Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I woke up at 08:30 today, showered, dressed, and got ready to see some more of Sarajevo today. I exited the hostel after 10:00 and met the Argentinian man I had hung out with yesterday. He decided to join me for a while and so we both walked south to the Latin Bridge. I took some photographs around the bridge since it is located right next to the spot where Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (possibly the most significant spot in the twentieth-century AD . . . or, at the very least, it should be included with Kitty Hawk, the Trinity Site, Baikonur Cosmodrome, and Tranquility Base). I then tried to enter inside the Museum of Sarajevo 1878–1918, but it was closed on account of Pope Francis’ visit to Sarajevo today; in fact, Pope Francis was at Sarajevo’s Olympic Stadium addressing the crowds whilst I was wandering around the streets of Sarajevo’s city center trying to find something to do. The Argentinian man and I then walked around the old city center until we came across three friends he had made while in Mostar (a Canadian (Vancouver) woman, a German (Hamburg) man, and a Singaporean (uh . . . Singapore) man); we joined their company and then walked to a local bakery where everyone bought some food (I abstained due to a conflict of taste). We then walked to a local café where I had a cappuccino, followed by draught beer; we stayed at this café for a few hours and talked of many things, laughing quite a bit at our own juvenile behavior and thoughts; we also watched the Pope address the masses in the stadium on the television in the café. After wasting away a good percentage of the day at the café, we walked to a restaurant and had lunch; I had a spicy pizza with sausage, ham, and mushrooms. After lunch, we walked to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, where the Pope was scheduled to arrive at 16:15 to give mass; we reached the cathedral just shy of 15:00 and had over an hour to wait to see the Pope (yes, we were all committed to seeing the Pope, one of the most important and influential figures in the world); luckily we came when we did; the crowds were not too large yet and after we arrived, more people started to come; we ended up close to the barricade, with a fine view, and not too far away – like most of the crowds who came after us. We did all agree that Bosnia and Herzegovina (a 50%+ Muslim country and about 15% Catholic country) was probably one of the best places for us to see the Pope, since almost every other venue would be terribly crowded well before his scheduled appearance. Anyway, we waited until he arrived (at about 16:20) in one of his popemobiles; I then took as many photographs as I could (with only about two turning out okay) as the Pope rode in his vehicle, stepped out, walked up to the entrance of the cathedral, and then went inside. He then proceeded to give mass and we all decided to leave (since we could not understand what he was saying in Italian – nor could we understand the Bosnian translation). We then walked east to the nearest convenience store and bought some very much needed liquids (I was fairly dehydrated from standing out in the hot sun for over an hour whilst waiting for the Pope); we then walked over to the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, sat down at its corner, and drank our refreshing drinks. Afterwards, we walked around Sarajevo some more until the Argentinian man and I decided to give our leave and walk back to the hostel. Once back at the hostel, I rested and worked on the website. Later in the night, I met two French-Canadian women, an Aussie gal, two Frenchman, a Swiss man, and a New Hampshire man; the Argentinean man and I hung out in the common area with them for a while; eventually, the Argentinean man left to watch the UEFA Champions League game between Juventus and FC Barcelona at a local pub; I went to the supermarket with the New Hampshire man and the French-Canadian women, where I bought some sausages, ajvar sauce (made principally from red bell peppers with garlic), olives, cheese, and Bosnian red wine. We then returned to the hostel and I cooked my sausages, poured the ajvar sauce on them, and ate them; I also ate the olives and cheese whilst drinking the Bosnian red wine I had bought, which was made from Blatina grapes and tasted of red berries, chocolate, and coffee (during this meal and company, the French—Canadian gals nicknamed me “wine lover” – I had no objections to their label). During dinner, we watched the UEFA Champions League game in the hostel (although none of us were football fans – except for an Indian man who later joined us). When the game was over, the Argentinean returned disappointed (he was rooting for Juventus) and I had finished my wine; I then washed my dishes and eventually went to sleep (doing so around midnight).