As a kid growing up in the 90s, Bosnia for us was probably what Syria is for kids growing up today. The siege of Sarajevo dominated the news cycles in the early 90s. When the opportunity to visit a now stable and even tourist friendly Bosnia came along, I couldn’t pass it. There was a certain surreal feeling to walking on the streets of Sarajevo that were depicted in Bosnian war movies and now seeing high end retail stores in buildings that still have bullet holes from the bygone violent era. In no other place do you feel the compulsion so strong to pause and appreciate the little freedoms of life.
Here’s hoping that some day kids of this generation will go to Syria and the only place they will see war is in a museum.
The Sarajevo of today is a bustling tourist hotspot with its usual array of restaurants, bars and bazaars.
The small town of Mostar, also subjected to similar shelling by the Serbian forces has preserved some relics of the violent war, but has mostly evolved into a boutique town of Bosnian arts and crafts along its cobbled stoned streets and the Old Bridge.
But for me, the REAL beauty of Bosnia is in its mountains and the little towns and villages that never made it to the news, but probably endured the same atrocities of war. These mountains stand tall and imposing, the lakes shine and the rivers flow indifferent to human stupidity and pettiness.