Day 8 of Balkan Adventure September 17 2011
On Our Way To Sarajevo
Day 8 of Balkan Adventure Wake up early today for early morning bus to get to Bosnia.
We get on the bus which is a good bus by a company called Kodor.
I open up my bag and all it is some cheap sandwiches with over processed crap. Also came with a bottle of pigeon juice or something, quite disgusting.
IT is a long bus ride to get to Sarajevo around 7 and half hours.
On route once into Bosnia the scenery is quite amazing, lots of great mountains.
We do a few stops on route to get some snacks as this is a public bus.
In bosnia some really nice homes in all the towns we pass, very good environment.
We arrive into Sarajevo in the afternoon and from bus station get on to a local city bus to take us into the center of the city where we are staying.
On route you do see some buildings with bullet holes in them.
We head off to our accommodations for the next few days at a guest house own by a local islamic family. Your not allowed to wear shoes inside , only slippers have to leave shoes outside.
Take a few for some R and R before heading out with the group for a orientation of the city and a guided part with a local man named Mohammed.
Mohammed is a survivor and local who grew up during the war in the 90’s and siege on the city of Sarajevo
He talks a bit about the siege in Sarajevo.
The Siege In Sarajevo
Here is some information about the siege in Sarajevo.
The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. Serb forces of the Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People’s Army besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996 during the Bosnian War.
After Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Serbs, whose strategic goal was to create a new Serbian State of Republika Srpska (RS) that would include part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, encircled Sarajevo with a siege force of 18,000 stationed in the surrounding hills, from which they assaulted the city with weapons that included artillery, mortars, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, heavy machine-guns, multiple rocket launchers, rocket-launched aircraft bombs, and sniper rifles. From 2 May 1992, the Serbs blockaded the city. The Bosnian government defence forces inside the besieged city were poorly equipped and unable to break the siege.
It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people were killed or went missing in the city, including over 1,500 children. An additional 56,000 people were wounded, including nearly 15,000 children. The 1991 census indicates that before the siege the city and its surrounding areas had a population of 525,980. There are estimates that prior to the siege the population in the city proper was 435,000. The current estimates of the number of persons living in Sarajevo range between 300,000 and 380,000 residents.
After the war, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted three Serb officials for numerous crimes against humanity for the siege. Stanislav Galić and Dragomir Milošević, were sentenced to life imprisonment and to 29 years imprisonment, respectively, while Momčilo Perišić was sentenced to 27 years.
One of the 11 indictments against former president of Republika Srpska Radovan Karadžić is for the siege. In the case against Stanislav Galić, the prosecution alleged in an opening statement that:
The siege of Sarajevo, as it came to be popularly known, was an episode of such notoriety in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia that one must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history. Not since then had a professional army conducted a campaign of unrelenting violence against the inhabitants of a European city so as to reduce them to a state of medieval deprivation in which they were in constant fear of death. In the period covered in this Indictment, there was nowhere safe for a Sarajevan, not at home, at school, in a hospital, from deliberate attack.
Strolling In The City
We walk around the old town of the city which is amazing nice. Very clean and lots of great shops, cafes and restaurants. Go to a bank machine to get some Bosnian marks as local currency.
Visit the nearby mosque and learn more about the local history.
We stop at a local coffee area and sample local traditional bosnian coffee. Which is served on a saucer with a small kettle. The cup is like a small shot glass. However you sip it and its very satisfying dispite it being so small. Beats have an extra large cup from Tim Hortons.
Almost all the culture here is from Turkish culture almost all the same.
After our city tour we go have dinner at a restaurant called
“To be or not to be” here have a veal steak with mushroom sauce, and local beer Sarajeusko which is amazing good.
Overall been an amazing time in Sarajevo. Then off back to the guesthouse and early night out as early start in the morning. As we head off to town of Mostar, another victim from the wars in the 1990’s.