Caffienation & elevation
Trip Start Apr 16, 2012
34Trip End May 18, 2012
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Where I stayed
An old fellow in a dark suit and a beret tilted rakishly on his head greets the waiter with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks
Wandering on to the end of the market, past the last fruit and vegetable stands, the street rises steeply up the hillside to the east of town. I pass a Muslim cemetery where so many of the graves show dates ending in 1992-1996, and a few minutes on I hear a muezzim's 1pm call to prayer wailing from the loudspeakers on a minaret a few blocks away. How many times have the streets echoed with that sound in the last 650 years? Continuing on through a medieval city gate, I reach the hilltop where I climb a flight of stone steps to a small park with a 180-degree view of the city and in the far distance, the snowy tops of the Olympic Mountains. I can see the Stari Grad spread out below, the B&H Council of Ministries and other tall buildings in the city center and the brown serpentine Miljacka threading through its many bridges. A couple kisses on a bench and three teenage girls lean on the low wall, chatting and munching from bags of chips.
Following the winding single-lane road below the park, with barely room for me and passing cars, I can see myself sailing off the edge into space at any second or riding the hood of a truck into town (Balkan Vacation Comes to Tragic End for Seattle Man), but in the end the descent is anticlimactic and once again down on the bank of the Miljacka, I find an almost empty cafe with a deck perched over the river and it's a perfect spot for another coffee and a few chapters
Dinner at the Bosnia House (http://www.bosanskakuca.com/#) begins with a tasty dish of thinly sliced beef tongue with horseradish and a bowl of Shepherd's Salad -- diced tomato, red pepper, cucumber, onion, a hot yellow pepper and topped with grated cheese.
The kebab that follows -- veal, beef and chicken, with grilled vegetables and lemon sections -- provides for a long and thoughtful chew as the meat including the chicken is rare enough to put up a good fight. Across the way, I watch as a man munching on a piece of bread talks at great length on a cell phone being held to his ear by a friend. Hands-free calling Sarajevo style. I stop for a vanilla ice cream cone on the way back to the hotel and savor it along the twilight blue streets until I reach The Central where in keeping with the musical time warp I have landed in, Enya's 'Orinoco Flow' fills the lobby.