Rain, a great tour guide, an evening view from the mountains, and a new friend
Sarajevo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
January 22nd, 2009 – by: delsol67
This is an email that I sent my family and friends from Mostar. It's about my first day in Sarajevo. It reined all day and only let up as the sun was about to set. SO....the only pics are evening shots, atleast for this day.
so.....iäm traveling. thus far on this trek rob and i have been to vilnius, lithuania.....wonderful, kiev, ukraine......cold and interesting.....but not rushing back, from here rob had to return home, to work....someone has to pay the bills. my good will amabasador job isnät paying well.....haha. anyway, i ventured on to sarajevo, bosnia and hercegovina.......amaying city sitting in a picturesque valley.....just wait until you see......its just hard to believe.....its so beautiful and the people are so friendly and english speaking. now, i am in mostar in the hercegovina region...its capitol. its just breath taking......a retreat. its hard to imaging all the fighting and death that occured in these 2 places. it has been enjoyable. i am here until sunday morning when i return to sarajevo for one more day. i will then go on to belgrade serbia for 4 days and then meet rob in krakow, poland.
everyone......this time in b and h is definitely a big one for me........i wish you could experience it the way i am.i feel so very differently about this beautiful and a bit sad place......whose people just want to share. i was walking up the hills to the north of sarajevo ........the view of the whole city and surrounding mountains is said to be quite inspiring.....and it really is. anyway, i met this young guy walking his dog. i said hi. he asked me if i was a tourist. i said that i was and that i was really enjoying his view of his city. he said that he was very glad that i made the effort to see this view, to him, the most beautiful view in the world. what a nice moment that we shared this view, together. he is a basketball player and plays all over europe and middle east but his dream is to make it to america some day and play.
I also went to the Turist Information center and asked about a city tour. The lady told me that she could make a call and see if the tour guide would come for one person. She did ......I received an amazing amount of information in the 1 1/2 hours that she spent with me. Her fee was 15 euro but, I gave her 20. She is a student at the university.
After the tour, I walked around the Old town, taking in the bazaar and the Turkish quarter. The Turkish quarter is where the coppersmiths practice their art. Each and every shop has hundreds of sculpted, molded, pressed, or etched designs in copper.
I walked into one shop that had especially nice works on display in the window. I looked around and was in amazement at what detailed scenes he was able capture in the metal.He was very happy to explain his process and even show me. He told me of the many gallery showings that he was fortunate enough to have had. His work had been shown in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janiero, and other places, also. He also spoke about the war. He told me about how he and his family, most of them, made it through. He told me his thoughts on his country now and it's future. He had concern about Republika Srpska and the eventual war that he expected with them. This wouldn't be the last I would hear of that. I listened to his stories and opinions for over an hour. He just wanted to be heard and especially by someone who would share he words with others outside the Balkans.
I left his shop, after buying one of his small pieces. He gave me a cd of one of his showings as a gift. I continued from there through the area where there were many shops with textiles; coats, shoes, socks, rugs, wall hangings, table coverings, and just beautiful woven samples of designs from the past.I found a woven panel with a colorful Bosnian design that I would later see in the Ethnographic Musuem in Beograd. It is just amazing.
After stopping at a grocery and a short break back at the room to have a late lunch / early dinner, I headed back out for a walk along the river. I walked across the old Turkish bridge to the other side. I continued toward the steep hill, not knowing where it would take me. I walked up and increasing incline, through a residential area of the lower hill. Continuing up, I made it to a cemetary, where many, many died during the war for independance.
As I turned around, I was met with an awesome sight. The mountains that surround and protect Sarajevo. The city nestled within and clouds and mist crossing the valley. As I stood there, the clouds lessened and a bit of light shone down on Sarajevo.It seemed like it was meant for me, so that I could see it a bit better I took this chance to take some amazing pictures. I just stood there, taking it all in. I felt the pain and suffering. I felt the peace and hope for the future. I felt nature holding Sarajevo like a mother and it's child. It was fantastic.
As I said prevously, I met a young man walking his dog. He was friendly and had a chat with me. He was friendly and wanted to know about me and for me to know about him. I wasn't expecting a friendly conversation on this hike but, I felt it was provided to further cement my warm feelings for Sarajevo.
As the fell below the mountains and the clouds filtered the last bit of light, I climbed back down the hill to the Old Town. I had a nce walk about the city in it's quiet of the evening. It was such a different city lit up at night. You can see so many details that had focused lighting on them. A different feel and a new view.
Back to the hotel and restful evening. I cooked in and prepared for my early morning and my journey to Mostar. I am so excited, the city I saw destroyed on tv. I would see it, explore it, and try to understand just a bit more about it.
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