the small cups with copper decoration is incomparable. I call it quality of life. You can buy a nice copper set with dzezve, cups and a tray from the market. Prices vary about 20,00-30,00 EUR per set.
Accommodation in Sarajevo
Very recommendable is Hotel Europe located in the Old City of Sarajevo. The hotel is very nice, modern and clean. It is very practical to organise seminars and conferences in the hotel due to its conference hall and restaurant.
Author: Rositsa Sirakova
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