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Chasing a Dream - Part I "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA | Friday, 20 May 2016 | Views [126]

Wednesday, 18 May

It was a stunningly scenic drive from Belgrade into Bosnia as we passed through the lush countryside, winding our way along the river. We stopped for a few hours at Srebrenica at the memorial site of where approximately 8,000 Bosnians were slaughtered by Serb forces. We were led by a survivor of the genocide, who told us of his personal experiences, and then shown a rather confronting film. Although what happened was terrible, and I understand why the survivors feel the way they do, I did find that much of the material presented felt more like propaganda to incite hatred of Serbs and the UN for not fighting their war for them, and the Americans for brokering a peace deal that they are now bitter about, yet can safely walk down the streets because of. Instead of presenting the facts in a way that brings awareness to prevent further atrocities, I fear it will only propagate the bitterness and hatred between Serbs and Bosnians, Christians and Muslims. Later in Sarajevo, when we visited the tunnels and listened to another guide rant for 20min about how democracy was the worst thing ever, the UN was evil, and that Trump and Putin were going to cause WWIII, instead of actually talking about what the tunnels were used for, I had had quite enough of the preaching and was less than enthusiastic about visiting the city. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and once turned from the topic of war, found the Bosnians to be quite friendly and pleasant. The old town of Sarajevo, reminded me very much of Istanbul, and the Ottoman influence is clearly present in the buildings and culture in general. In fact, nearly all the shops sold mostly Turkish items, from coffee, to delights, to brass and silver serving plates. The city itself is surrounded by green hills, scattered with terracotta roofed houses, and is fairly compact. A day was more than enough time to explore the old town, and by late afternoon the rain moved in, so I walked back to the hotel and spent a relaxing evening in.

 

Tags: bosnia herzegovina, sarajevo

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