Browsing Tag

Sarajevo

Bosnia & Herzegovina

36 Hours in Sarajevo

The cosmopolitan capital city is reclaiming its identity from the war in the early ‘90s, and is polishing up a beautiful tourism trade.

Sarajevo is the capital and largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hugged by its hills, the metropolitan area is home to about 643,000 people. The Dinaric Alps surround the city, and has the Miljacka River running through it. Often called the ‘heart-shaped land,’ Bosnia lies in the heart of Southeastern Europe, and the Balkans.

Many people still associate Sarajevo with the war in the early ‘90s, but it’s a modern city, and hosts the premier and largest film festival in Southeast Europe—The Sarajevo Film Festival. It’s also the leading political, social, and cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is the only major European city to have a mosque, Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Synagogue within the same neighbourhood (Baščaršija). Because of its long and rich history of cultural diversity, one of its nicknames is ‘The Jerusalem of the Balkans.’

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Bosnia & Herzegovina Tea Places

The Best Tea House in Sarajevo

I first heard it whispered about in the cozy kitchen of The Doctor’s House hostel in Sarajevo. Čajdžinica Džirlo, or ‘the hippie tea shop’ as the girls at the hostel put it. It was my second day in Bosnia and I was having breakfast with some other guests at the hostel, girls from Spain and Britain. We got to talking about when they told me I had to visit this place, near the Ottoman fountain in Baščaršija, the old town market.

One girl grabbed a map and the place was pointed out and circled.  “It’s awesome,” she said, “You have to go.” I did go, and it was awesome.

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The Sunday Letter

The Sunday Letter

Friday brought the last day of my internship with CBC in London. In a way, it’s good because I don’t think I could have afforded living in London much longer (although I am now a connoisseur of £2 dinners from Sainsbury’s). On Thursday I fly out to Sarajevo to begin an adventure in the Balkans with Photographers Without Borders, where the cost of living is significantly cheaper.

Using the McDonald’s scale, a combo in Bosnia costs 8KM (convertible marks), or about $6 Canadian. The same in London costs £5, or about $9.40 Canadian. I am very excited just typing that.

The Project 1948 Sarajevo trip has grown a lot since we first started planning it. What started as a project based solely in Sarajevo now has us traveling through refugee camps in the Balkans, with a whole team of NGO workers and Fujifilm to tell the stories of families caught up in this forced migration and also deliver aid.

Speaking of forced migration, you may have heard Canada mentioned in the news recently. There’s a wildfire bigger than New York City burning through western Canada right now. Here it is in the New York Times. It may take months to put out.

While firefighters wait to get the rain they desperately need to help put out the fire, 80,000 people have been internally displaced. For many, there will be nothing to go back to except scorched earth.

Right now the Canadian Government is matching donations made to the Red Cross to help fight the fire and get supplies needed by people who’ve been displaced by the fire.

I donated. It’s really easy.

Even $2 could buy a coffee or toiletries for someone having a really bad day.

A lot of us Maritimers (those of us from the East Coast of Canada), are especially feeling the pull to help Fort McMurray. There are a lot of east coasters working in the oilsands. In the ’90s when Nova Scotia’s fisheries industry collapsed due to a federally-imposed moratorium in cod, lots of east coasters headed out west. Rob’s sister used to live in Fort McMurray. I feel confident in saying everyone in Nova Scotia knows someone who’s gone west to look for work. Here’s hoping everyone in Fort McMurray can find the help they need.

What I’ve been reading on the internet this week:

That’s a wrap for this week. Wish me luck as I’m gearing up for a trip to Wales, then on to Sarajevo. Finally!