Surreal in her Crown: Sarajevo

For many strange and converging reasons, Sarajevo charmed me endlessly.

when you live on a budget, the littlest things can make you sparklingly happy. rummaging in my jeans pockets on my last night, I found enough marks to pay for a bus ride to the international bus station! I would not have to make the half-hour walk from one end of the city to the other!

when dawn came, however, the panicky Singaporean in me decided to take things into my own feet instead. distrustful of the bus schedule, and anxiously awake already, I set off at 5.50am on my own two feet.

I thought it would be a nice way to say goodbye to this war-scarred but serene and dignified city in my own quiet way.

walking takes you to new places. and if you wake up early enough, these places are magical. I chanced upon the Sebilj (this wooden fountain) at the Bascarsija (Sarajevo’s old cultural centre), astonishingly beautiful in its predawn silence and isolation. my half-hour fastmarch had to be stopped; it is rare to be in the presence of a slumbering city, slowly turning apricot pink with the wakening day.

“Stop smiling like an idiot,” I told myself “people are going to notice.”

But it was too late. I had given my heart to Sarajevo.

Here she comes; beauty plays the crown
Here she comes; surreal in her crown  | U2, Miss Sarajevo

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