You're a very handy man to have around the house as some furniture can be solid wood and a bugger to move. I was wondering if your missus was a bit like me when you walk past a crooked picture frame.....you have to straighten it there and then. Thanks for letting me tease you a bit. Glad I found out the difference between ACDC and ADHD!
Mrs M, bless 'er, can be oblivious to leaving the fridge door wide open but immediately jump on the fact that I've left the toilet seat up even when she's three rooms away. Anyway, it's snowing quite heavily this morning and she's told me that because it's a very long time since I've been in it, many years, I have to walk to meet her at her work, near on 3km, and then walk back with her just to get used to it. Says she'll buy me an ice cream as compensation. Ice cream! Jeez, I'll need a bowl of chilli and a hot bath instead.
I've remembered a couple of photos are missing from that. I'll see if she's still got them. I'm quite ready to do the exploring bit as yes, it does appear to be a good city to do so, but obviously the weather is against me. My daughter is very happy to be with us as she again can fall back into the routine of not having to look after herself. She likes living with us because she then knows the fridge will be full, the heating paid for etc etc.
When I was looking for information about Sarajevo before booking a trip there, I realized there weren't all that many "tourist sights". Everywhere I looked showed the same small building or fountain in the old centre. So I think it's more a place where it's interesting to walk around, get a feeling for the atmosphere and come upon little jewels. The kind of places I like, in fact.
Yes Mark - I know that drill only too well. Even after a divorce they come home to roost. Even with a partner they live with they rely on mommy and daddy to help with so many things - and they too help us to keep on our toes. Only this morning I cut up peaches, banana and spanspek ( an orange colour melon) for a mid-morning snack at work for our 40 something son. What can you do when they ask so nicely.?
A bit stuck at the moment. The weather has been quite bad, not windy but originally plenty of rain and now snow. I managed to stock us up with some food a day or two ago because the snow was forecast and as we live on a quite steep hill and the road clearing operations here don't run so smoothly or are comprehensive, I knew using the car wouldn't be such a good option. But, fortunately just down the hill 150m or so is a small supermarket/large shop and I'll have an expedition out to it tomorrow. For those of you who live in snowy climes, yes, this amount is piffling but for me it is a major change and I'm a wimp in cold weather.
One thing that puzzles me is that when I ride a motorbike in snow or rain I have to wear goggles. Yet none of the birds flying around seem to do so. I'm wondering if there might be a business opportunity there. There can be quite a lot of pollution at certain times in the city as well, so maybe the goggles could double up with that usage. I remember as a kid in the sixties in the coal mining area, sometimes the pollution was so bad the birds had to fly backwards (old joke, couldn't resist it). It never occurred to me then that bird goggles could be the solution. I think those here just blink a lot to clear the snow from their eyelashes. I'll have to watch out for that.
I've been pondering on this as I can hear it every day but it isn't really close enough for me to record particularly well. As mentioned above, going walking and exploring is not the thing at the moment so I've scoured through youtube to find something that is close to what I think/hear. No need to listen to it all but here is a comparison.
The first one is Sarajevo and I recognise the location as being not too far away from me but I doubt it is this one I can hear that is the closest. He does well, but seems to me to be going through the motions a bit. The second one is Cairo and he appears somewhat more enthusiastic about the whole thing.
Thank you Mark - I find the first one in Sarajevo more melodic, more sombre, maybe more atuned to calls to prayer that I have heard in Turkey ? Looking forward to when you can record those close to your new home .
I was going to give my impression of the two videos, but it turns out Lugg did it for me. Her take is exactly the same as mine. I don't want to get this thread off track, so will just put the video link so that it can be copied & pasted. Sorry about the yucky title, but at least they cut drama chick out of the audio. It's over four minutes, but you can just jump around on the timeline to get the flavor of Istanbul ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ZdRPqk8Pg
Who am I to be concerned if a thread goes off track for a while? I'm one of the worst offenders.
