Sarajevo

So sitting here in a hotel lobby in Athens, and I figured it would be the best to work again on my blog. It’s been such a long time  since my last posting. I literally stopped working on photography at all. I came across a huge creative block, due to several reasons. First I wasn’t happy with the workflow in my aperture database. I found it hard to find a fast paced workflow that allows me to enter keywords, IPTC-core tags etc. Due to some technical problems with my version of aperture – my system doesn’t provide me english keywords, so I lost the joy in working on my photographs.

At the same time I didn’t take any photos at all, since I didn’t want to enlarge the queue with stuff to work on. But in the last week I figured a solution and started to work again on my photos. And tadaa I suddenly became fun again to sort and organise them.

My aims for 2015 are to become more active again, to blog more frequently and to get more into photography then I’ve ever been to. I will keep you updated with postings about my gear and travelling, but for the moment I just want to show some random shots that’ve taken in 2014 in Sarajevo.

I’ve had the chance to visit a colleague of mine, who was being posted for 11 months here in Sarajevo. It just took me a quick flight from Beirut via Istanbul and then to Saravejo to visit this picturesque city.

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It was interesting to discover the city and it’s hidden alleys. I’ve had a long walk from the center of Sarajevo and came across many beautiful places. Little cemetries, a very shocking exhibition about the massacre in Srebrenica, but also beautiful cafes, art galleries and pubs and bars.

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Young people stayed here to watch the sunset and enjoy the last warm rays of sunlight.

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Beeing here for the first time, I’ve enjoyed the mixture of turkish influenced architecture and a very charming style of the Habsburger era. The view from that little hill over Sarajevo was stunning.

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Due to it’s sad and dark history, the city is marked by it’s countless graveyards.

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They tend to make you think about the past, the death, but they are also a place to rest. Not only for us humans.

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I continued my walk on the outskirts of the city and I came across some nice little shops, tea houses and coffee places.

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If you don’t walk around with your eyes closed, you’ll be finding across all over the city many stunning grafities by talented artists.

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A typical alley in Sarajevo.

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We came across this haunted mansion, right in the middle of Sarajewo. It was quite a creepy place.

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Yet I never felt unsafe or threatened, while wandering around the “dark corners” of the city. I felt always welcomed as foreigner here.

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Later we had a stunning bourgois dinner in a very charming resturant. Unfortunately I don’t recall the name and didn’t bring my camera. I hope the panorama out of my Iphone can capture at least a bit of it’s simple, but charming atmosphere.

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You typically start the evening with some of the homemade rakias and a glass of water. You’ll get served different tastes, such as plums, peaches, blueberry or the one we’ve liked the most: pears.

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After the first evening here, I decided to take the chance and visit a remote city called Mostar. It’s the sixth largest city here in Bosnia-Herzegowina and it took us about 2 hours to reach it by car from Sarajevo.

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The landscape looked like a paradise to me.

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It’s definately worth a visit. During the war in 1992/1993, the city was beeing devided between croatic-bosnic and serbian units, 1993/1994 between croats and bosniaks. But now, after more than 20 years, the ethnic differences of the neighborhoods have become indistinguishable – at least to me.

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The little cafes invite you to linger around and enjoy the warmth of the summer breeze and the sounds from the muezzin and the river Neretva passing by.

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The towns landmark – the bridge Stary most.

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In between we took a substantial lunch.

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After being destroyed during the war, the bridge was being rebuild in 2004. If you want to cross it – be sure you are not suffering from hear of heights. It’s definitely a challenge to cross that bridge.

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We to continued our tour throughout the city and it’s cultural hotspots, such as this beautiful square.

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As you can see by it’s architecture, it’s an old but charming town.

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Yet, still many buildings are in a bad shape.

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After having lived for 4 years in Tunisia and 4 years in Lebanon, I didn’t notice the call of the muezzin first.

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Stari most is a well known landmark in this town. Of course you’ll encounter endless streams of people and the young and brave men of Mostar use this location to show the courage when they jump off the bridge into the ice cold water.

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I visited the city in late march, I’d love to see it again with more colours during the blooming season.

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The rear part of the village.

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In between you can always find little restaurants and coffee places.

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I would decribe these streets as enchanted.

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As we headed back, we came across this broken train bridge. I don’t know why this bridge collapsed, but I do remember how deep it looked from our point of view.

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The train has been parked here since years.

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On my last day, I had another walk into the city. I was surprised, how green and calm it was.

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No I didn’t have steaks or burger here.

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While we were walking around, my colleage explained me that there is an artist in town, who sprays these cats all around. Foreign visitors try to catch them all, but it’s really hard since they are not easy to find.

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Except for this one, of course.

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In the end I can definitely recommend to visit this city. You’ll find a nice mix betwen traditional culture, new and fresh nightlife and a stunning landscape in Bosnia and Herzegowina.