October 08, 2004

The Hills of Sarajevo

I am feeling much better today, and Bosnian Ibuprofen seems to work pretty well. This morning I followed a road out of town, being careful not to leave the tarmac, as apparently Sarajevo's suburbs still have lots of landmines. Sarajevo is completely surrounded by very big hills, and the road out of town gently wound its way higher and higher, until I found myself on a ridge with lovely views of the city on one side, and hills and mountains on the other side stretching away into the distance. There were an awful lot of graveyards along this road, and many of the tombstones were dated from the mid-nineties. It seems unbelievable that such a beautiful tranquil city as this, was only ten years ago ravaged by war.
There are still a few buildings around that are empty shells, or riddled with bullet holes, but mostly the city now seems to have been repaired, and the streets are full of people eating, drinking and shopping. Most of the shops are of the small family variety, as it seems that mass consumerism has not quite arrived here yet.
Yesterday, I stood on the spot where a Serbian nationalist assasinated Franz Ferdinand and so started World War I. There used to be a mould of his footprints to mark the spot, but after the last war they were taken away as there is disagreement here as to whether the actions of a Serb should be commemorated or not. It seems a little sad that this city should have had so much involvement in war. Hopefully now, it won't be involved in any more.

Posted by paul at October 8, 2004 02:03 PM