Bixa, the link to the video "Christian Woman Cries When Hearing Muslim Call to Prayer, VOICE FROM PARADISE", yes? It has Morgan Freeman at the beginning? I may have missed something but you think with the drama queen, this is the call to prayer in Turkey/Istanbul? Can I diplomatically express reservations?
I may have missed something but you think with the drama queen, this is the call to prayer in Turkey/Istanbul?
Really, it is -- just click past Morgan & well into the video. You'll hear some individual calls and, towards the end, that wonderful sound of calls from different mosques clashing and blending. Try not to look at the self-absorbed twit.
I did and the point is, I don't think it is Istanbul. Did you see reference to that location? That's what I may have missed, but I can't see anything denoting that it is. Ya see.... the thing with Morgan Freeman was filmed in Cairo. The buildings remind me strongly of Cairo as well.
Mark, you are undoubtedly correct. I had looked up "call to prayer istanbul" on youtube & dipped into several videos trying to find one that was not part of a travelogue & that had decent audio. When I opened this video I only watched it as far as when drama pill turns the camera on to her face. At that point I just listened & kept jumping forward through the video, still only listening. Having looked at it more closely after reading your post, I see that indeed it looks nothing like Istanbul. Still, I'm leaving my post stand because I stated there that "you can just jump around on the timeline to get the flavor of Istanbul". Admittedly, my auditory memory may be faulty, but the video still sounds pretty much how Istanbul sounded to me. 'S all right?
No problem at all. The background buildings were just so familiar to me it was like I couldn't believe my eyes or memory either. To get back to what we were saying, I prefer the Egyptian style call to prayer than the Bosnian one. I'd think they have to use the same words but the way it is said/sung differs enough for me to have a preference.
Whilst I’m just posting some random photos I thought I’d leave them on here and when the time comes to do a targeted report I’ll make a separate thread. For now I’ll just follow on with bits and bobs and impressions.
I decided it’s no use waiting for the weather to improve before going for more of a walk. I don’t think it will. So your intrepid explorer bundled up with two pairs of socks and led an expedition down into the town. Never mind I’ve been down here already a few times and Mrs M walks some of this way to work every day, it felt time to officially brave the elements and inclement weather to bring you the full glory of Sarajevo.
I exaggerate as usual. When you see proper tourism photos taken in the sunshine it all looks quite a lot more attractive, this is how it is on a slushy winter’s day. We first go down my road -
Gets steeper near the bottom -
After crossing a road there’s a cafe, closed at the moment, one of the rare ones that is closed, and it has a mural on the outside wall. This is how then the road used to be, back up the steep bit -
Dropping onto the pedestrian street we look right and then left. Doesn’t seem to be that many people about but there are, we’ll see in a minute -
We walk to the left -
Off to the side are various buildings that require more investigation. I hope to find the time and the weather to do so -
Carrying on -
Prices - you’ll see them in KM - divide by two to get Euros more or less -
Coming to the top end of the pedestrian area. There are side parts running parallel that I cut down on the way back -
If you spot in any of the photos a woman in a large white coat with a red hat, That’ll be Mrs M. If it has a black coat with a fur collar, that is the daughter. The coat Mrs M has is really warm and protecting, but, I pointed out that if she gets lost in a snow drift, I’ll never find her. I told her to wear something distinctive just in case an avalanche hits the main street and everyone is buried beneath several metres of snow. So to humour me she put the red hat on. She says she didn’t need to at all but it was only to please me and my paranoia. Yeah, right. -
One of the side streets -
This next photo I certainly need to investigate further. What I didn’t mention is on hitting the pedestrian street there is a börek shop at the corner.
They do very delicious meat or potato or meat and potato or cheese or spinach or cheese and spinach börek (“Börek is a family of baked filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough such as phyllo or yufka, typically filled with meat. It is found in the cuisines of Western Asia, the Balkans, the South Caucasus, the Levant, Central Asia, and other parts of Eastern Europe”).
