I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous before my parents visit. I wanted them to like it. But the next week was supposed to be a grey week again, no one has ever tested our guestseats before and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country I didn’t know much about. Only thing I knew was the fact that it used to be part of Jugoslawia, the capital is named Sarajevo and that there would be an important bridge in the south of the country.
During the three hours we needed from Tuzla to Sarajevo (the highway to the 3rd largest city is supposed to come– some time) it started to rain of course. After a while the rain found a way into the truck but my parents stayed cool. I was the only one who lost the patience due to the fact that I could not contact our host for the day. Jörg and my partents enjoyed their coffee and were awaiting the things to come.
But at the end everything should be good. The country and the whole holiday was great!
The landscape in this quite unknown country is beautiful. Beautiful rivers and lakes everywhere you go. In the north the trees are colored brown, yellow and red due to the coming autumn, in the south the hills are not that high and sparse. The cities as well have lovely places. Small streets, many fanes and the influence of many cultures who live here, make the cities unique. For europeans the prices are quite low and the people are super friendly. In every appartement, we rent for my parents, we were very warm welcomed. Everyone gave us the best tips for the town and Teo in Mostar even gave us Rakija an pumpkings from his garden.
Unfortunately you still see and feel the war that ended 20 years ago.
Back then Bosnia and Herzegowina voted in a referendum to be independent from Jugoslavia, like Slovenia and Croatia did before. But the Serbs that had been living in this area, with a population of 31% during this time, boycotted and didn’t accept the result. So the war started right away and went on for 3 years. Sarajevo was separated from the other parts of the country for 1425 days by the Serbs. Due to an international airlift the people got food and medicine and there was a tunnel underneath the airport were people brought everything the city needed. (You can still visit some parts of this tunnel.) Everyday life must have been horrible. Most people we spoke to were our age which means part of their childhood was during the war. Their parents tried to organize a life as normal as possible. They were allowed to go to school which took place in private houses during this time. Though red colthes were not allowed, due to the fact that snipers could not see if the moving point was a child or a grown up and would kill everyone. How afraid parents must have been while they were waiting for the children to return in the evening.
Outside Sarajevo larg numbers of the population had the posibility to flee. So we talked to a lot of interessting people in german language as their destination was Germany. All of them are very thankful for all the acceptance and help the European countries gave during this terrible time and for sure all of them removed to their HOMECOUNTRY after some years.
The war came to an end with Dayton agreement 1995. The fighting parties had to create a gouvernment, in which every part has the same rights. All regions equally got big power of their areas. The whole system is is increadibly complicated and is still controlled by the High Representative (controll of the UN). No wonder the country didn’t really recover from the results of the war. You see bombed houses everywhere. Almost everyone lives in a house with some of the million bullet holes. Big parts of the many industrial areas were destroied during the war. It was hard to get correct information about the unemployment, but most people said around about 30%.
The freedom of religion is a big deal everywere and this city is a quite a example to look at. In Sarajevo the most important churches are very close to each other. Within a radius of 500 meters there is a mosque, a catholic and an orthodox church and a synagoge. The best thing is that the people are very proud of this fact and try to tell everyone about this. The auxilary bishop (we met him on our last day in the restaurant) told this as well. He visited a scool were children from every religion are allowed to go. The carity from the catholic curch collects money for them.
At the end we can say that we don’t understand why we couldn’t find really much information about this country. If you plan your hollidays in the nature, you wanne be avtive or visit interessting cities think about Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is worth and the people will be happy to host you!!!