I heart Sarajevo

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Manu | 14 November 2016 | 2 comments
Baščaršija, sarajevo

Pigeons in Baščaršija square are a landmark of Sarajevo

It is difficult to say goodbye to Sarajevo.

Baščaršija, Sarajevo, open market,

A day at the market is a must in Sarajevo. I had one of the best laugh of my life with this lady, who was trying to sell me that stuff in her hands. We got completely on the same energy level despite the language barrier. At the end she gave me some apples from her garden as a present

Sarajevo has a great energy level that makes you get attached to it after the first stroll in town. You immediately know there is something special in town. This is not a capital like any other in Europe and probably in the world; this is a capital city that has a soul, a heart beating at every corner, a story to tell, scars to show, dreams to fulfill. Sarajevo is like a young child that is starting to approach life. Life has been denied to this place for many years and now, with the peace spreading around, the town seems to finally be blooming.

Baščaršija, Sarahjevo, copper

Coper objects fill Sarajevo old town streets at every corner. A step back in space and time.

Compared to his older sister Belgrade, fully thrown in the capitalistic process, Sarajevo seems to hold a step back in order to enjoy the freedom hardly conquered. There is no rush to get capitalistic here, there is no need, there is no willing. In the early ’90s the town was surrounded by Serbian troops who occupied the mountains around, sure to conquer the capital in few days and make it become the capital of the new nation they were trying to build up. But Sarajevo didn’t fall. Despite being numerically inferior and with less than half of the Serbian weapons and artillery, Sarajevo managed to withstand for more than 3 years, 1425 days in which more than 11000 people lost their life but didn’t surrender. People lived in Sarajevo with no electricity and no water, completely isolated by the rest of the world, using everything to survive.

Sarajevo, Baščaršija , siege of sarajevo, war in jugoslavia

Sarajevo scars: despite the time, most of the houses in town still have the signs of the war

Serbian soldiers were shooting at sight to everybody, no matter if children, old people or women. The town got completely destroyed under the bombings, many buildings were burnt. The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest ever in the modern history.

 

tunnel of sarajevo, bosnia, war

The Tunnel of Sarajevo

There are still many scars of those war days in Sarajevo and they are still visible. Seen from here the war is not something far away you watch on tv, but it is something you still feel around the corner, something all the people have a memory of, all being in a way involved with that. The scars are still visible in the Sarajevo rose, a number of craters left by fatal mortar strikes and filled with red resin to remember those lost during the Siege but also on almost every house wall that are still signed by the bullet holes. The Tunnel of Sarajevo, at the very end of the town, is still there to remember the sacrifice of their people to fight for freedom to future generation.

We often underestimate peace, but here in Sarajevo the buildings, the roads, its people remind you of its importance every day.

Sarajevo market, sarajevo, Bosnia,

Sarajevo market went destroyed during the war under a bomb who killed many on a normal day of 20 years ago

This town has been considered the “door” between two worlds, as two different cultures, religions, people have always co-lived peacefully for centuries until the tragic events of the war. These days, Sarajevo has come back to its old and most beautiful title, to its legacy of open and friendly town where every kind of person is accepted and respected. The streets of Sarajevo are an anthem to freedom, there are churches and mosques few meters away and people of all countries and all Balkans live peacefully together.

Bosnians , Sarajevo, people, balkans

People of Sarajevo

Sarajevo mosque, selfie, Bosnia

Selfie time outside of Sarajevo mosque

People of Sarajevo are fascinating. They are the real treasure of the town. They are always kind and friendly, smiling and helpful. Many of them speak English but even those who don’t, they always find a way to communicate with you. There is a special vibe in Sarajevo that nowhere in the Balkans can be found. Every single person you meet leaves you a sign. It is impossible not to notice this. Every person in Sarajevo makes your day special and makes it feel like you belong to it, too. That’s the secret. When you hear people saying Sarajevo doesn’t allow you to leave anymore, that’s what people talk about.

Sarajevo market, bosnia

A day at the market is always the best way to observe and get in contact with locals. It is tre for sarajevo, too.

Sarajevo people are the real “door” among two worlds, the ones who have struggled for their place, for their peace, for their freedom, the ones who have rebuilt their lives and who have continued to be open to the world just as it was before, like if nothing ever happened…with scars and memories but with an open heart…

Sarajevo view, bosnia sunset, b

I feel I am in love and come back to this town for many more years to come.

It is impossible not to love Sarajevo. It is impossible not to come back.  

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Sarajevo, Bosnia