I had to call in it to get some under protest from the ladies who “just couldn’t manage any” but still had to have some as I refused that they shared some of mine ‘just to see what it is like from this shop’ and told them that no matter how much the lady in the shop cuts off for me, it’ll be just enough with none to spare (potato for me, spinach for the daughter and meat for Mrs M) -
Details of the war we may well get into another time. Suffice to say there were snipers and mortars placed on the surrounding hills and buildings and many died as a result of them. We come to a “Sarajevo Rose”. “A Sarajevo Rose is a type of memorial in Sarajevo made from concrete scar caused by a mortar shell's explosion that was later filled with red resin. Mortar rounds landing on concrete during the Siege of Sarajevo created a unique fragmentation pattern that looks almost floral in arrangement, and therefore have been named "rose". There are around 200 "roses" in the entire city, and they are marked on locations where at least three persons have been killed during the siege of Sarajevo.”
From the damage pattern it is believed you could determine where the mortar was situated -
A little further on and we cut across a street to the river. This we followed upstream, not far, just a few hundred metres to get into the surrounding countryside -
This is the House of Spite. Was owned by my kind of man. Do you know of the ‘Nail Houses’ in China? This is the Bosnian version. In 1878 the Austria-Hungary Empire via the Treaty of Berlin took control of the country. Some big-wig decided the city needed a new City Hall. Several houses were bought and demolished to make room for it until they came to one old man who refused to sell. Eventually he was persuaded by being given several times its worth - but he also stipulated the house be removed brick by brick and re-built across the other side of the river. He renamed it Inat Kuća - the House of Spite. It is now a restaurant.
This is the City Hall on the other side. Originally built as such it later became a library - this was more or less destroyed in the Siege of Sarajevo in August 1992 by Serbian forces and later rebuilt.
Only just a few hundred metres further on the river bends as it leaves the city. A bar/restaurant/pension marks the corner -
Then we get out into the ‘wilds’ -
Along the path (which is actually a tarmac lane unused by traffic) I noticed this -
The low wall to the left contained plate after plate of ex-Ambassadors -
At a convenient point we turned around to complete our mission. That I was informed to be, to get a coffee and cake from somewhere. Luckily Mrs M knew of such a place from her previous time in the city in November. Unluckily it meant I had to walk all the way back past the stores for the two ladies to window shop in. I was duped by the promise of refreshments. But I’m a sucker for a pretty face and I was with two of them.
I’m sure we know some of these Turkish Delight type sweets, and to honest, I hate them. Too sweet for a start and a ‘glibbery’ texture. I won’t be having any of these during my time here -
Various other places we passed -
This’ll be nice on a sunny warm day for a meal -
Other stuff -
Before you ask, no I’ve no idea yet what the last photo was, but I do know what this is about -
This is where the two dominate cultures meet as indicated by the change in architecture. In simple terms, one way is Islamic, the other way is Christian.
No report is worth its salt unless there are photos of a market. This is an indoor one. There is a more functional outdoor fruit and veg market not far away but on a different street to where we were. I have passed it and it looks quite decent. But this is a meat/local (white) cheese market -
Going inside -
Another Sarajevo Rose back outside -
This is the Eternal Flame - a memorial that is on my list of places to get closer to and take more photos, but it is a memorial to those in the military and civilians that lost their lives in WWII. “The memorial was dedicated on 6 April 1946, the first anniversary of the liberation of Sarajevo from the four-year-long occupation by Nazi Germany and the fascist Independent State of Croatia.”
Lastly, after being duly fortified by copious amounts of coffee and cake, plus I admit, a salami sandwich and a portion of chips(fries), we made our way back. The weather started to close back in so we were just in time -
As we made our way back up that steep hill we made a pact. The hill doesn’t exist. It is a figment of our imagination and will never be thought of, complained about or mentioned in any shape or form. It is a none entity and this is the last you'll hear of it.
