Archive for Bosnia

I’m Back “home”

Ahoj Everyone.

I am now back in Prague having spent the last month or so travelling through Croatia Bosnia, Slovenia, Austria and Hungary.

I won’t bore you with all the details but I’d like to rave briefly about two particular destinations which warrant special mention:

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Panorama

Until around the turn of the 20th century Dubrovnik was a separate maritime republic – a bit like Venice. Due to attacks by the Turks and an earthquake, most of the town was rebuilt in the 17th Century and since then has remained remained largely untouched within what must be the world’s most spectacular town and harbour walls.

Dubrovnik is a very beautiful and historic place, and is all the more fascinating when you reflect that two thirds of the city was hit by Serb shelling just 10 years ago, although there is now very little evidence of any damage. I have attached a photo which doesn’t really do it justice.

During this phase of the tour I had the unaccustomed privilege of sharing my adventures with a travelling companion who outranks me in terms of the number of beautiful cities visited (ie Florence, Mt Manganui, Rome. Paris, etc) and she too rated Dubrovnik very highly.

So the next time you see those tempting looking adverts in the Travel Agency window for beach holidays in Croatia, don’t hesitate – just go in and say yes! (and make sure at least a day in Dubrovnik is on the itinerary)

 

Sarajevo

Yes, I do realise that going on holiday to a war zone is not necessarily the most sensible strategy. However I was expecting the war in Iraq to get underway while I was there and figured I would actually be much safer in Bosnia than in say London for example.

Anyway, I am very very glad I went as Bosnia (and Sarajevo in particular) offer a very thought provoking and sobering travel experience.

Welcome to Olympic City

I remember many years ago watching the winter Olympics on TV and marvelling at what a beautiful city Sarajevo seemed to be. To my great surprise, it is actually still very beautiful. Yes there is tremendous destruction, bullet holes, land mines and bombed out shells of buildings but there are also some lovely old streets and mosques which survived intact.

Probably more interesting though is the positive attitude of the people who are recovering and moving on from a war that – in reality – is still not really over. The city is dotted with graveyards full to the seams with new (1995 and 1996) graves, and there are very large numbers of heavily armed UN troops still driving around town in tanks. Finding such optimism and beauty in the middle of such deviation was a very positive experience.

Sarajevo is still a few years away from becoming a mainstream tourist destination, but if you get the chance go sooner rather than later, you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway all good things must eventually come to an end so here I am back in Prague with an exciting new job starting on Monday and busy organising things like a permanent address, bank accounts etc. In my absence, the “City of a thousand spires” seems to transformed into the the “City of a million tourists”. Word must be getting out!

I can’t really moan too much though as I am still continually enchanted by this place every time I venture outside.

 

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