The next stop was Sarajevo .
It is our guides favourite city on this tour and I can understand that . It is basically a Moslem town . It has a very busy market area and and MANY churches ( both Catholic and orthodox) museums synagogues , from Sppain and Ploand , and mosques to visit. They , not sure who that is , refer to it as the Jerusalam of the Balkins .
It is a beautiful place in many ways , that has largely been rebuilt since the war of the 90's .Ourlocal guide was a child of 7 when it began and his stories really were of his own experiences. He talked of the suddenness of the siege. One day there was no power , electricity or water . Soon after the mortars started to fly and not long after that the snipers started their work . He is Muslim and he resents the damage they did and the people they killed . Yet underneath it I sensed a contempt . The seige really makes no sense given the strength of the Serbian Army . They could easily have invaded and taken it all in a short period of time rather than hiding in the surrounding hills destroying from a distance..I asked about that and his response was they were cowards! Therein was the contempt..
The arrival of the UN was lauded as a wonderful thing until they realized the UN would do nothing . They were observers only and were not allowed to intervene in any fashion . Yes provisions could be brought into the airport where they were stationed but there was no way to get those provisions into the city . So, they drug a tunnel . 1mx1.6m and 800m long. Toting things was back breaking and they did it for 3 years. Eventually they installed a track , lighting , and even a fuel line ..
The tunnel was quite then endeavour considering the obstacles , foremost being ground water .
It was used for other things as well . Our guide remembers being about 10 when his grandmother died and they used the tunnel to go to her funeral .
As I said most of the city has been rebuilt but there are still remnants of the war. Burnt out building , holes caused from mortars and guns in the sides of buildings and Sarajevo Roses. These are sites on sidewalks or streets were someone was shot and killed by a sniper. The cement is still pocked and painted red as a reminder of the tragedy .
In spite of the history it was a good place to send time . VERY busy with tourism , it was a holiday weekend , and much of the merchandise comes from Turkey . It good food and good company continues .
From Sarajevo we travelled to Mostar just for 24 hours basically to see the Bridge . Actually the whole town is a UNESCO heritage site well worth seeing . An old town built of stone with Serbs living on one side of the river and Catholics on the other.
We had dinner on a terrace overlooking the Bridge and the river and it was lovely . Not sure if I mentioned it but our group is now down to 8 a nice number . 5 Canadians and 3 New Zealanders...
The more I hear of the Serbs the less I like them .
Enough for now . Keep in touch as I begin week 4 of this adventure.
Enjoy spring where ever you are. B-H is at least t 2 oor 3 weeks behind the weather in Eastern Europe so I am getting a second spring. Once again we have magnolia , tulips and daffodils blooming and new leaves beginning to unfurl . I think when I return I will get my 3rd spring of 2019.
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