Sarajevo, BiH

This is from a May 2004 lettet. Suzi was not sure she wanted to go back to Sarajevo.  We had been there before the war and had pleasant memories.  I’ve been back since but Suzi has not.  It didn’t help that two weeks ago a woman we both know who had been in Sarajevo before the war and who recently went back says she cried for three days.  But I had been to Sarajevo several times in 2000.  Things were not so bad.  The war in Bosnia has been over almost nine years. You can tell there has been a … Continue reading Sarajevo, BiH

Sarajevo at Night

This is from a Sept. 2000 letter. In the evening I walked through Sarajevo’s old town.  It had not changed much since I was last there in 1972.  The Habsburg section is now a big walking street, and the old town, still has its Turkish style shop houses and covered bazaar.  The streets were lively with thousands of people getting out of their hot houses and into the evening cool that was still in the high eighties. A Serb I was walking with noticed bullet holes in the walls of some of the buildings right down to the ground floor.  … Continue reading Sarajevo at Night

Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

This is from a June, 2010 letter: Thirty Eight years ago, (in 1972) Suzi and I fleetingly encountered a narrow gauge steam powered train while driving the back roads of Bosnia.  Last week, near the same place, we saw that train again.  The rail company is just re-opening the narrow gauge line into Bosnia after closing it in the 70s.  This time we chased the train to get a better look, driving onto side roads and catching up with it at a siding where the engine could un-hook its cars, shuffle around to the other side of the train, and … Continue reading Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

Mostar, Herzegovina

This is from a May 2004 letter. Mostar is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the “capital” of Herzegovina.  We visited it before the war.  It’s in worse shape now than Sarajevo was four years ago.  Many of the buildings have warning signs proclaiming them a “Dangerous ruin” and advising you not to enter or park your car too close.  Much of the old town around the Stari Most, Old Bridge, from which the town gets its name is still badly damaged.  In Mostar there has been some rebuilding of the main monuments.  The ancient Turkish bridge’s … Continue reading Mostar, Herzegovina

Visegrad, BiH

This is from a June 2009 letter: During one of the mid afternoon breaks Suzi and I drove the 20 km to Visegrad, the setting for the novel “Bridge on the Drina” by Ivo Andric for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1961.  The novel helped me understand the historic context of Yugoslavia better than most non-fiction books.  The main character is the bridge itself, built by the Turks about 450 years ago.  The bridge has 11 stone arches.  At the end of the novel, during the First World War, the Austrians blow up two of the arch spans. … Continue reading Visegrad, BiH