Times of Misfortune Tour in Sarajevo and Grocery Shopping

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Saturday morning means more breakfast exploration.  I had cereal, again, but also tried out the chicken pate and the wedge cheese on a roll and the Eurocrem hazelnut stuff on a croissant.  Since N and I were to be on a tour most of the day, I ate a larger than normal breakfast as I knew we’d be skipping lunch.
This stuff is WAY better than Nutella.  Not because of the vanilla cream, but it just has better flavor, IMHO.  The vanilla cream part doesn’t hurt.  Mixed together, they were fabulous!  Next time, I’ll be purchase a jar of this and ditching my Nutulla!
Okay.  The chicken stuff in interesting.  It’s like ham salad?  But with chicken.  It’s a paste so I think they’re calling it like a pate?  it’s by a company named Argeta which is a European company, I think.  They have a ton of other flavors form their website.  I initially thought the one with the duck on the package was duck, but it’s not.  Apparently, is an effort to rope the kids into this interesting chicken pate world.
Now, the wedge cheese?  THAT was delicious!  I actually took more of those for nibbles this weekend.  There’s almost always rolls on the breakfast buffet and if I order soup, it comes with rolls.  I figured I’d be nibble rolls and soup most of the weekend.
N and I took the Times of Misfortune Tour with C and H.  This, as they describe it, it NOT a happy tour.  From their website:

Explore locations that played an important role in the defense and resistance of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 war, and learn what life was like without food, water, electricity, and gas, as well as what happened to culture and sport in the city.


  • See the White Fortress for one of the best panoramas of Sarajevo
  • Go to the Markale market place
  • Admire buildings from the Winter Olympics
  • Discover where Sniper Alley is
  • Visit the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum
  • See The Siege 1992-1995 War Exhibition

This is the group of people on the tour that day.  It was us 4, 2 guys from Germany and 1 dude from France.  Apparently, those last three were together.  It was quite the multi-lingual tour.


The first stop was the White Fortress or Bijela Tabija.  From here, you can see the defensive lines around the city.  You can also see where the treeline was adjusted by the Serbians to place their mortar and other offensive artillery.  You can also see the smog above the center of Sarajevo.  The view is tremendous from here.  If you don’t take the tour, you should at least go to the fortress for the view alone.
The next stop wasn’t the marketplace.  It was the Martyrs cemetery for soldiers of the siege.  At least, that’s what I think he said.  I’ve slept since then.  No disrespect to those who lived through the siege.  I cannot seem to find much on Google about this cemetery so I can refresh my memory and possibly learn more.
These are some images from the bus while we were driving to the next top.  The architecture is so varied in this city.  You see the post office on the top left with it’s yellow building and eagle statues, then there’s another older building on the top right, then the rest of the buildings in the collage are damaged from the war.  To my understanding, the insides of the apartments are probably amazing, but it’s not easy to get everyone in the building to repair the outside of their portion of the building.  Which makes sense.  Some buildings have been repaired and paint, but a good chunk of the residential buildings haven’t been repaired.
Next it was a hill overlooking the Olympic village that once was in Sarajevo.  During the siege, some of the buildings and venue sights were used by the Serbs to surround the city.  When the van parked and we all piled out, we were greeted by a pack of homeless dogs.

Ever since Bosnia passed a law several years ago, the stray dog population has grown.  Apparently, neighboring areas simply deliver their unwanted animals to this city for safe haven and protection.  There are an estimated 11K stray dogs in the Sarajevo area.  Most are rounded up, vaccinated, and sterilized.  Once they pass examinations, they receive an ear tag with the date of the most recent vaccinations.  As with this cute little guy on the right?  Well, that one’s still a puppy, but he’s with a pack of dogs that for the most part are tagged.

