Three main reasons the world has heard of Sarajevo are:
1. The murder of Franz Ferdinand which started the First World War;
2. The Winter Olympics of 1984;
3. The epicentre of the war in Bosnia, the site of the infamous siege, which was lifted only after the NATO bombings in 1995.
Sarajevo today appears a peaceful yet exotic place swarming with life. In a word, Sarajevo is unique.
Welcome to the Pigeon Square, the centre of the historical Ottoman area of Baščaršija, where the touristic nerve centre of the city lies:
Continue reading Sarajevo
Having decided that my first rendez-vous with the Balkans on this trip was way too short, the only question to be answered was how to find a cheap and efficient way to get there from Estonia. Generally speaking there is not a wealth of options to get out of Tallinn, but I found a secret exit – an Estonian Air once-a-week flight to Split. I’d been to Croatia before, I’d even been to Split before, but my real destination was different. Bosnia and Herzegovina! And tentatively there was a bus from Split to Mostar.
The road though turned out to be an interminable ordeal. First the bus to Mostar was outrageously late – instead of leaving Split at 10:55, it left at 12:30 – by that time I’d been waiting for it at the Split bus station for 4 hours. The bus station there is ridiculously uncomfortable: too small for the quantity of tourists, no announcements, everybody tries to squeeze by everybody with all of their bags. It’s a nightmare. Luckily I have got my downloaded podcasts and they help me to fill such otherwise useless time with some content. Once we got on the road, a terrible thunder and rain starting falling on our heads (or rather the roof of the bus); I had the impression that the bus turned into a submarine navigating the bottom of the sea. There was an interminable wait on the border to top it off.
But finally after a long slog through the mountains the clouds cleared and suddenly from a mountain ridge we saw Mostar.
The Old Bridge, raison d’être of the town of Mostar. The very name of Mostar comes from the word most – bridge.
Continue reading Mostar: a town from a fairytale