More Sarajevo + a reading list
I’m looking at my photos from Sarajevo and I just wish I could be there again! In reflecting on our visit, I am struck by how easy it was to navigate the city, especially on foot. We walked everywhere (clocking in a grueling 20km on one of the days) except for the taxis to and from the airport, and one tram ride down the main thoroughfare on our last night. Everything seemed to be no more than a 5-minute walk from the next thing we wanted to see. Here are some non-war photos plus a Sarajevo reading list.
Not quite Austrian village, not quite Damascus, not quite Istanbul…Sarajevo is its own thing.
On our first afternoon, we looked out at the city from the Yellow Bastion, a fortress from an old Austro-Hungarian war.
Sacred Heart Cathedral downtown.
Eternal Flame in honor of WW2 deaths. It’s not normally so decked out, but we were there on National Day.
Church! In Sarajevo! We sang Christmas hymns in Bosnian, it was amazing. Also, the branch is mostly American embassy workers and one of the guys there was Jeremy’s roommate at BYU before we were married.
These old Ottoman cemeteries were all over the city, just creeping and drooping and sinking.
Good food was had by all, on all days. This particular dish was homemade pasta noodles in lamb tomato sauce topped with parmesan and roasted kale, from a restaurant called The Four Rooms of Mrs. Safija. My other favorite food was something called pita or pite - basically a thin phyllo dough with different fillings. The pumpkin one was the best.
In addition to all the Ottoman cemeteries in Sarajevo, there are also lots of modern cemeteries (many with graves dating back to the war period). They are sprinkled through town like I’ve never seen before in any other city of this size. This grave was extra decorated for National Day.
Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque. It was closed but the caretaker let us in anyway!
Here I am standing on the spot where Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. And do you know what? They named this bridge Princip Bridge! A great reminder of how there is more than one way to look at any given historical event.
The Miljacka River that flows through town. I have so many pictures of this! Every bridge we came to, I thought, well, I don’t have the view yet from THIS bridge, so I’d take another photo.
Sarajevo just opened up the new cable car system to Mount Trebevic. We weren’t originally planning to go up to see the old Olympics ruins but the Princip museum was closed (National Day) so we had some extra time. And I’m so glad we did! It was a beautiful (if cold) day and it felt good to walk around outside for a while, up on a proper mountain.
In front of the airbnb.
And now, a brief reading list for Sarajevo based on my own experience (I am sure there are even more books out there).
People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
Balkan Ghosts, by Robert D. Kaplan
Logavina Street, by Barbara Demick (if you are going to read only one book, I would say to choose this one).
Sarajevo: A War Journal, by Zlatko Dizdarević
The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
Zlata’s Diary, by Zlata Filipovic