The day dawned cloudy and heavy... We had to travel a few kilometers to the capital and for this we were more relaxed. Nevertheless we got up early and went down to the restaurant owner who had rented the room. There was a lady-probably his mother. Because the place was not so nice, we did not get breakfast, but were content to drink 2 coffees each of us.
Before leaving, we decided to take a walk in the city on foot. Following initially the main street, we passed in front of the famous Colorful Mosque, supposedly kept the hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammad(!). We continued walking through the main street, encountering mosques and a train with 2-3 wagons that adorned a small square.
At 10am, we left for Sarajevo. The road at first was the same scene with what we had encountered until Travnik the day before. Then, however, we passed through an area with many buildings of companies’ reminiscent big city suburb. The path to a course, passed again through an area with lush vegetation to the point that we met the entrance to the highway. Without realizing it we came to the toll - although we did not had any problem at all - and in this way we would save time, which we needed to Serajevo.
The highway had a system charge that depend the mileage you used. So we got the card and continue. We crossed a beautiful area that included villages on the slopes of the mountains that dominate the Muslim community. Sometime Mimis told us that there was a possibility at the end of the motorway Speed control would be calculated according to the time of entry. He was probably influenced by the presence of police at the entrance. The suspicion was a good excuse to stop at a gas station we met. We drank a coffee, refueled, we took off our raincoats that we wore when we started, and continued.
Approximately 20km before Serajevo the freeway was finishing. We paid the equivalent of 5.4KM (approximately 2,5€) and driving under the threat of rain. Arriving in the capital we followed the signs to the center, until we came across the river of the city, Miljacka. From there we moved east towards the old town, where was our accommodation. George using some digital maps on his phone, he was able to lead us where we should be, which - as we saw then -it was very close to the old center and the famous Turkish area “Bascarsija”.
Our room was an apartment (Apartments Sarajevo - 45 €/4person) in a new 4th floor apartment, fully furnished, clean, sophisticated and stunning. The only negative point was that it had no elevator and the apartment is on the 4th floor! So to carry our luggage was very difficult! There was also a problem with the parking, as well as the small alley that led to the stairs, it was a dead end. We could leave our bikes there, but the owner told us it was dangerous, so it suited us to a closed parking, only 100 meters further.
We sat down to rest and get ready for our visit to the old city center, watching the weather that constantly was getting worse and was about to rain heavily! Soon our fears were confirmed and began an intense storm... We waited to stop the rain so we wore our raincoats and started.
The Sarajevo before the war was a multinational microcosm of Yugoslavia, where Muslims, Serbs, Croats, Turks and Jews coexisted for hundreds of years. The result was that the city combines many elements that you see everywhere. The city's name comes from the Turkish word "saraj", which means palace. The wars that took place left many scars, which look even nowadays in the walls of the buildings. Still trying to recover and it manages a lot.
Originally we moved in the main street Ferhadija, passing in front of temples of different religions like the Catholic Church, old Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Mosque of Gazi-Husrcevbey and the Jewish Synagogue. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us to be comfortable and to peer up comfortably.
Walking, we arrived in the Turkish area, Bascarsija which is stiffer the oriental element thanks to the mosques, bazaars and restaurants. Really, there were times when I felt I was in another country. We moved quickly east, towards the river, where there was an old Turkish mansion that was converted into a restaurant, "Inat Kuca". The owner had kept both the interior design and the exterior architecture. When we got inside we were impressed. The two storey building features also interior balconies that had a small table with a fantastic view in the river. The food was very good and the prices economical.
Once we finished eating, we realized that the rain had stopped, so we felt it was a good opportunity to return to Bascarsija and wander at our leisure. Eventually we found a small cafe «Nargila de Damask», which as indicated by its name, had hookahs. It was a local hangout. We enjoyed our time with conversation and jokes.
Before returning to the apartment, we walked visiting the monument to the fallen in the war of 1945. There is a flame that burns endlessly. Also, we were at the point where the rocket had fallen in 1995, in Markale, which killed 37 people and wounded 90.
At 10pm., we returned to the apartment. The impressions that i had were very nice. To be honest I did not expect Sarajevo to be so beautiful. It is an amazing melting pot of cultures that blends different cultures that have lived together and tie together seamlessly. Unfortunately, some had other plans in these people who lived in this place who cared to put them at incredible adventures and misery...