In this article I will tell our return from Mostar to Sarajevo, a museum that we visit in Sarajevo and the places we visit in Belgrade. First of all, we had a long, but entertaining trip from Mostar to Sarajevo. While we came to here at night, this time, we travelled on daytime and we saw again the nature of this place is really wonderful. When we arrive in Sarajevo, there were two places to visit, but we had very limited time. One of these places is Tunnel of Hope, which thousands of people escaped from bombardment and saved by hiding in, the second one is the facilities that the 1984 Winter Olympics was held but currently abandoned. However, while trying to find these places, we found ourselves in the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After making unplanned this museum visit, we agreed that it was worth to do it.
To briefly mention about the Tunnel of Hope, these are the tunnels that ran beneath the United Nations-controlled Sarajevo Airport. These tunnels were used for hiding from bombardment in Sarajevo that surrounded by Serb forces. People hid in these hundreds meter long tunnels because these tunnels connected with the United Nations-controlled Sarajevo Airport, the only place that people sure won’t be bombarded and all food and ammunition aid was brought to the city from these tunnels. We were deeply sorry to miss that place, but maybe next time.
We could not find the facilities of the 1984 Winter Olympics in the navigation, nor could we get a description from someone. However, it seems like a nice place from the blogs that I visited before the trip. At last, navigation found a place in a mountainous region that 25 kilometers far, but we could not be sure if it was correct place, and we could not be sure that it was worth to see.
Meanwhile, while trying to find a car park, we found ourselves in the car park of the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina totally by chance.
There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions in the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The permanent exhibition is about “Sarajevo Surrounded”. The damage given to the city during the war, the methods that people used to survive in that period, notable personages and the items such as the tools used and the consumed foods and health equipment are exhibited. On the other hand, another exhibition presenting some sections that telling the social, cultural and industrial condition of the Yugoslavia before the breakup, including the collected items of that period and presenting related videos. Both two exhibitions are breathtaking I guarantee you.
As I remember, the entrance of the museum is very cheap. Also, the gift store of the museum is same. So, if you have a chance to visit Sarajevo, consider visiting this museum.
We may spend more time in the museum, especially the definitions presented in the exhibitions that telling Yugoslavia period, but our time was very limited! We know that we have a looong way from Sarajevo to Belgrade with the single-lined road and we wanted to pass the long section of our route on Bosnia and Herzegovina side, at least, before it gets dark. So, we set off before losing more time. By the way, you can see the damage given to the city during the siege period. The bullet holes are still visible on many buildings. I thought that these building remain as un-repaired consciously to show the people the dark face of the war. I must admit that it deeply impressed me about the results of the war.
Our return trip took longer than we expected. Entertaining, but really long. Now, I’m thinking that if you intend to follow the Sarajevo – Mostar – Sarajevo – Belgrade route, make it 3 days, not 2 days as we do. I’m sure it will be pleasant.
We delivered our car at the Belgrade Nikola Tesla airport at around 22.00 – 23.00, then returned to our hostel in Skadarlija that we spend the last days of our trip via taxi. According to the taxi tariff, our hostel is located in the zone that priced 1800 Dinar, which equals to about $20. By the way, the cities are divided into different zones and each zone has a fixed taxi price. If you ask about your hotel when you arrive at the airport, they will give you a slip indicating the zone that your hotel is located. This slip provides you to know how much you will pay for a taxi ride. A good method for tourists.
Next day, we wanted to start the day with a good breakfast. For breakfast, the place that I recommend you is the Red Bread. The menu is rich and the portions are famous Serbian ones. The freshly squeezed juice menu is also very rich. To provide opinion, I want to show you some of the flavors that we tasted;
Then, we walked towards the Tesla Museum, which we were very curious about. A 20-minute walk is enough to get there. There are beautiful structures that you will enjoy seeing on the way. So, I recommend don’t take a bus. I will not tell the Tesla Museum here, because probably, you have already heard about it. The great Serbian scientist that we owe many technologies used in our daily life. The museum was very interesting and surprising as Tesla’s life. Moreover, I can say, different than most museums, it’s a museum that interacts with its visitors. The guides of the museum – consisting of volunteer students- makes at least 2-3 experiments with you. For example, near the Tesla Coil, you can turn on the lamps, which you are holding in your hands, without any cable connection and you can handle your own lightsaber. Indeed, this technique was used in the Star Wars movie!
After leaving the museum, which a fancier could spend hours in it, we walked towards to center again. We saw magnificent Orthodox churches on our way. The biggest of these is the Church of Saint Sava. We learned that it’s already one of the biggest Orthodox churches in the world. Some different terms were used for naming, however, I’m not an expert in that terminology. Although its most parts are being renovated, still you can see how big is. Also, many parts of the church seemed quite new. This was also same in the other churches we visited. I don’t know why, yet. I’m not sure it’s because the material used or they were damaged during the war and restored. Anyway, at least we visited some of them and learned another different style.
While on the return trip, we saw some banners that protesting something, but we couldn’t understand what they are protesting. We took their photos. When we return our hostel, Stefan was in the reception and we started a nice chat while drinking coffee. Such that it was 6.30 when we finished. Stefan is a student studying medicine in Belgrade. He’s working in the hostel to help his friends. His family also consists of different ethnic groups of Yugoslavia, so he is completely a cultural mosaic. Thus, he could able to tell us the things happen during the war time from the perspectives of each party. Stefan is a person with a language of both pleasant and informative. Finally, we showed him the photos of protest banners. He also knew that and told us. Again, we turned back to years 98/99. The Yugoslavia placed Albanians, which were very poor at that time, to the Kosovo region. However, the number of Albanians was increased so much that some unrest and even conflicts emerged in this region. Sometimes some Albanian gangs were kidnapping and killing Yugoslavs living in Kosovo. After a while, Yugoslavia wanted to interfere in these events and wanted to end these events that happening in Kosovo under its control. However, after Yugoslavia’s this intervention, the separatist army established by the Albanians and Albanians living in Kosovo started to armed conflict with the support of NATO. This is the war that known as Kosovo war. Here, in order to pay off hundreds of Yugoslavians lost in that period, the protests are still being made today. That’s what the banners were for. The war ended after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. I listened this event from Stefan but I need to confirm it. This will be my homework.
As I said, the conversation lasted until 6:30 in the morning. I wanted to photograph Skadarlija at dawn also for the last time and I went out. This will be the last photo that I’ll add to my article. Then, we did some shopping and set off to return to Istanbul!
It was an unforgettable, amazing one-week trip that we still remember its taste. We agreed to return back to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia sometime and head home.