Monday, May 24, 2010

We arrived amidst a hail of sniper fire...

Since I came to Croatia last summer, I have been itching to check out Sarajevo and the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This past weekend I got my chance. For those of you who aren't familiar with the geography of the area, you are probably asking yourselves, 'what the heck is Herzegovina?' The state which we in the west commonly call Bosnia is properly referred to as Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) The individual terms Bosnia, and Herzegovina denote geographic regions rather than political or ethnic divides. That may sound obvious, but here, in Europe's most complicated country, NOTHING is obvious.

Anyway, let's get back to the trip. As you might expect, we arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina amidst a hail of sniper fire...well, of course not, but we can't allow Hillary to be the only one making these claims.

I was immediately struck by the beauty of the lush green fields and rolling hills and had the sensation of having been transported to British Columbia's Fraser Valley. I could have sworn that I was somewhere just outside Abbotsford. 


Our drive in and out of BH took us through Herzegovina which ranges from hilly to mountainous. Though many farms are to be spotted throughout the region, very few large scale agricultural operations are anywhere to be found. For much of the country's
history, agriculture has been based on small, privately owned ventures

You'll have to excuse some of these photos of the countryside, as they were taken from the car while speeding past at 100km/h.

It's only about a 4 hour drive from Split to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital, but by the time we arrived I was totally bagged. I hadn't slept much the night before and the grey weather wasn't doing anything to liven me up. We checked ourselves into the Art Hotel beside the Ferhadija Mosque in the old town. Our hotel room looked directly out on the Gazi Husrefbegov Bezistan, which is a covered market building that dates back to the 1540s. 

The market is probably the best spot in Sarajevo to pick up souvenirs, but there is a wide array of practical items including head and neck scarves, sunglasses and various household items. Amongst the fridge magnets, flags, and mugs that fill the shelves of every other tourist shop in Europe, I found myself struck by the presence of a disproportionate amount of Olympic Memorabilia. I remarked to Vedran that I thought Sarajevo might be the only city in the world to be hawking Olympic items more than 25 years after the fact. Vedran told me, half jokingly, that it's because nothing good has happened in Sarajevo since 1984. Unfortunately, that is not far from the truth.

More to follow...


  1. Looks great place
    thanks for the info mate
    your friend Sami

  2. Beautiful photos, Robbie. So lush!

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