Justin's Journey through the Balkans 2011 travel blog

Pidgeons attack in Pidgeon square

A Sarajevo mosque

Latin bridge, where the assassination occured

I think this is a jewish place....


Today, I caught a train to Sarajevo. I confess i love the trains in europe compared to the buses. Buses usually mean less space and no leg room. On the trains i've rarely had to share 4 or 6 seats. They usually are as quick as each other also and around the same cost. Less trains per day usually though.

Sarajevo train station is typically old looking and not much to see, but it is next to the bus station and also a tram stop into the city. my father will be pleased I caught a Sarajevo tram to my hostel. However they'd stuffed up my bookings, but gave me a large double room instead. The place is right in the centre of old sarajevo, which is a micture of old pedestrain walkways. Its not as beautiful as other cities, but to be far its been 15 years since they had a war here.

One thing you will notice in Sarajevo is the abundance of mosques, mixed with churches and synagoges. I actually walked past a mosque a prayer time and was allowed in to take photos and just watch. I'd never seen a muslim prayer before. A lot of getting up and down from your knees. what interested me was the mixof boys and men there and just how modern many of the younger men looked. Some of them looked like they just skateboarded in for prayers.

I also went to the national museum here to see the Sarajevo Haggedah. apparently the world most valuable book. It was written in the 1300's by the jews in spain and then carried across europe when the jews were kicked out of Spain. Interestingly, the Nazis came looking for it with orders to destroy it and same during the balkans war in the 90's. It survived both those wars. From what i could see it is a pictorial story of the bible from the Jews point of view.

Finally, I photographed and walked over the bridge where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria occured in 1914 and thus sparked WWI with the Austro-hungary empire declaring war on the Serbs.

I've only been here for half a day. Maybe a full day would have been better. historically Sarajevo is a fascinating city. Its also hosted the Winter Olympics. Not bad for a city that has about 750,000 people.

Tomorrow, i'm back in Croatia to visit Split for a few days.



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