Sunday, October 03, 2010

Second day in Sarajevo

Frankly I had seen most of the old town on the first day of my visit to Sarajevo. So on the second day, I decided to visit a museum. There were two museums close to the railway station.

I should have taken a tram, but it was such a hassle to buy a ticket. Anyway I walked by the tram lines that also followed the river. It was a bit of a boring walk with standard buildings, after I left the old town area. It started to rain.

I wasn't entirely sure that I was going in the correct direction, so I was happy to see signs for the museums. The signs seem to point over the over the river, so over there I trudged in the miserable rain. But then there were no more signs and the area looked residential. So back over the river I went, and I continued my journey to the train station.

I finally did see the museums. I chose to go into the one about the history of the Sarajevo. On a web page somewhere I had read that the was some dispute as to who pays for the museums. ands indeed it did seem slightly run down. The entrance was run by a family.

Everything was in a one big room. There was a lot of historical stuff that showed that Bosnia was a separate country with a long history. This is a big deal, because both Serbia and Croatia have recently wanted to swallow up Bosnia. Before this trip I was slightly cynical about whether Bosnia was a separate nation (based on no facts I might add). I was more convinced by the museum and additional reading that I did. The museum also had exhibits about the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1995. This was really tough on people of Sarajevo. One of perhaps many complaints of them was was that there was an arms embargo, but that only stopped the countries that didn't have large stock piles, such as Bosnia. (There was a Star Trek episode that explained this to me). There were some home made guns on display.

Outside the museum there was kind of small fair. There was a stage with traditional singing, and people doing various fun sporting activities, such as playing table tennis. The rain had stopped so people were smiling. Also there were people in military uniforms teaching the kids to punch pads and use padded sticks. I wanted to do some boxing as well, but I only knew how to say "thank you" in Bosnian, and not "I want to punch my fist through people's heads".

The museums were near the American embassy. There was some kind of fair being set up, sponsored by Redbull, involving tram tracks. I had some chips and a beer at a restaurant near the railway station, and then walked back to the old town.