Though Sarajevo, the Bosnian and Herzegovinian capitol, is a name that seems to be intrinsically tied to conflict and drama, the course of 20 years has contributed much to the healing of this noteworthy and resistant town, and tourist activity is currently on the upswing.
Zarajevo is gorgeous. Situated in a long, thin hollow set in wooded hills, almost every intersection and road junction offers at least a view of an iconic scenery of postcards. However, in the darkest periods of the city's past, when its people were attacked by sharpshooters, this tragic geographical situation turned out to be a terrible disadvantage, but fortunately the amazing scenic Sarajevo can once again be seen and experienced.
But the best way to achieve this is to find the highest possible viewpoint, and with the recent re-opening of the legendary Sarajevo ropeway, a ride up the mountain has been made again easier. Only a few minutes on foot from Ba??ar?ija is the new ropeway terminal at the foot of Mount Trebevi?, one of the summits on which the 1984 Winter Olympics were held.
In the Ferhadija major shopping precinct, this commemorative square is signposted for future generations on the sidewalk, and a plaque encouraging the visitor to take a picture that first looks up the road and then the other way. One side of this line has locals sitting and drinking beers on the streets, while on the other side there is not a single drip of liquor.
Instead, there are cafés with open entrances that offer powerful Bosnian coffees and perhaps a train on a water whistle. If you follow Ferhadija in the directions of Café, you will be led into the centre of Ba??ar?ija and invariably into the pleasant hustle and bustle with the nickname "Pigeon Square". Just like the view from Mount Trebevi?, the Pigeon Square spectacle is constantly evolving, but one thing that is consistent is the beautiful icecream offered by hawkers in an enticing variety of flavors.
For a larger selection of drinks we recommend Gazi Husrev-begova, the small road surrounded on one side by the covered market square, Old Bezistan. Café desks compress the road even more and a nice glass of espresso stops here as long as you can stay over it.
Café Ramis is a good option as it is located on a small edge and draws local residents and foreigners. It doesn't really make a big deal of sense whether you are sitting down or not with a window that opens completely to the road, but there is something nice about the relaxation inside, with Ottoman geometrical designs and lucky men chewing cakes.
Sarajevo's rich and varied legacy is as much revealed by the pies as anything else in the town. The Viennese Sachertorte is sold next to krempita www. krempita.com (a Bosnian-Herzegovinian pudding slice), as well as something that I thought seemed a lot like rumba. Just a few steps away and a not to be missed view on Ba??ar?ija is the Gazi Husrev-Bey Mall.
Actually, one cannot overlook it; the biggest Ottomanosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina is impressive in every respect. Situated on the west side of the Ferhadija culture divide, like the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, it was badly affected during the Great Wars and is an important icon of the town due to its enduring importance.
The atmosphere in Sarajevo is so good that it can be hard to understand the terrorist nature of what took place here in the mid-1990s. Every edifice that stood before that period will probably be covered with bullet punctures, and a commemorative park in Veliki Park, opposite one of Sarajevo's liveliest commercial centres, silently reminds us of the 1,500 kids who died during the 44-month besiege.
Without considering the burning part in the First world war, the story of Sarajevo can seem incredibly tragic. When you want to explore something special, then make your way to Sarajevo.