Tuesday 15 June 2010-06-16
Km so far: 1884 (corrected)
Walked around Sarajevo which confirmed the impression of a busy, cosmopolitan city with loads of street cafes and a river flowing languidly through the centre of town with hundreds of trout battling their way upstream. Lovely old trams every couple of minutes, and back into Cyrillic script for street signs, also in latin, one aspect of the feeling of two cultures existing side by side, with Christian churches and mosques, church bells and the call to prayer, pretty young girls in mini-skirts and heels, Muslim girls wearing their headscarfs and modestly dressed but still looking chic and fashionable. Most of the city bears no sign of the terrible events of the 3 year siege (92 to 95) but there are still some buildings around that have not been repaired, some empty shells, quite a lot showing bullet holes that tell the story.
To find out more we took a tram to the Historical Museum, which is near to the hideously yellow Holiday Inn a couple of kilometres to the west of the town centre. The museum provides a harrowing account, with some very graphic images of the effects of artillery
on a civilian population. The picture that struck us most vividly was of a young mother, wearing a smart dress and high heels, clutching a small child while running across a street under sniper fire.
Going back to the excellent Hotel Michele we stopped for a cold drink on the ‘Goldfish’ which is a wonderfully atmospheric bar, very gothic and with an especially interesting toilet.
Left Sarajevo in the early evening and drove slowly down to Mostar. The Motel Emen was easy to find being very close to the Old Bridge, and very comfortable. There is nowhere to park, though, other than on the street close-by, so I am not sure why it is described as a ‘Motel’. Still, no problems, very nice people and internet access.
Another excellent dinner of local specialities, many of which are based on meat and rice stuffed into vegetables, like Greek dolmades. The restaurant was right on the river, so we looked up to the Old Bridge, sadly now a new bridge, but still a beautiful and striking structure, as the reconstruction is an exact replica of the 500 year old original destroyed during the war.
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