When I first visited Sarajevo, it was not the culture, rich history and beautiful nature that struck me the most fascinating – it was all the smells of Baščaršija. The grilled meat, the fresh flatbread, the freshly ground coffee and the cooked paprika. The smells are the true soul of Sarajevo, they give the city character and magic. No wonder I spent those two weeks eating my way through the old town. I was on my one little “eat pray love” quest whereas the praying part mostly was the thought: “I hope they have a free table available.”
But I’m getting ahead of me, maybe let me start with the love part – because it was love that first brought me to Sarajevo. I moved from my German hometown to Cape Town in 2016 and that is also where I met my Bosnian husband. I first visited Sarajevo with him just a year later. Now, in 2020, the city is not new for me anymore but nonetheless still fascinating.
I still love exploring the old town, visiting Trebević mountain and trying all the delicious foods. I love that life is a little bit slower here – you can meet for a coffee for hours and just chat the day away without already having other obligations in mind. Bosnians just show up at a friend’s house for a beer or a chat unannounced and there are always a few mezze ready, a bit of cheese, bread, olives and sučuk at least. And then there’s so much laughter. I have never met people that use laughter as a medicine for bad things as much as for happiness and if there is one thing, I know it is that laughter makes everything better!
Whoever comes to visit Bosnia can learn from the hospitality and the ability to enjoy the small things, I think. And I would love to take you on this little journey of discovering the small things and let you rediscover your city and country and its delicious food and beautiful traditions again.
If one of you is reading this column and feeling in love with Sarajevo a little bit more afterwards, it already made all of us happy – no? So I’m looking forward to taking you along. Stay tuned in SFD Getaways.