Today is January 11, 2017. Day 11 of my self-inflicted 31 days of posting in January.
Today we attempted again to go to the candy cane cake building aka the National Library, but none of the doors were open. I pressed my face up against the windows and knocked as loud as I could, hoping to catch the attention of the guy I could plainly see in the ticket office booth. Nope. I tried ringing the intercom hoping to reach someone inside. Nope.
Ok. You win library. Again.
We walked over to Zeljo, a recommended locals spot to try one of the national dishes, Cevapi. It consists of small grilled meat sausages served with fresh minced onion and Bosnian pita bread called somun. Somun is served hot and golden out of the oven, thick and chewy. It reminds me of the pizza crust in Florence. It is also custom to order a tall glass of chilled yogurt. Yup. With the consistency of tahini, it went down fresh and tart.
We bundled up and made our way to the Latin Bridge. The location of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. You know, that one incident that lead to the Great War aka WWI. He and his wife Sophie were shot point blank by a Serbian Nationalist, upon a military visit to Sarajevo. I can only imagine what the hell goes through someone’s head when they have decided that murdering someone is the best possible solution to the problem. And I find myself getting angry at this kid (yes, the gunman was a teenager), and his decision to end two lives that would lead to the deaths of 17 million more. One of the deadliest conflicts in history.
We caught a taxi to the Tunnel of Hope, built in 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War. The war lasted from 1992-1996. The entrance of the tunnel is located in the cellar of a nondescript home 12 km outside of the city, across a very large and barren field from the airport. It took several months for military and civilians-working 24 hours a day, digging at both ends of the projected 800 meter tunnel, until it finally met in the middle. This allowed soldiers, arms, food, supplies, aid, and people to come and go undetected. However, the Bosnian Army controlled the tunnel and a person needed a permit to access the tunnel or they could be extorted for money.
We happened to arrive at the Museum just as a guide was starting his tour with 2 visitors, and he invited P and I to join them. During the war, and said that, “…cigarettes were currency. Military personnel were paid a pack a day for fighting on the front lines, and since I have never smoked in my life, I would take the cigarettes and trade them or sell them for food.”
He started his own tour business about 4 years ago, and said that during the summer when there are many people visiting the city, it gets hard for him to have to re-live that part of his life, over and over again. But he said he would much rather share with people the history of the war, then to let it be forgotten.
As a police officer, it was my duty to protect historic and religious artifacts, and for that I am very proud.
If you missed yesterday’s post you can read it here. xo