Day 10 of Balkan Adventure

Day 10 of Balkan Adventure September 19 2011

Sarajevo

Day 10 of Balkan Adventure This morning get up to a noisy night. Here the prayers going on at 5am from the mosques near by. I never knew they broadcasted them over the loud speakers.

Day 10 of Balkan AdventureAll well, a part of the local culture is all I can say. Get up and have some cereal and juice for breakfast.

Tunnel of Hope Museum

Then we are off to get to a private van and meet local guide Mohammed again. We are to go visit the Tunnel of Hope museum that is located in a small village just outside of the city across from the airport.

Tunnel of Hope was a secret tunnel the Bosnians used to transport supplies etc to and from the city. It was the one arm of survival for the city.

Here is some information below about the Tunnel of hope Museum.

During the Siege of Sarajevo during Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, the Sarajevo Tunnel was constructed by the besieged citizens of Sarajevo in order to link the city of Sarajevo, which was entirely cut-off by Serbian forces, with the Bosnian-held territory on the other end of the supposedly neutral area at the Sarajevo Airport controlled by the United Nations.

The tunnel linked the Sarajevo neighbourhoods of Dobrinja and Butmir.

Beginning in January 1993, the Sarajevo Tunnel was dug by Bosnian volunteers working in 8-hour shifts. The Sarajevo tunnel was completed in mid-1993, which allowed food and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and people to get out. The tunnel was one of the major ways of bypassing the international arms embargo and providing the city defenders with weaponry.

The tunnel was 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in height and about 1m in width, and ran for approximately 960 metres (3,150 ft) in length. During the time it was used, it is estimated that 20 million tons of food entered the city, and 1 million people passed in and out of it.

The tunnel was most famously used to transport the former Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović in his wheelchair which was run on the railway of the tunnel. The 20 metres (66 ft) of tunnel that are left today now form part of a museum in Sarajevo, which is open to visitors every working day from 9 am to 4 pm.

Day 10 of Balkan AdventureThe tunnel was ingeniously dug in a wide L-shape in order to prevent the Serb forces from caving it in with shells, since the tunnel exit points could not remain a secret for too long.

From 1993 to 1995 the tunnel further developed by putting in a mineshaft-like railway, drainage pumps and digging out crossing points where people coming from two different sides could pass by each other as the tunnel was not wide enough to do that everywhere.

It is less known that the Bosnian forces began working on a second, bigger tunnel towards the end of the war, but it was never completed or utilized as the war ended in December of 1995.

Overall an interesting area. As you get to walk in the tunnel of whats left. Get a feel of how tough life was for all the people helping during that bad time. There are a few photos I took on here of being in the tunnel, use your imagination and think of the stress was involved at that time.

From here we then get back in van and head back to the city where we say good bye to our guide Mohammed, been very interesting time.

Ruins Of The Fortress

Once back in the city decide its time to explore the city some more. Here I walk with Manuella and we head up the hill to the ruins of the fortress.

Its a good walk up however we make a few wrong turns on the route and take a little extra sightseeing.

Finally on the hill of the main view of the city. The view of the city is great but it is also a solem moment.

As this is one of the areas the snipers were during the war. You can see how vulnerable people were during the siege from the snipes along the main road.

A side note on when walking up the hill come across a Jeep cherokee with Canadian ONtario licence plate, which is interesting to see.

The views again from the hill are quite stunning and can see a long way off.

Finally it is time to come down and make way into the town. We do climb up another set of stairs only to end up in some residential area.

Heading Out For Lunch

We make our way back into the city and decide it is time for lunch.

After walking around for a long time we finally find a quiet place to eat and that is back to the place we ate the night before at “ To Be or Not to be”. But its a nice well served place. Have spaghetti here with chicken and a local beer, very nice.

Then walk around in the shops for a bit more only to have it rain, our first rain the whole trip.

After a few soaking moments we head back to the guesthouse for a afternoon siesta.

We meet up with part of the Intrepid group later in evening. We walk back to old town for a last dinner in Sarajevo. It is raining out and for some reason I leave my jacket behind, only to freeze walking around.

We make our way to a nice Lebanese restaurant in the old town. Have some pasta and a Coke tonight for dinner, quite simple but really good.

After dinner go to the Western Union to get rid of remaining Bosnian marks money and get some other currency of Euros.

Head back to the guest house to finish our remaining bottle of Blackberry wine in the guesthouse.

Overall an amazing day. Stay tuned for next.

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