The hill was the very first thing I noticed. You will remember it every day when you climb it to go home. Did a person who must never be contested choose the address of your residence?
I find the photos fabulous and they are perfectly suited to a sunless winter day. It will be all the more interesting to see the difference in perception as the seasons change. The pedestrian area seems perfect. I always wonder how these streets looked before they were pedestrianised. As for the spite house, I think that every city needs one. It reassures the population about the respect of the law even when someone's resistance was maybe a bit excessive. The fact that negotiations lasted only 3 years implies that the authorities got a pretty good deal -- if the man had been younger, he probably could have made it all last even longer.
I take it that masks are not obligatory since a certain number of people are not wearing them.
I agree that lokums are too sweet, but I have no trouble eating them since I have them so rarely. Once, just after a business trip to Istanbul, I was invited to the home of a Swiss family for Christmas dinner in Lenzburg. I brought them the box of lukums that I had bought in Turkey and they were delighted (at least it seemed convincing) because they were in chocolate overload and were happy to have something different for once. It is true that during that weekend, I was brought along to visit 3 or 4 other people, and they all bestowed me with gifts of chocolate even though my appearance had not been expected or announced. (Those people must stock up on huge amounts of chocolate for the Christmas season, like North Americans and their Halloween candies.) When I returned home, I was happy that I still had a small box of lukums left to offset all of the chocolate.
Two thoughts: The place looks like it's ready for the tourist trade, with the shops selling "I love Sarajevo" towels and other tat. With any luck, there will be some tourists once the weather improves and the epidemic slows down.
It would be so much better if the "Islamic" and "Christian" parts were not divided but mixed together -- maybe with gray tiles on the ground, rather than the light and then dark ones. No wonder the country is still having so many problems.
K2, with my agreement the place up the hill was decided upon. After she had done extensive searches we decided it was a small price to pay for the other advantages. These being location, apartment size and layout, 'newness', value for money, garage space, furnishings and so on. In comparison to the numerous others she looked at, it came top of the list as others were missing things we wanted and were good but too far out etc etc. As regards masks, there is some confusion amongst the populace. I did ask and search for definitive rules about distancing, mask wearing and so on, but when directed to the official government websites there was just advice/suggestions given and not a hard and fast, black and white rule. Things like if you can't social distance then you must wear a mask outside - however - there is no agreement as to what that distance should be.
The problem stems from the different 'entities' as they are called and anything is complicated by them. This leads me to answer bjd's question regarding Cyrillic writing as well. I did ask about the restrictions in BiH - Bosnia and Herzegovina - but was told you must separate them, the various parts to get an answer for each one - but then find out there is no answer anyway. There is Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Brčko District - these make up the whole country. The first two are 'Entities' as they call them, the last, a District, "was created in 2000, out of land from both entities. It officially belongs to both, but is governed by neither, and functions under a decentralized system of local government."
As social media says about relationships, "It's complicated" and I'm still trying to understand as much as I can the situations.
Republika Srpska uses Cyrillic writing as well as what we use. BiH doesn't, only our version.
Sarajevo is right on the edge of Republika Srpska and when I entered the country by car I drove though a long portion of it, with road signs and every other sign being in the two styles, only reverting to just ours about half way through when I 'entered' The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are still tourists here though only about 10% of what there normally would be, but if I was a shop owner with loads of tourist tat, I'd still have it out on display just in case. I think with the meeting of cultures thing, it's far too late to mix them up and if you can't, you might as well make a point of it and show the differences and the fact they are living in harmony (ish).
I'm told by that person that it was refreshing for her when we met to have someone disagree with her. She had been used to being somewhat 'uncontested' by the crowd she was in at University and has mentioned she preferred the company of engineers rather than her psychology colleagues - who could never make any decisions about things and always over-thought everything.