Ghosts Pt I (The Figure Brushed In White)

Franz Ferdinand, the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, got shot in this city, forever changing the world as we know it. Sarajevo, the city that sparked the change.

I left Mostar quite early, 11ish, and arrived into Sarajevo a few hours later. Having checked in I started making myself some lunch when an old colleague from Prague walks in! We knew we were meeting up here but neither of us knew when when the other would arrive. We caught up over some pasta and then decided to ‘Czech out’ (Do you like my joke? We met in Prague) some of the city. The main street is split into two sections, the Muslim side and the empirical side. We strolled around both of them, getting a feel for the city and then headed back to the hostel to freshen up. Later in the evening we met up with another friend and went to try some traditional cuisine and join in the local customs.

The next day, I had one objective; to see the old abandoned Bobsleigh and Luge track from the 1984 winter Olympics. It was a truly sight to behold. Set on top of the mountain in the south of the city, it starts about a km above sea level and drops down the hill. There are some serious twists and banks in the structure and it’s easy to see the speed the athletes would reach. As of now, the place is abandoned and graffiti artists have taken the opportunity to spread art all over, this provides a lovely burst of colour to contrast the dull grey of the actual track.

My friends and I walked all the way down until we ran out of track and then we decided to head back down towards the city. Before we left the area we came across a dismantled building, could’ve been showers, but within the building was a deep hole. In this hole, about 3m deep, was a litter of about 7 or 8 puppies. We were all really worried about these dogs as they had clearly been left there to die. There was no way down so we marked exactly where we were on a map and took photos of the area to pass on to authorities later. The three of us then walked back down the mountain to the hostel.

I sent the hostel an email with all the details on and they informed me they passed it onto an animal organisation who have actually rescued the pups.
In the afternoon my friend and I decided to do a walking tour of the city and we learnt about the origins of the place as a caravan park, through to the outbreak of WWI, and the fight against Serbian forces in the 90’s. Some of the most interesting buildings on the tour were the Spite House, so called because the owner refused to move from one side of the river to the other until he made an agreement with the council to move his house brick by brick across, the other was the Clock Tower. Unlike other clock towers, this one doesn’t tell the time but more how much daylight is left.

The next day, my friend and I walked a little more, up to the Yellow fortress which is now just an abandoned army barrack but it has great views of the city. My friend left later that day and so I just relaxed until my shuttle to Belgrade arrived.

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