The People of Sarajevo, Bosnia11/12/2010
In all of my travels I have never come across people quite like the population of Sarajevo, Bosnia.
I arrived in Sarajevo in the middle of the night with no cash and no available transportation to my hostel. I briefly talked to a security guard about the local currency and he offered to give me a ride free of charge to my hostel. He wanted to give me a favorable impression of the city. Mission accomplished.
I was blown away by the genuine kindness of the locals in Sarajevo.
The terrible Bosnian War of 1992 featured Sarajevo as the epicenter of human persecution and destruction. You can feel the freshness of that war in the air you breathe. All around me were newly minted graves and blown out buildings. The streets were filled with “Sarajevo Roses“, painted bomb fragments representing the death of at least 3 people.
Through all the recent pain and destruction, the locals remain upbeat and friendly.
They are happy to just be alive!
The city itself is full of life and religious diversity with Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Judaism influences.
The scenery is world class offering skiing during the winter and mountain climbing all year long.
However, it is the people that impressed me the most about Sarajevo. One of my highlights during my stay was the tour of the famous Sarajevo Tunnel. Below is the video I filmed from entrance to exit.
The first hand stories of daily survival were just an incredible experience. Everybody who lived through the war lost somebody they knew in Sarajevo. A truly tragic experience made better everyday by the people.
Legend has it that if you drink the water in Sarajevo that you will stay longer than planned. I ended up staying 2 days longer than expected for a total of 5 days. One of my favorite cities of all time!