This will be a short post, word-wise, as I'm still mid-trip and haven't even begun to collect my thoughts about this amazing place yet, but I thought I'd check to share some pictures from my celebratory 'first term of grad school complete!' trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina that I'm currently in the middle of.
I've gotten a lot of funny looks from people when I told them where I was headed and I do admit that, yes, going alone to Bosnia in December is perhaps not the most touristy thing I've ever done. But it's a place I've wanted to visit for a long time for a lot of complicated, interrelated reasons, and I'm feeling so thrilled, blessed, and glad to finally be here at last. So far it's proving to be as amazing as I'd hoped, and I'm really looking forward to the week ahead. I'm here until Saturday so will have lots more pictures to share by week's end!
I'm also Instagramming my trip, so if you'd like to follow along in real time as the week progresses (as I probably won't check in again until I get home), follow me!
But in the meantime, here's a little bit of what I've been up to:
(Sebilj, one of the most iconic places in Sarajevo and the first image I ever saw of the city when I was 14 years old - it was absolutely amazing to get to see it in person today for the first time)
(NEARLY as amazing: the collection of make out/motorcycle-themed artwork in my hotel.)
(Another example. There are literally dozens.)
(Cheap, giant beer! 2.10KM is just under £1, or around $1.40)
(I definitely snickered in the grocery store when I saw this, proving what a mature and classy lady I am)
(One thing that's not as great about Sarajevo is the pollution - the visibility this morning was probably no more than a mile or so because of all the wood smoke that people use to heat their homes in winter)
(Another view of the Sebilj, with the pigeons a little calmer - they would mosey around the square in a big pack and then dramatically swarm around anyone they sensed had any food on them, which definitely resulted in more than a few shrieking girls while I was standing watching!)
(Signs of the war are still everywhere, 20 years later - here's a building studded with bullet holes)
(Tea sets and fake bullet pens - two of the most common touristy items to buy in the old market of Sarajevo)
(BUREK - pretty much the only vegetarian food in Bosnia is bread and cheese, served in various shapes. Fortunately I have absolutely no problem with this policy, as I love bread, cheese, AND shapes. It's a win-win-win.)
(One of the more informal monuments to the war: red 'blood splatters' on the streets that marked especially dangerous intersections and crossing points during the war. Definitely a sobering reminder that, only 20 years ago, this was a very dangerous place.)
(Tito, some terrifying modern portraiture, a few Thomas Kincaid-esque landscapes, and a neon-colored woodcut: Bosnia, I like you.)
More soon, and check out my next post for details of my Christmas 500th Post Giveaway!