We arrive to the desolate side of town, just over the border, in the part of town that’s in the autonomous Republika Srpska territory. This “entity,” as Wikipedia describes it, is separate from the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in government. Around here it is hard to get n unbiased view of what this means, but what it seems to cause is a government where Bosniaks and Serbs don’t have to interact with each other daily. This article from 2014 goes over the country and it’s “most complicated system of government.” Naturally, this makes forming a cohesive government difficult (or possibly impossible). Ethnic groups are always struggling to assert their power, secede, and elect candidates that share their group’s interests.
The buses, however, serve Serb, Bosniak, and Croat alike. In Dobrinja station, a couple blocks from the main international bus station, the bus lines that go into Sarajevo’s downtown originate, and we only have to wait about thirty seconds for one to turn its lights on and open its doors. The driver does not ask for money, and we don’t pay him, assuming that we will figure out how to pay for the bus as we pick up passengers. However, everyone boarding seems to either have some pass, or has already purchased their tickets, so we sit quietly and immorally steal a free ride the the ‘Zentar.’ There, we disembark at the Latin Bridge, famous sight of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and take a few night photos of the Miljacka River before ducking into our nearby hostel.
After check-in, we run out for a bite and find a pizza place that also is supposed to sell some sandwiches and things. I get the house special chicken curry, which is chicken cutlets with a yellow yogurt. My dad gets a really good burger and a lot of fries, and we go back to our hostel room and fall quickly asleep.
The next morning, we realize that the only bus we can catch is a 10 am to Dubrovnik, and that we’d practically have to skip everything in Sarajevo to make it. We have a day extra to make our flight in Tirana and, while we originally were going to use it in Tirana to rest, we decided to use it here in Sarajevo instead. After an incredibly nice free breakfast of omelettes, European-style breakfast meats and cheeses, and toast. We spent the morning lounging, and at noon we join the free walking tour of the city. The guide gives his tour geared more toward the the many religions of the city and celebrates their existing together in peace “like Jerusalem.”
After the tour, we went for lunch at a restaurant with an unpronounceable name, where we split a local cheese and meat platter. I ordered the tripe, which I regretted, and my dad got Bosnian meatballs and stuffed cabbage which were much better. The afternoon we spent in the hostel, trying not to spent money and watching scratched, pirated DVDs.
Victor Bernabei is just another millenial travel blogger. But here's the twist: He isn't a millenial! His goal is to see as many countries as he can, and spread the message that the world is not as scary as the news wants you to believe, and that there is beauty in all people, places and things.