Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I woke up, showered, dressed, and got ready to see the rest of Sarajevo. I left the hostel and walked to the Sacred Heart Cathedral to view its nave, but there was a mass going on (it was Sunday after all), so I didn’t venture in further past the entrance. I then walked to the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina (located next to the old Officer’s Casino and some other architecturally beautiful buildings from yester-century), but it was closed for the day. I then walked to and through the Markthalle (“Market Hall”), which primarily sold butchered meat and cheeses inside. Next, I walked to the Sarajevo Markale marketplace, which is the site of the First Markale Massacre (on February 5, 1994 AD a 120 millimeter mortar shell landed in the center of the crowded marketplace, killing 68 people and wounding 144). I then walked to the Jewish Museum, located inside an old nineteenth-century AD Synagogue, and walked around its three levels, looking at artifacts (mostly from the nineteenth and early-twentieth-century AD) and displays detailing the lives that fought against fascism and the lives of those who were sentenced to concentration camps to die during the Second World War. After visiting the Jewish Museum, I walked to the Old Orthodox Church, which was first mentioned in Ottoman sources dating to 1539 AD. Once at the Old Orthodox Church, I viewed the various iconography on display inside its museum and entered inside the church itself, which – of course – had a lot of iconography as well. Next, I walked through Baščaršija Square and took some photographs of Sarajevo’s Sebilj (a pseudo-Ottoman-style wooden fountain) in the center of the square, before continuing on to Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Unfortunately, the mosque was closed; so I walked south (via the Latin Bridge . . . yet again) to the Emperor’s Mosque, but this mosque was closed today as well. I then continued southward to the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua (a red and white Roman Catholic Church built in 1913 AD) and walked around its nave (mass had just finished, so I pretty much had the church to myself); inside this church, there were some very interesting abstract works of art (e.g. the stained glass, mosaics, paintings, and sculptures); in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much modern and untraditional art in a church before; most interesting – perhaps – were the Stations of the Cross, which were sculpted out of wood and condensed together in four groups (i.e. I-III, IV-VI, VII-X, and XI-XIV). After touring the inside of the church, I walked across the street to Sarajevska Pivara (a Bosnian brewing company) and ate lunch inside their restaurant, where I had a light draught beer, a steak rolled up and stuffed with ham, and French fries. After lunch, I walked back to the hostel and reached it by 14:30. Yesterday, the man from New Hampshire had said that he would put together a “drunk walking tour” for us to do today and I was looking forward to seeing how this would turn out; however, it never happened and it looked like those that were planning on participating were too tired to make it happen. So, without anything else planned for today (too bad the museums were all closed), I rested in my bed and caught up on the news. Later on, after 19:00, I joined the party in the common room for a short while and watched everyone else play a drunk card game. I then took a shower and dressed in my best (as a backpacker, my best is dismal, but surprisingly not bad given the circumstances) and waited for the card game to finish so that we could all go out and drink at some bars. The card game took longer than expected and I had to buy two beers from the hostel and drink that while waiting (I did try the nearby supermarket, but it had already closed (at 21:00). Finally, once the game was completed, we all gathered (that is: a Swiss man, the man from New Hampshire, the two French-Canadian women (one of the girls had just turned 25 today and we were going out to drink to celebrate), a normal Canadian man, an Aussie gal, a Kiwi (whom I had met the first day at the hostel, but he was gone the next two days as he visited Mostar), an Indian man, an Englishman, and I) and walked to the first bar: a bar with a bunch of antiques on the wall and done in a retro style (there was also a small black and white television in the W.C. and telephones that would randomly ring); at this bar, we all had a shot of green rakia and the Swiss man and I had a beer. Once we had finished our beers, the man from New Hampshire led us to a brewery he wished to drink at; it turned out that this was the same brewery I had eaten lunch at (Sarajevska Pivara). Upon reaching the brewery, we were disappointed to discover that it had closed for the night (despite a sign proclaiming that it was open until 01:00 – it was only after 23:30). We then walked back toward the city center and ended up at an American-style bar, where most of us ordered draught beer (the Englishman left upon our arrival, one of the French-Canadian abstained since she was already very drunk, and the Indian man abstained as well); since we had ordered eight drinks, and only seven of us were partaking, I decided to down one immediately and then savor my second. After finishing our beers, we then walked back to the hostel, got ready for bed, and went to sleep (after 02:00) – a night of light debauchery.