Some cities steal your heart. In a moment. Others are hard to love at first sight, but get under your skin over time. Some places we can’t wait to leave behind, and at some places we can’t wait to return to. But there’s just a few of those places where you want to stay. For good.
Like Dubrovnik. Like Sarajevo.
These two are never-ending stories. Just when you think you have seen it all, something new happens. There is an interesting story behind every corner and many of those stories won’t be found in any book or tourist guides. They are so different – but yet so similar in many things: beautiful architecture, nature, food… Waiting for you to discover them…
Let me reveal some of the things that are my own secret connection between these two beautiful cities, the things I love the most about them.
Oh, they can be loved in many different ways – I hope that you will find one of your own.
Whether you drink it in a fildžan – a traditional Bosnian coffee cup or in a kikara – a middle size coffee cup (kikara is my favourite Dubrovnik word), whether you prefer Bosnian coffee or espresso, or flavoured instant coffee with or without milk – remember: here, coffee is more than a drink, coffee is a ritual, it’s a way of life.
Coffee is all about relaxing. Being together. It’s about being with people you love. It’s the long chats with your best friend. About life. Fashion. Sip by sip. The concept of take-away coffee is an insult to local people!
In the summer you should take advantage of early mornings and late evenings in the city; there’s nothing better than sipping a coffee while watching the city wake up or wind down on those hot summer days.
When you are in Dubrovnik, ask for a kikara. When you in Sarajevo drink coffee from a fildžan.
Relax. Breathe. And enjoy the view.
We live in modern times. On a schedule. Always too fast. Always on the run. People work hard. People work too much.
But here, people still have the ability to slow down. To find time for each other. At least for coffee. Or a glass of fine wine.
Both cities have similar styles of enjoyment, they just call it something different. The beauty of languages lies in terms that can’t be translated — but have to be explained. It’s a special way of taking pleasure, a way of enjoyment, a pleasant feeling and mood; it can also stand for passion, and particularly a relaxed atmosphere that percolates when you’re among friends.
When you’re in Sarajevo, it’s called merak. In Dubrovnik it is gust.
If you are in Sarajevo, go to La Cava – a place where a wide smile is a mandatory part of the dress code. In the heart of Baščršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar, the historical & cultural centre of the city – try some domestic rakija, made from plums or pears, listen to some seriously good music and you will understand the meaning of merak.
In Dubrovnik, try rakija made from cherries – or honey. Go to the beach. Play cards with some locals. That’s gust. You will feel it. Without any further explanation.
Art, Movies and Theatre
What do you prefer, movies or the theatre? Or both? Yup, so does Sarajevo and Dubrovnik.
The city of Dubrovnik is the scene of the wonderful Dubrovnik Summer festival: its ancient walls and surroundings are the stage for many events, such as theatre and ballet performances, and not one bit less important than the theatre performances themselves.
Enjoy the summer in Dubrovnik, but be sure to plan a visit to Sarajevo during the Sarajevo Film Festival. In addition to a multitude of films that are shown during the Festival, Sarajevo is full of various festivities: outdoor cafés, concerts, summer soirées under tents, and after-parties in attractive locations.
The whole city is one big stage.
Just like Dubrovnik.