Monday, August 20, 2012

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovenia

After spending a few days in Mostar, we moved on to the capital city of Sarajevo.  The people were so incredibly kind and generous to us once again!  It was absolutely awe inspiring to see a city nearly completely rebuilt after the horrible Sarajevo Siege which lasted just short of 4 years in the early 1990's.  The city is truly a living reminder of the war and the perseverance and tenacity of the people of Sarajevo.  My hope is that these images help show the wonderfulness of this incredible city.

Cathedral downtown

Many things about Sarajevo reminded me of Turkey and this scene is certainly one of those moments

Praying at the Mosque

Mosque minaret at night

Fountain at the Mosque

Beautiful front door of the Mosque

Old ruins in the center of town.  Interesting example of seeing just how close  Muslims and Christians live here as you can see the church tower as well as the minaret of a mosque.

Bus station in Visoko, Bosnia.  We decided a day trip would be fun, so we visited Visoko - home of the infamous Bosnian Pyramids.

So, I took this picture as I thought it was a cool view of what I thought was a mountain in the area.  Little did I know, this is the Pyramid of the Sun!  It is apparently the oldest pyramid in the world!

Again, didn't take this knowing I was getting a shot of the "pyramid"

A poster about the area - notice the light ray coming out of the pyramid

Another depiction of the area.  Our guide gave us a very long history of this area, but honestly it was too much to remember.  Most significantly, the pyramids were just discovered a few years ago from the energy they gave off to prove they aren't just mountains.  We went into the tunnels of the area to get more "proof" of the pyramids.  However, I found the more our guide talked, the less I believed these were anything other than hills.  It was a fascinating experience regardless!

Our fearless leader

Heading into the tunnel system

Becca showing off the evidence that this wall was put here and was not naturally occuring

Getting in touch with our inner cave explorer

The beautiful Bosnian countryside

Now on the Pyramid of the Sun - our guide shows us that these "rocks" were actually formed and carried up here given that they are made of river rock, and at this point we're about halfway up the mountain/pyramid.

Back in Sarajevo - cool door

We ate here and apparently so did Bill Clinton!

Loved this ad...though still not really sure what it's selling
Not sure if you can see, but the American Embassy is on the left and surrounded by a 15 foot fence covered in barbed wire and armed guards...

Love to see Czech ads in other places - especially when they lie and say Staropramen is the number one beer in the Czech Republic.  ;)

Museum about the Sarajevo Siege in the 90s.  The building was hit during the war and they left it in the same condition as a part of the exhibit and reminder of the destruction that occurred here just 20 years ago.

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

Photography exhibit from the siege

A replica of what apartments looked like during the siege

The exhibit hall


Guys catching up over coffee and tea

Loved this guy checking out the mosque

Many cafes on the street to get a coffee.  There was just something so welcoming about the downtown area.

The entrance to the Tunnel of Hope which was built from this private home under a runway at the airport to get supplies in to the city during the 4 year siege of Sarajevo

Fantastic map that shows how the Serbian troops had surrounded the city

The view from the house back towards Sarajevo.  It's a good 20 minute drive now, so I can only imagine how long it took people to get the supplies into the city center for residents during the Siege.

The carts used to transport goods through the tunnel

The woman who owned the house where the tunnel began

A closer look at where the tunnel went

The house at the beginning of the tunnel

Entrance to the tunnel

At the entrance to the tunnel

The tunnel

Photographs of buildings during the Siege

Fascinating to see these pictures, as the city has been almost completely re-built and after being there a few days, one could recognize all these locations

More photographs from the Siege

Universal fun - feeding the birds

Looking down into the city valley and over the mountains.  From this vantage point, one can really see how "trapped" the residents of Sarajevo were by the Serbian troops who occupied all the surrounding mountains.

From a cemetery overlooking the city

Amy enjoying some Bosnian coffee

Bosnian tea - another reminiscent moment from Turkey  :)

Delicious Bosnian Coffee

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