My first day in Sarajevo would be solo, so after a Bosnian coffee in Rahatlook (a charming little café, that felt like sitting in a friends kitchen, and a place I could spend a lot of time in) I went for a walk in the hills to the south of the city, exploring the small streets surrounded by houses that looked like they could slide down the hill at any moment, and some still showed visible marks of the siege and war here
After getting a bit lost (as was my aim), I headed back down the hill and (slightly up the other side) to my next stop Franz & Sophie, a rare tea shop in this land of coffee drinkers. It has over 130 different types of tea (up from around 15 when they started 3 years before), and has knowledgeable staff. After dinner and I waited for Alex and Klaudia to arrive around midnight at the end of an trying journey.
We started the next day eating burek (pastries filled with meat or cheese, originally from Turkey, with Bosnian adaptations) and spent most of the rest of it wandering around the old town, Baščaršija, seeing the sights, mostly mosques, various churches and a synagogue containing a Jewish museum. Lots of time was spent in Gazi-Husrev Beg’s Bezistan (a covered market) and the uncovered market of the old town, shopping for souvenirs (including too much time spent choosing a colour of a bag).
In the old town we bumped into two Croatian girls that Alex and Klaudia had met on the bus the previous day, and we had lunch with them of ćevapi, a minced meat kebab, and the national dish of Bosnia. During the afternoon we went to Rahatlook, where we tried some of their amazing cakes. In the evening we found one of the few places that sells beer as well as ćevapi, which was basically heaven. After dinner we went back to the hostel and got to know some of the other guests over a few drinks. These included a couple of obligatory Australians, one of whom had picked up two Californian brothers and were travelling around from bar to bar, the other, Tim, was less hedonistic and was travelling around before starting a teaching job in London.
The next day was similar, in that, after eating some pastries by the river, much of it was spent ambling from one coffee shop to the next. We did see an exhibition of art, the final show of some graduates from the university and Klaudia and I had an unsuccessful quest to find her a new ring.
I was again alone for the final day, as Alex and Klaudia left early and my bus was in the afternoon. The return journey was not as punctual, thanks to a long wait at both border checkpoints, I did get a stamp for leaving Bosnia, and happily no fine, but this was probably paid for by having to get off the bus and queue in the freezing night to get our passports checked. Twice.