The Sunday Times -- Instant Weekend: Sarajevo

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ibro dirka
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The Sunday Times -- Instant Weekend: Sarajevo

Post by ibro dirka » 08/07/2007 14:58


From The Sunday Times
July 8, 2007

Instant weekend: Sarajevo

It?s boring going to Paris or Rome or Berlin all the time. So try something a little bit edgier

Why should I go? True, the name may stir unease. Between 1992 and 1995, something terrible happened there: genocide of a savagery last known in Europe under the Nazis, as the lid blew off centuries of regional/religious differences suppressed by greater powers. Yet in old Turkish, Sarajevo means ?castle in the field?. Two hours from Gatwick on a new direct flight, it?s a pretty Ottoman city that prospered on the caravan routes from Istanbul.

Snug in its valley of evergreen hills, the capital of Bosnia has come far since the grim days of the 1990s. Now, on warm nights, as a silver moon splashes the cypresses that stand sentry at the mosques, the passeggiata has all the strutting glamour of a small Italian resort: leather, hair gel, hips (and as for the girls...). On a long weekend, Sarajevo reveals its past slowly: in bullet-pocked facades and pavement memorials to the dead; over cafe chat and Turkish coffee with oriental and Viennese cakes. Without knowing it, you?ll return wiser ? and wider.

What do I do? Wander ? the cafe-laden city is made for it. First locate Princip Bridge, as diminutive as the Billy Goats Gruff?s. You?d never imagine that the first world war erupted here, in June 1914: one lurking Bosnian Serb gunman, one passing Austro-Hungarian archduke (Franz Ferdinand, touring the ?annexe?) and, bang, the death knell for Europe?s fraying empires. The legacy of older occupiers reigns in nearby Bascarsija: the Ottoman quarter clatters with Muslim ateliers producing metalware.

Make the first of many cafe stops amid the hookah smoke of Halvat (Luledzina 6), in a leafy courtyard. Then admire the 16th-century Constantinople masonry of the Gazi Husrev Begova mosque, on Ferhadija (daily, 9am-noon, 2.304pm, 5.307pm; 70p), before sampling more imperial leftovers ? apple strudel ? at the Hapsburg-era cafe Ramis (Saraci 1).

Equally impressive is the stained glass of the Catholic Cathedral of the Vrhbosanska archbishop?s diocese (Sun, Mon, 8am-4pm; donations), made to fin-de-si?cle Viennese designs. The Orthodox Cathedral (daily, 8am-5pm; donations) is a dramatic domed union of Serb Byzantine and neo-baroque. For more multicultural insights, try the Museum of Sarajevo (Bascarsija; 70p). One display says it all: an Orthodox icon, an 18th-century Catholic chalice, a Jewish menorah and a kippered old Koran.

When Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s, its Serb majority dreaded Bosnian Muslim and Croat moves for independence. So, in April 1992, the National Army sealed Sarajevo off, sowing the hills with mines and aiming sniper fire at civilians. Yet the populace survived, digging a 5ft-high tunnel from a suburb into town. You can visit a stretch at the Tunnel Museum (Tuneli 1; ?1.75). As the city burns on video screens, you learn that spuds, flour and oil were lugged nightly, for more than two years, through this muddy lifeline so half a million Sarajevans might not starve.

Time for a beer with a sunset chaser, high above town at Park Princeva (Iza Hrida 7). Later, squeeze into Baghdad Café (Bazerdzani 6), with Marrakesh tiles, hookahs and house music. Then make for Mash (Branilaca Sarajeva 20/1): a fab, shabby-chic scrum in what looks like a pensioner?s flat.

Where do I stay? Pension Kandilj (Bistrik 12a; 00 387 33-572510, ; doubles from ?36.25) is nicely neighbourhoody. Hotel Hecco (Medresa 1; 273730, ; doubles from ?46) is 10 minutes? walk from the Ottoman quarter, with spotless Ikea looks. The homely Ada Hotel (Abdesthana 8; 475870, ; doubles from ?49.50) is central and casts a peaceful spell, with hilly views.

Where do I eat? Inat Kuca (Veliki Alifakovac 1; 447867; mains from ?3.50), on a terrace by the babbling River Miljacka, excels in sirnica (cheesy filo pie). For lunch in the Ottoman quarter, try Zeljo 1 (Kundurdziluk 19; mains from 70p), which serves up juicy cevapi (kebabs) in hot bread at communal tables. For dinner, Karuzo (Dzenetica Cikma; 444647; mains from ?1.75) offers salads and sushi in a cosy nautical-themed den.

How do I get there? The only direct flights to Sarajevo are operated by British Airways (0870 850 9850, ), three times a week from Gatwick; from ?158. Regent Holidays (0870 499 0911, ) has three nights at Pension Kandilj from ?299pp, B&B, including BA flights from Gatwick. Green Visions (00 387 61 213278, ), a local operator, offers city guides and a range of excellent tours of the country.

Nick Redman travelled as a guest of British Airways and Regent Holidays

:thumbup: :bih:

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Post by Jara » 08/07/2007 20:31

Fino :thumbup: , nadam se ne zbog toga sto je putovao kao gost.. :D
Jest' da je od jablana uz džamije mislio da su čempresi :-) ...oprošteno zbog super reklame :)

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Post by Skyfox » 08/07/2007 22:24

Great the world is discovering Sarajevo


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Post by DaysleepeR » 08/07/2007 23:34

Zagreb je pun Britanaca, vikend turista kojima su cijene bagatela.

Mogu se vidjeti u podosta pijanom stanju u kaficima na "spici"

Posto su Britanci davno otkrili cari bisvih sovjetskih republika, vrijeme je da otkriju i ex yu cari.

Tek pocinje a pravi bum ce nastati dolaskom Ryan Air-a i inih jeftinih avio kompanija.

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