Welcome to Sarajevo
Sarajevo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
March 20th, 2008 – by: Beingkw
2hour direct flight on British Airways using Airmiles (saving c£200) as there are no budget airlines to this destination.
A benefit of this is that there are almost no tourists! Drivers at the airport are now demanding €15 instead of the €10 listed in the Bradt '07 guidebook and the first driver unceremoniously dumps me after a few minutes circling when he finds another fare (to a further destination)! "My friend take you for €10" - shunting me towards another driver who is, of course, oblivious.
Despite requesting a ride to Pansion Baščaršija, driver no.2 ("I am driver!") takes me to a local home where I can bunk dormitory style for €15 (no thanks, the hostel is half that), then insists I take a look at Pansion Kandilj.
Fortunately, Kandilj turns out to be a fantastic find! Sparkling porcelain, super shower and sanitized toilet, plus a comfortable single bed for €30 including breakfast. Located in Bistrik just a few minutes across the river from the old town.
First port of call is Morica Han - a former caravanserai, whose inner courtyard has been converted into a series of beautiful carpet sellers, cafes, and a restaurant. Here I get my first taste of Bosnian cuisine - the famous Ćevapčići: 10 tasty little sausages served with half a loaf of bread, onions, and a mixed salad. Han does not sell alcohol.
It is already late afternoon and snowing heavily (so much for Spring). Wandering through the old town is amazing: Sarajevo is a delight to behold. The close proximity of the Jewish Synagogue, Catholic Cathedral, Orthodox Church, and countless Mosques with their lantern-like minarets piercing the flake filled night sky gives rise to quite a spiritual ambience and puts me in mind of tales from the nativity. A warming eternal flame burns for the war dead on a street corner, and freshly restored buildings stand proudly alongside their brethren still wearing the scars of shelling. Welcome to Sarajevo.
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