Exploring by Foot Because There is No Public Transportation

Public transportation strikes can be a bit of a pain. Ours is still going on, although they’ve set an ultimatum to go back to work on the 17th if they aren’t paid. From what I understood by watching the news, the company needs about 50,000 km (about 30,000 USD) to pay all its workers for February and March. So while the people who live in the outskirts of Sarajevo take the very crowded Centro-trans bus that goes every 30 minutes from one end of the city to the other, I walk wherever I need to go, because I only live about an hour by foot from the city center.

In the past two days, I’ve climbed a lot of hills, explored parts of the city with Katie that I just hadn’t gotten around to exploring yet, and biked down a path that I’d gone running on once and sworn to go back so that I could take photos. Of course I took my camera on all of these adventures!

On Friday, Katie and I went for coffee in čaršija and just took some time to talk, relax, and enjoy the almost warm weather as we sat in a semi-outdoors cafe. Afterwards, we climbed a few streets and flights of stairs to an old wall that now is a park which overlooks the city. We spent some time taking in the view, then we walked further up the hill and circled an old military compound with signs posted saying “watch out for falling objects” and “warning: destroyed.” We played it safe and just admired it from outside the intimidating walls. As we were walking back down into the city, we stumbled across an amphitheater we’d seen in October. It was now mostly finished, so we ran around and played with the echos. Physics is so cool.

While in the amphitheater, we decided to go to the Alija Izetbegović museum that was right next to it, in a renovated fortification with two towers and a wall between them. Izetbegović was Bosnia’s first president, and was very important in resolving the most recent war. The museum was really interesting- one tower had items and information which focused on his life and political rise, while the other focused on the war and his involvement in it. It was also cool to walk across the wall. To finish off the day, Katie and I went back to baščaršija for čevapi and had coffee again, and then I walked home and she went to a church gathering. All in all, I think I walked about 15 km that day, which is fun.

The next day (this is why Emma jokingly called me “Dora the Explorer”) I pulled out the bike for the first time this spring and biked all the way down a path in the river canyon made by the Miljacka. I ran there once, but I didn’t have the stamina to go to the end. This time, armed with my camera, I biked until I came to kozija ćuprija, the goat’s bridge. It was built in the early 16th century, in an arc with two large holes on the side for when the Miljacka River floods. It once was a part of the Constantinople Road, a route which linked the Ottoman Empire to the West. Today, it connects two bike paths that run east out of the city.

I took some more pictures on the way back, and even climbed a bit up a hill to get a better view of the beautiful area. Hills hid Sarajevo from view, and as much as I absolutely love this city, it was lovely to find myself surrounded by nature and fresh air. Here are some of the photographs from my little excursions!

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