I had already given myself a lot of ideas about Sarajevo. Images of the war-torn city always come before my eyes in front of the media.
But it should also be a beautiful city, it was a piece of jewelery a hundred and five years ago when the assassin Gavrilo Prinzp’s bullet hit the neck of the Austrian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand.
The city has a wonderful Ottoman quarter full of bazaars and tea bars. Here too, however, the population remains to itself. We meet Aylin from Germany and Alen from Canada, whom we got to know through couch surfing. Alen has quit his job as an IT specialist and travels the world with a small backpack. Aylin has also quit her job and is traveling from one place to another where she volunteers for food and accommodation through the workaway platform.
We eat Bosnian stew, drink beer and talk late into the night. Autumn is noticeable and the height of the city. It gets remarkably cold at sunset. In the background, a television broadcasts the legendary Grand Slam match between Nadal and Medvedev.
Breakfast starts with a warm Börek and espresso at the cafe of an old man around the corner who is over the moon about the unexpected international guests and makes us extra large portions.
Then we change our apartment, as the basement apartment is a bit cramped, and move to a luxurious attic apartment with huge glass windows, which we find cheaper.
In 1984 the city hosted the Winter Olympics. On the nearby mountain, you can still see the old sports facilities.
We take the cable car to the top and enjoy the view. We can walk part of the bobsled run.
At the Sarajevsko brewery, we find that the local beer tastes extremely good,
and then pay a visit to one of the city’s sanctuaries, the Eternal Flame.
We are expected for dinner in a nearby delicatessen shop. Here we were persuaded to do a food tasting.
A platter full of cheese, jam, sausage, olives and mulberries is waiting to be enjoyed with local white and red wine.
In a shisha bar in the Ottoman quarter we meet Aylin and Alen again.
We are planning a hike to the remote village of Lukomir in the mountains. Aylin accepts the invitation to accompany us.