Never quite got around to doing the walking tour that was booked in, so instead sought out the local knowledge of Ben in the morning for some ideas on what to see.
He always seemed very passionate about the city, and its surrounding areas and more than happy to offer advice. Talked a bit about the devastating war that happened so recently, and his involvement in it. Although, nearly all males of fighting age would have been expected to help fight in one way or another. Looking out from our apartment you could see where the Serb frontline had advanced down from the hills, and the apartments where the Bosnians would hide themselves in to fight them (Still standing and in use today).
One very roughly drawn map later I had a plan of action for the day, a walk to the olympic stadium, the Serb frontline area, lunch, the museum and then up the Avaz tower.
Set off in beautiful 30 degree weather across the hill and through a lovely park, looking back to the other side of the valley and looking at the houses nestled in near one of the many huge grave yards. The olympic stadium wasn't quite what I expected, nothing much to see. So made my way on to some of the buildings that had been completely destroyed during the war, just to take some photos. Was quite amazing to think of what had been happening in this very area only 16 short years ago.
Made my way down to a really nice restaurant by a stream and had lunch, with another beer. Very nice and relaxing. Found the people weren't overly friendly as such, but definitely respectful.
Went for a rather long and exhausting walk down the commercial distrcit where I eventually managed to track down the Bosnian museum. At first I thought it was rather run down, and then soon realised that it had been hit badly during the war, which explained a lot. Certainly not the best kept or organised museum ive been to, but maybe the most moving. Lots of stories and information about the war, and the events preluding to, and life during the war. Exhibits about how the Serb army targetted the larger businesses at first to bring down the economy and would then target any and everything including several brutal attacks on markets.
Last stop of the day was up the Avaz tower, 172m tall and completed in 2009. Just another example of the huge contrast between old and new. Probably the bargain of the trip, at £1 to go up to the viewing platform. First real view of the city of Sarajevo and how it essentially sits in a basin surrounded by mountains. I wouldnt call it a beautiful city in the sense that Florence or Prague is, but there was something very special about it. Maybe due to the fact that it shouldnt really exist to this day, but it does.
Went back to the hostel and then met Romana, who was also staying at the same place, and together, tripods under arm, we set off to take some photos of the sunset. Went back up to the same hill, and got some really good photos of the city in the dusk.
Really long and tiring day with all the walking and heat, but after not having 'travelled' as such for around 8 months, it reminded me why I enjoy it so much. Just walking around and exploring a whole new city and culture.