I, stupidly enough, wasn’t afraid to pet these cute little buggers.  I joked that I would totally be the dog lady and would own all 13K dogs somewhere.  They’re just so cute!  And I haven’t encountered any that I was afraid of.  Granted, I didn’t have and didn’t smell like food.  That might be the trigger point.  But one did tug on my sweater when I got out of the van.  How cute!
From this vantage point, they discussed the Olympic village, and pointed out the ruins or where the venues were before the siege.  I viewed the scenery and noticed this interesting juxtaposition between city on the left and farm land on the right.  This type of new Sarajevo versus old Sarajevo is all so prevalent throughout the city.  The new outsides of apartment buildings right next to the older, siege damaged buildings.
On the way to the last stop before heading back to old Sarajevo, I snapped this picture of one of the mountains surrounding the city.  I’m not sure which one this us, but it’s interesting being surrounded by views like this.
And now for the final stop on our tour; the Tunnel and it’s Museum.  The War Tunnel (of Hope) was constructed during the siege.  UN forces controlled the air port and would not allow supplies to be moved in or out of the city.  The tunnel was necessary to connect the city with a Bosnian held territory on the other side of the airport.  The tunnel is about 1000 yards long and is dug directly under the airport runway.  One entrance is in Dobrija and other in Butmir.
The museum was a residence.  The woman who lived here is now a saint in the city’s eyes.  Her house and her hospitality are part of why Sarajevo did not collapse to Serbian rule.  At least, that’s my interpretation of the mini movie and the guide’s commentary.
You can walk through 25 of the 800 meters at the museum.  It’s narrow.  It’s dark.  It’s cold.  It’s short.  I cannot imagine going through this small tunnel, during war time, trying to carry about 50 to 75 pounds of provisions, artillery, supplies, etc on my back.  The spirit and vitality of the Bosnian people thrive today due to this small tunnel.  It’s just…  *speechless*
Before Credit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24730400

I don’t remember much about the siege.  I was in my own little world of college and life.  I try to live in ignorant bliss of these things as I cannot deal with mass death and destruction very well.  I simply just break down and usually begin to cry uncontrollably.  So, I’m trying to remain calm as I type this.  I do, however, remember the Holiday Inn.  Those images haunt me now.  I remember seeing the destructed building and the reports from the reporters holed up in side that building.  But, today, it stands repaired.  It’s a yellow and brown symbol of how this war torn city is now anew and trying to repair it’s damaged outside.  Damaged outside, but the inside remains in tact and whole.


All that touring makes a person HONGRY!  Since the Marine Ball was that night, C and H had to prepare to attend that.  This left me and N to fend for ourselves for dinner.  Neither of us are very social creatures and we have been VERY social the previous week.  So, we departed to our respectful rooms and I proceeded to order my recent favorite of shopska salad and French onion soup.

This salad is so tasty!  I can’t get over how simple yet delicious it truly is.  I just hope I can do it justice as I try to recreate it.  The soup is simple and light with the chicken or even vegetable based broth.  The sweet onions swim in their subtle broth.  It’s interesting to see how the bread or croutons vary.  Sometimes they’re cubed, sometimes it’s a slice.  Sometimes it’s s slice on the side of the bowl and not IN the broth.  Now, that one was interesting.

What else was interesting was this dessert, tufajia.  It was a stewed apple stuffed with walnuts and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.



Wow.  The simplicity and elegance of this dessert was amazing.  A simple braised apple with a cinnamon flavored syrup stuffed with tasty walnuts is all it is.  Yet, still delicious.  The apple is just tender enough yet still a bit crisp.  It was easily a golden delicious apple; my favorite kind!  This is definitely something I will be making at home.  It’s so easy and all the ingredients are at my local grocery store!  I love finding dishes like this.

Finally, some snacks.  I did not recognize ANY chips in Bosnia.  So, I figured I’d try a few new ones.



Ketchup.  Not so much.  The first few were okay.  The rest, well, I just wanted to snack on something.  The corn chips were pretty good.  They tasted way different than the corn chips we have here.  They had more corn flavor than Doritos or Tostitos.  It’s not easy to explain unless you’ve had corn chips elsewhere.

While this is usually a food blog, I couldn’t help but elaborate on the city of Sarajevo, it’s past and it’s present.  If you do venture to Bosnia, please do take the Times of Misfortune Tour.  It is well worth the money!!  I saw a lot and learned a lot about the city under siege in the early 90s’.

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