When you think of Bosnia what is the first thing that comes to your mind? This answer will vary depending on what country you are from but I can guarantee a positive thought didn’t exactly pop into your mind. After walking around for just 10 minutes in Sarajevo, everything I thought I knew went out the window. There is a very rich history of war and conflict including the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on the Latin Bridge which was the spark needed to start WWI. Now it is just another bridge in the city.
The city has an eternal flame symbolizing the WWII victory of fascism and buildings still covered in bullet holes.
And if you didn’t think that was enough, there is a exhibition dedicated to the 1995 Bosnian Genocide.
All pretty negative right? But what is not on Wikipedia or written in a news is the rich culture of cafes and bars and the general love for live that flourishes in the city. Even during the genocide, there was a contest for Miss Sarajevo to show everyone that they will not be pushed down by Chetniks and they will continue living the way they want. There is an epically high unemployment rate but people spend their time hanging out drinking espresso and rakia. Bosnians know how to live life to the fullest.
It was an interesting few days in the city and I am incredibly happy that I saw the good and the bad. My idea of Bosnia has completely changed now and I think it is a place a lot of people would benefit from if they took the time to visit.