Sarajevo smells good. It smells like your neighbour’s house that you walk past every day on your way home from work, which makes your stomach rumble. It smells like warm burek, fresh from the oven. It smells like strong Bosnian coffee. It smells like double apple shisha. It smells of the smoke from your freshly cooked cevapi.
And so, arriving in time for a late breakfast, we got right to the business of finding ourselves some of that delicious food and planning where else we’d be eating that day.
Sarajevo has a dark and sad history. It cannot be forgotten, with reminders from bullet holes in buildings, Sarajevo Roses in the pavement and cemeteries full of crosses from only late last century.
But Sarajevo doesn’t smell like sadness. Sarajevo isn’t stuck in the past. It has returned to its former self, a melting pot of religions and cultures living together like they used to, before the war.
Take a walk around Sarajevo and you’ll see that it smells of progress. Sarajevo is a city moving towards the future, full of excitement for what’s to come.
Are you interested in reading more from my trip through the Balkans? I started in Ljubljana, took a side trip to Lake Bled, stopped quickly in Split and Dubrovnik, then went to Mostar. Click on the links to find out more.