Saturday, May 29, 2010

When in Sarajevo...

As lame as it sounds, before we left on our trip to Sarajevo, I was expecting the Latin Bridge to be the highlight of our trip. I am a history and political buff and I somehow thought standing in the place where Franz Ferdinand was killed would be a great experience. It might very well have been had it not been for the pouring rain our first day in town. As it was, the bridge didn't do much for me. In the end, what I really enjoyed the most were the many beautiful mosques.

The Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque is the largest in the city and has a vast courtyard that is open to the public.

Unfortunately, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque, but as it was, we were allowed into the surrounding courtyard. It was a great opportunity to observe the mosque close up and catch a glimpse of Muslims preying on the mats outside the building.

The fountain from which this man drinks is located just outside the gates of the mosque and is highly symbolic of the importance of water to Muslims. Islam is a faith that was born in the harsh, dry deserts of the Middle East and as a result access to water became something of a fundamental law. To this day, even in Sarajevo which is anything but dry, it is a grave sin for any Muslim to withhold unneeded water.


After a day of exploring, we took some time to peruse some of the shops in the old city. As I mentioned before, I picked up a great book on Sarajevo and (not previously mentioned) an hilarious t-shirt.

After shopping we found we were getting a bit hungry and given that we only had one night in town, we wanted to make sure we got a taste of authenticity. When in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are two dishes you absolutely MUST try. One of them is Burek, a traditional Bosnian cheese pie. The second and most čevapičiči (č is pronounced as the English ch) Čevapi, as they are called for short, are ground beef or lamb, formed into rounds similar to sausages. It is kind of like hamburger sausages, but they are much softer and far more tasty. Bosnian čevapi are served with onions and Kaymak (similar to clotted cream) We found Sarajevo to be full of čevapi  shops and after our long day we sat down to enjoy our very own.

More to follow...

1 comment:

  1. Nice narrative Robbie,

    But I was confused about the mean Muslims preying on the poor defenseless mats. ;) What did those mats ever do to them? Withheld water, I guess...

    Cevapi looks sinfully tasty, but I'm not sure "clotted cream" sells it for me.

    Looking forward to the rest of your adventures.