Suprising Sarajevo

Trip Start Feb 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina  ,
Saturday, May 28, 2005

Sarajevo is like nothing we have ever seen. A lot of the infrastructure is still damaged by the recent war. Even the frame above our window looks as if some sniper had a field day. We came to Sarajevo from Split, Croatia on an overnight bus. The bus ended up arriving earlier than expected so we were once again in a foreign city in the early hours of the morning with no accommodation booked. We asked a couple of students from Budapest if they had somewhere to stay, they told us that the place they were staying in was an apartment owned by some bloke named Dragon (no he didn't breathe fire) and he had just converted it into a mini hostel. We went with these guys to meet Dragon and we were lucky enough to get our own room in his place.

We got to talking with Dragon and found out that he was a freelance journalist in Bosnia specializing in politics. After a short nap in the morning, we went for a walk with Dragon to the bank. This walk to the bank ended up being a full on tour of Sarajevo with a lot of useful information which we might otherwise not have known. This city is packed with lots of interesting history and it was a spin out to be standing in the exact location of the assassin that shot Franz Ferdinand and basically started the first world war.

A lot of the buildings have bullet marks and shell holes. The government building that is close to the place we are staying in has been completely burnt and shot up with just a massive ugly black frame of a building remaining. Although, the city is also fairly modern looking in some parts and it gives the impression that the country is moving forward pretty quickly.

On our second day in Sarajevo Dragon took us and the five students from Budapest on a little excursion out to the tunnel museum. On this day, the rain was coming down pretty hard and the temperature had dropped to 5 degrees! Nads took some advice from a Slovene girl and wrapped her feet in plastic bags so they wouldn't get wet in the streets. I laughed my ass off at this idea, but now regret not bagging up mine because I copped a pretty bad cold and spent the next week having coughing fits in dorm rooms and apparently making funny noises in my sleep that Nads could mimic really well at the amusement of everyone else. Anyways, back to the tunnel museum - it was at this place near the airport during the Bosnian war that a tunnel was constructed to gain access to the outside of the city. Apparently it was the only way out of Sarajevo, with thousands of people using it everyday to flee the city or bring back supplies. We got to walk through the remaining 20 meter stretch of it.
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