Friday, December 14, 2012

Sarajevo Nature

Mid December 2012

During our five-day stay at alpine Jahorina near Sarajevo we collected pictures of winter life. The mountain, with its posh hotels, high above the foggy valley of Sarajevo, was a paradise. On a break in our workshop, in the unique cold-crisp montane clarity I jogged away from everything. To Norway Spruce and silence. On the snowy road, dog footprints could have been wolf-prints. I loved the feeling of being excluded from civilization for an hour. 

The mountain contrasts with urban Sarajevo...A new capital city in "post-war" recovery. Here we were guided by our IUCN workshoper, Dejan Kulijer from the Natural History Department of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dejan is a tall smiley Sarajevan, who knows the landscape in depth - and he has a real passion and knowledge-thirst for dragonflies...The museum where he works is unfortunately closed now, we hope they find a way to make it work again. The city needs its culture and nature.

We saw a lot in a two hour walk and drive around. The churches - Islamic, Catholic, Orthodox. The touristy old town with many "Turkish" influences. The Latin Bridge over the river Miljacka (a distant tributary of the Bosna-Sava-Danube...). Hooded Crows, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Jackdaws, pigeon flocks, ducks on the river - they bring life to the riparian scene. But most of all, people here are most intriguing; Islamic, Catholic, Orthodox. Bosnians and Herzegovinans, Balkan people. 

People have been through a lot here. Bullet holes and shell-damage in the buildings and the cemeteries in the city parks may shock you. This should be a good "wake-up call" for the wider region. As an inhabitant of the Balkans you stop and think. What happened here just a few years ago; horrific, unbelievable.

Never again!

Just visit Sarajevo.........

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