Sarajevo is like going to your mountain’s cottage. You can feel its age, its history, its value even if you’ve been there just a few times. You feel at home. But watch out, respect the place and don’t break anything.
Walking into Sarajevo is one of the most enchanting discoveries I’ve ever made. The city center is “divided” in two parts, the old one and the new one. There’s of course no line nor wall which separates the two, but you can immediatly see the difference. The old town is also called the “muslim” or “turkish” one, of course not officially, but the peculiar infrastructure is enough to spot why it is called like this. You can imagine it like a real bazar, full of tiny shops selling everything, craftmen working on their copper bosnian coffee cups or sellers sewing some clothes. It is the place where to go on Sundays, when you feel like meeting people and taking a coffee while observing locals’ daily life. Full of chicha bars, with pillows and turkish tea, it is perfect even for the night. Hanging out there is priceless, you don’t feel in Europe anymore.
Yesterday I went to the Mosque, the central one. During the prayers they don’t let you enter inside it , but you can sit under the trees in the little court they have outside. Especially during summertime , people pray also outside. I went there for the 1pm prayer. I actually just bumped into it while I was walking and heard the call for the prayer, which is transmitted though loudspeakers in the whole city, so I decided to stay.
Before the prayer, muslims have to “purify” themselves by washing their head, their hands, their feet, and they do it at the majestic fountain you can find in front of the Mosque. I find it pretty enchanting to observe.
The Mosque on itself is extremely beautiful. White, gold with blue details, and arabic writings on the walls. It conveys peace and tranquility, also because of the trees and the nature of the little garden in front of it. I really like it.
If you walk around the little shops, you will also find some very typical bars or food places. Two days ago I was looking for a place where to have breakfast. I had already tried a bar in the main square so i went further to spot some others. I wandered around and I stopped in front of a tiny place, it was a Baclava bar. There, they only make Baclava, a typical bosnian (but not only) desert. They make 5 kinds of it and that’s all. To make Baclava, you need 3 days, it is a very long and accurate process, but the result is delicious. I talked with the owners and one of them told me that they’re actually using the recipe of his great grand-mother and there are only 6 or 7 families in Sarajevo who make this local speciality the original way, all natural and homemade, following their family recipe. I tasted the one with almond (the serbs’ favourite one, he told me) and another one with nuts. It is extremely sweet but really good. I think I’ll go there quite often.
It’s only a few days since I am here and I’ve already learned so many things.
Hope this town will keep on surprising me.