It's exciting to visit Sarajevo
Published: 05/03/2016

Before we visit unfamiliar cities it is common to image pictures that represent them. Sometimes it can be a song, movie, personality or historical event. In the case of Sarajevo, however corny that sounds, it did not come out of our head the song Miss Sarajevo, recorded by U2 and Luciano Pavarotti, in the 90s, to draw attention to the conflict that left thousands dead in the city .

Apparently the music means nothing to the people here, as our guide hardly remembered it had been recorded. But the scene with the girl running away from the bullets will never leave our memory (click here to view).

Sarajevo is extremely rich in history, not only related to the most recent war. At an intersection of the city, an event marked the beginning of another war: World War 1, when King Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. The guide who showed us the city even staged the shot in the exact spot where it happened.

In addition, people refer to the city as the Jerusalem of Europe, because within a diameter of about 200 meters there is a mosque - the majority of the population is Muslim - a Catholic cathedral, a synagogue and an Orthodox cathedral. Everyone lives together in perfect harmony and tolerance, according to the guide.

The city still have marks from the war of the 90s, when they were separated from Yugoslavia. In many buildings and houses you can see bullet and bomb marks that were thrown there during the so-called siege of Sarajevo, which lasted more than 1,400 days. There are even squares on the floor of several streets, called Sarajevo roses , symbolizing where several people died altogether , especially when they were in lines to get some food and became easier targets for shooters.

The central area looks like of the city of Rio de Janeiro, with some hills around. Of course there are no slums, but this geographical condition was used by Serb snipers as a privileged position to kill a lot people - the estimated number of victims is more than 100,000 - during the siege of Sarajevo.

Much of the history of the conflict can be seen at the The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is certainly worth a visit to understand a little better what happened there. Our guide, Enes Popara also gave a very moving testimony of what was like living during the years of conflict. One of the most curious fact he told us is related to Brazil. In 1994, the government released electricity - which was super rationed - for people to watch the game of the Brazilian team against the United States at the World Cup.

As the guide who accompanied us in Zagreb (click here to read more), Enes was a child during the war and does not remember to understand the gravity of the situation. In another of his stories, also related to football, he said he was playing ball in front of his house when his friend was shot in the leg, without having done nothing but play soccer . Because of this, the guide told us his parents would not let him wear any piece of red clothing because it became an easy target for the snipers.

In one of the most exciting moment for us, Enes told us his father was a soldier and now lives with post-traumatic panic caused by the war.

Two things are a must and need to be eaten in the old city center: the cevapi and sudzukice, both accompanied by a delicious local bread and sour cream. The cevapi is a kind of kafta made with mixed mutton and cattle and then baked on the grill. The sudzikice is a super tasty local sausage also prepared on the barbecue. To eat like the locals, go to the restaurant Cevabdzinica Petica. You can taste it all in super generous dishes and not spend more than 10 Euros for two.

Another local specialty is baklava, a sweet pastry, honey and a choice of fillings or toppings.

The guide who were with us works for an agency called BH Spirit City Tours and they have the same kind of the free walking tour we like : you participate in the tour and at the end you give an amount considered adequate for the work like a tip. We've done this type of tour in several cities in Spain and also in Zagreb, and it always better than the tour called official, because they are usually guided by younger people and the stories are not always so formal - sometimes they even tell some gossip and information behind the scenes, so to speak.

Enes is in love with Brazil and got very excited, but very excited, to do the tour with us. He said he likes football and Brazil since the historic game in the World Cup of 94 and that all people from Brazil are beautiful and nice. In addition, he is a figure ,also super funny and storyteller.


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