Ruth and Max enjoying a beautiful rainbow at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

A few hours in the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sarajevo is known to the world for two things. One, the city hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, and two, it was badly destroyed during the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1996.

It is not really known as a tourist destination, although there are some things worth seeing.

We set off at just before 9:00am to walk down to the city to see what there was to see...

It was starting out to be a beautiful day. Sunny, and with a high around 15C (60F). But there was a haze/fog/smog over the city, and I read later that Sarajevo has a big problem with air pollution. It's something like in Monterrey, Mexico, where the city lies in a valley surrounded by mountains and the air can't escape.

The Latin Bridge.
The foundations date back to the 15th century.

Scenery along the way.

If there is a tourist area, it would be the old market square. That's where we headed first.

Tourist shops getting their wares out.



This cafe is busy with people enjoying the morning sun.

And people feeding the pigeons.


Sarajevo old market area.

This is a photo of the market area in 1893.

From there, we wandered to the oldest church in the city. The Serbian Orthodox Church was founded before the 6th century. There are actual dated records of its restoration in the 12th century. And it was rebuilt several times for several reasons during the 15th to 18th century.

The church is nothing special on the outside.

The inside is interesting though.

Scenery along the way.

There is LOTS of graffiti in Sarajevo.

We haven't seen this much graffiti since Bogota, Colombia. It's literally everywhere. Despite that, Sarajevo is a relatively clean city. Not much trash lying around.


This was some kind of Olympic museum.

Interesting roof.

We had enough of wandering around the old town, and headed over to the more modern part of the city. We had our sights set on the Avaz Twist Tower... a modern high rise built between 2006 and 2008.

The Avaz Twist Tower.

They have an observation deck and a cafe near the top. We thought about sitting down for a hot drink, but they still allow smoking in restaurants here, and there were a lot of smokers! So we paid the 2 marks ($1.50 CAD, $1.20 USD) each to go out on the observation deck. We were the only ones there!

View from the top.


The HUM Telecommunications tower.


Too bad it was so smoggy.

In the lobby of the Avaz Twist Tower.


Lots of modern shopping malls, hotels, and conference facilities in the newer section of town.

Wide sidewalk.

This is a popular walking area by the river.

This building was damaged during the war, and the facade has been left as is.
There are a lot of examples of this.

Not sure what this building was.
It was beside the Greek Embassy.



Art above the river.

City Hall.
It was badly damaged during the war, but rebuilt since.

Some things cannot be rebuilt.

Nice architecture.

This is an old military barracks. We didn't go up there.

View of Sarajevo on our way walking back up to the campsite.

Not a bad visit. The city has a bit of an edge to it... a sort of lived in, unmanicured feel. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit Sarajevo, but if it's along your route it's worth a stop. However, there are quite a few inexpensive world class ski resorts in the area that operate December through April.  If you're a winter sports tourist, that would be the time to visit!

We left the campground at about 3:00pm and headed to a nearby free parking area for the night. Today, we will fill up with some relatively cheap Bosnia diesel fuel and LPG, and then head for the Montenegro border. Not sure if we will cross today or tomorrow... we'll see how it goes.

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And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. Interesting city...I was thinking about street food in the old market i.e. flat bread and roasted lamb. The old market hasn't changed much from 1893...looks like it survived the war. With German plates on Max, I wonder what the locals think? Sometimes old wounds never heal.

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    1. It was an interesting city and we enjoyed our visit there. I don't think that there was street food in that old market area, it is filled with restaurants, cafes and tourist souvenir shops and is a major tourist attraction in Sarajevo.

      There doesn't seem to be any issues with us driving around with German plates, in fact I have read that many of the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina actually head to Germany looking for work. I think that if there is any animosity here it is geared more to the Bosnian War in 1992 to 1995 not to the Second World War.

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  2. Looks like cool digs to me where you want to rummage around. As for Monterrey, today was one of those days. Go figure, a national holiday and the air was thicker than on a regular work day! All those graves to visit.

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    1. We think you would enjoy yourself here Chris. Lots of old war history and also the fact that many buildings still show the damage from the war in the 90's. I think that is one of the reasons that we enjoyed wandering around, it hasn't been all prettied up you get to see the city as it really is/was.

      The skies were much clearer the next day as we headed out of the city, didn't see any smog at all.

      Yep, there are definitely a lot of grave sites here. :-(

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  3. Were you able to see any of the abandoned Olympic venues? What has happened to the Olympic stadium? The city was under siege for more than 1000 days. Hard to imagine what that must have been like.

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    1. No, we didn't see any of them. The two main venues in Sarajevo itself were the Olympic Stadium where they held the opening games and the arena, both of these venues were repaired and are still being used today, although from reading I don't think all of the arena complex was repaired, it looks like some of the complex is was used as a cemetery for many of the victims that were killed during the during the siege on Sarajevo. Many of the other venues are in the surrounding mountains where the ski competitions were held, like the ski jumping and the former Igman Hotel that held many the Olympic athletes.

      Actually the siege went on for just over 1400 days! We can't even begin to imagine what these people went through. :-(

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  4. Sarajevo bring to mind the ‘spark’ that ignited WWI. In 1914, it was the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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    1. We did not know this about WW1 but we have to admit that we don't really know a lot of the history from that war. Thank you for that interesting bit of history regarding Sarajevo's part in that war.

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