Thursday, February 01, 2018

Sightseeing: Bosnia & Herzegovina Day 2

For day 2 I chose to explore Sarajevo in a bit more detail.

From my hotel window I could see some more graffiti around the south side of the river, so I thought I'd start the day walking back into the centre on that side.

Being in a valley most of the city expansion happens in a westerly direction following the river and away from the mountains to the east, but there has been some up into the hills giving the city a slight feeling of that scene in Inception where the cityscape curls back on itself. 

This was one of my favourite murals on this trip. Simple but still triggers a "why" question.

The trams run along the main road and it's one of the oldest tram networks in Europe opening in 1885 and being the proving ground for what would become more famous in Vienna a few years later. 

This is the Avaz Twist Tower, the largest tower building in the Balkans. Be careful if photographing it from the main road as you might (as I did) point your camera towards the US embassy and the armed guards really don't like you doing it. I had done it unwittingly, was stopped and had to show it being deleted from the camera. For a nation that loudly proclaims to be the greatest in the world, they sure are a precious bunch sometimes. 

Some more of the moodier side of the city. Shortly after taking this a car pulled up and some guys got out and started ferreting through the bins belonging to companies nearby. They looked like it was part of a normal routine, the way they did it so brazingly.

After my morning walk I took a taxi up Mt Trebevic to the south of the city. I did think about walking it as Google said it would take an hour but when I realised how steep the ascent was in the taxi I could see I'd made the right choice and the time would have taken me way over twice as long. My destination for this jaunt was Sunnyland.

As the only known fixed rollercoaster in the country and it being so close I had to pop by and give it a visit. The coaster is an alpine coaster making good use of the terrain. Advertised as an amusement park it's more the coaster, some playgrounds and a couple of eating establishments - not much of a park at all. They have a shuttle bus in the car park but I couldn't see any reference to it on their website. For your info the taxi took 20 minutes, the hotel quoted 14 marks but it cost me half of that. I rounded up to 10 and the driver seemed very appreciative despite the tip only being a pound or two. Along the way the driver removed his taxi sign from the roof, I'm not quite sure why.

The Alpine is fairly short but the view is great; they definitely got the location right. The layout has the lift hill at the end, and the toboggan almost completely stopped at the bottom of the hill. I think that's by design. It costs 5 Marks for one go, so £2.50 for a coaster can't be complained about at all. Reading reviews some people commented it was too much; they should never go to North America where these things are ridiculously priced sometimes.

I thought I'd be the only one riding it today but as I was about to leave two other guys gave it a go so I stuck around to get photos, as evidence that the place was actually open.

From Sunnyland I thought it would be a good idea to walk down into the city. The views were great and I had plenty of time to kill.

The descent was steep in places, I was sliding down into the front of my boots a couple of times. It also became apparent that the hills had also become home to graveyards of those that had lost their lives in the troubles. Vast swathes of graves were dated 1992.

A zoom view of the Twist Tower taken from the mountain.

I did make  it down into the city eventually. I liked the street cleaner machine here.

The old book depository.

Kraftwerk are coming to Sarajevo but at the end of the month, not today :(

The Sebilj marks the centre of the city's old town, Bascarsija. It harks back to the mid-1750s and is the most photographed site in the city. A sebil is a fountain.

An unusual clock close to it.

Still some graffiti worth seeing here.

The old town is a lovely collection of cobbled streets full of small shops and eating places. It's also very touristy and is the place to go to if you want a commemorative fridge magnet.

Around the city there are a small number of these things in the street called "Sarajevo Roses". They're scars of the attacks on the city created by filling in the damage from mortar shells with red resin.

This cat appeared a few times on my walks.

This doesn't give the same warm fuzzy feeling that "Mulled Wine" does.

That ol' bridge again. I thought I'd try going east along the river this time to see it ended up.

It quickly became apparent that other than a steep climb there wasn't much to be heading out for. There is an old bridge called The Goat Bridge along the river somewhere but I had no idea how far out it was. I gave up once I realised I was having to ascend steeper and steeper hills to get to it. Overlooking the eastern side of the city is this cool spooky looking palace.

My eastward journey came to an abrupt end and I chose to explore yet another graveyard. The views were incredible.

Another steep ass hill. It's a good place to visit if you want to work your glutes.

The mixing pot of cultures results in mosques, synagogues and churches coexisting. It's a shame we don't get along as well now as we used to. Across the road from this church is a brewery tour. I tried some Sarajevsko Beer whilst out here and have to say I really liked it.

Commemorative plaques adorn the buildings.

When designing things do take the shape and shadows into account. I guess it will get longer as the sun goes down.

TasliHan is an archaeological site located in the middle of the alleys of the old town. There's already a lot of history in the city centre, but this takes us even further back.

One of these phone boxes is a fake. A "British" pub tucked away down one of the side streets.

Some Austrian-Hungarian influence also dotted the city.

The city cathedral with a statue of Pope John Paul II outside it.

A big market from where I bought an apple. They taste much better than our water-filled ones back home.

The Saborna Rodenja church adding a bit of orthodox vibe. I loved the statue and it was made even better by real pigeons resting next to the fake ones.

One of the city theatres.

The animal here is Vucko, the mascot of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, which they still promote. You can even buy original T-Shirts in some of the souvenir shops.

The parks in the city are also on slopes, one of the obvious downsides to being in a valley. Maybe that's why they're not good at football

I mentioned earlier that Sunnyland has the only fixed coaster in the city. There is a travelling fair that has a small kids coaster that would be in this park, just much later in the year. Last year the fair made the news after the coaster derailed. In it's absence I got to enjoy this rather odd sculpture instead.

The city museum is free and has a small selection of historical relics to peruse and walk amongst. It's a good place to understand the impacts both positive and negative that the Romans brought here.

Tito's Cafe is a small bar celebrating the Yugoslavian Leader Josip Tito. Outside it, there's this small array of Communist military things.

A strange monument close by.

More graffiti. I think this was on a school.

I've no idea how that dog got up there.

I've seen the film. I know how this ends...

Another nice church.

A couple of older guys use the park flooring to play chess.

Some sort of protest about the EU

The ongoing battle of the graffiti taggers. Bum is beating Fucki

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