Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sarajevo - Pt. 1

I arrived in Sarajevo, Bosnia at 6:30 am, fresh off the night train (see my earlier post about the song I wrote on the train), and this is the first sight outside of the station. A very modern-looking skyscraper, and it feels very out of place in Sarajevo, the rest of which feels quite old and anything but modern. It is a very real city, and I feel fortunate to have gone before it becomes a tourist destination. Many scars from the war 15 years ago are still there, and you'll definitely see some bullet holes and such in my postings about the city. I have to say that up to this point (I am now in Verona, Italy) it has been my favorite destination. I will try and show the different sides of Sarajevo...

There is the war side, and you will see it everywhere you go. I think it makes the city a more interesting place to visit, as they simply don't have the money to fix it. Here is the library, which was destroyed when the Serbs that were laying siege to the city intentionally shelled it with incendiary grenades to burn the books inside and kill the city's morale.

This plaque explains it pretty well.

This is "Pigeon Square", with Sarajevo's beautiful fountain in the middle. This old part of the city feels more like a middle-eastern town, which isn't too far off because the majority of people in Bosnia are Muslim.

This is called a "Sarajevo Rose". You will find them around the city at various points in the concrete. The red fills in where a mortar hit, and honors the death of those that were killed in that spot. Most of the time it was just people waiting in line to get some bread.

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