Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sarajevo: City of Stories

Since we got in late on Monday, we spent Tuesday wandering around the city and seeing a couple of the sights. The old Turkish neighborhood is a maze of small streets with vendors selling handicrafts that look straight out of Istanbul. 
The well in the old city

The old town

The new town had Austro-Hungarian architecture with popular European brands and even a great mall where BH and I tried, and failed, to find short shorts. These two areas of town and the mix of mosques, Orthodox, and Catholic churches really gave the city a nice eclectic feeling. 
Detail of the mosque

Catholic church 
The orthodox church
 In the evening, BH and I went to the Deaf Association to meet some local Deafies. As we were leaving the Deaf Club, one of the guys told us that the street we were on had been a focus of sniper activity during the Serbian siege from 1992 to 1995. People had to sneak across the street to deliver supplies and food. I feel like a lot of the buildings and streets here can evoke memories from the not to distant war, and it seemed like everybody had stories of the war.
Our new Deaf friends showed us some of the buildings that we had missed, like the old synagogue, and then brought us to the spot where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. I have been reading this story of the spark that ignited World War I in history classes since middle school, and to stand in this spot was humbling. After our second tour, BH and I were left on our own.  We got a beer, and watched as crowds of people showed up at this random club. It was a Tuesday night, but these Sarajevans were dressed to the nines, and looked ready to party. We didn’t join them, but enjoyed watching the parade.

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