The only person I know who is as obsessed with travelling to new places as I am is my older brother Adam. We’ve been discussing our travel plans together for years over pints at the pub. At some point one of us must have expressed a desire to visit a total of 50 different countries and suddenly a little competition was born. This would mean visiting increasingly obscure countries in Europe to get that tally up (they’re close, they’re cheap to get to, they’re plentiful… and most importantly, generally fascinating places to visit). This interest in random countries got us thinking about some of the Balkans. Adam booked some flights to Belgrade, Serbia. After thinking about it for a couple of months, I decided to join him.
We spent 5 nights on our trip and even managed to get ourselves over the border to Sarajevo for one of them. For some reason, Adam had decided to visit during December so we did our sightseeing while shivering through temperatures below freezing. But we had a good time – as you might expect, Belgrade and Sarajevo are hardly the most picturesque of places, but they have fascinating (recent) histories, cheap beer and some impressive architecture. Like my last post, I’m mostly going to tell the story of our trip through photos, because I don’t remember all the details!
Next up, some photos from our quick trip to the less than photogenic city of Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which until very recently was a literal war zone. It was so shocking and humbling to learn what went on in Bosnia in the last 20 years… it goes to show that the atrocities committed during WWII were not the last of their kind. Our journey to Sarajevo was less than comfortable. We basically got a lift in a minivan with a load of strange Bosnian/Serbian characters. The drive took… maybe like 8 hours? I can’t remember exactly. But a long time.
I didn’t take many good photos of what we saw in the Crimes Against Humanity museum, mostly because it was so shocking and graphic it didn’t feel right… but it was absolutely mindblowing to learn what went on here. There was literally a genocide of ethnic Bosnians in the 90s by Bosnian-Serbs. It was happening in my lifetime, just a few hundred miles from where I was living! The museum pulled no punches. What Adam and I could not understand was how there was any peace at all in Bosnia now. The people who suffered in that genocide are now living side by side with the perpetrators! How can that work???
Our visit to Serbia and Bosnia had been fascinating and fun, if a little chilly. It may have been wiser to visit in summer but who knows. I’m glad I made the effort to check these obscure little places out though.
Published by Charlie
If I'm left to my own devices for too long, I travel. I've been living the 9 to 5 London life for the past few years but I'm always dreaming of my next international adventure. I'm otherwise interested in music, literature, gaming, social issues, history and science!
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