Monday, May 29, 2006

The Liquid Muse, Abroad

Bosnia, Day One

We left DC Satruday evening and landed at 8am, Sunday, in Munich. With a 3-hour layover before us, there was nothing to do but shop duty free (got cheap lipstick and booze). Then, it was time to sample a German beer for The Liquid Muse.

By 8:45am we were enjoying Paulaner Weizenbier (wheat beer) and a couple of weiswurst (white sausage). Mmm, delicious. Clearly the breakfast of champions! Weizen beers tend to be 'cloudy' in appearance. I particularly like them because they taste a bit sweet.

By 1:30pm, we landed in Sarajevo. Our taxi driver, from the airport to our hotel, pointed out thumbprints of war. Grenades, shrapnel and bullets have left chunky holes in the sides of apartment buildings. (We read, in our tourbook, that the older generation is fond of talking about the war, only a decade ago, while the younger crowd would rather focus on the future. So far, we have found this to be true.)

After a four-hour nap, it was time to explore. We wandered along cobblestone streets. The evening was lovely, warm and the sun had yet to set. Dehydrated from the flight, it was time to wet our whistles.

I have yet to see any Bosnian ‘cocktails’ though we did sample Sarajevo Pivo in the main square, surrounded by green hills. The pivo (beer) was very light, reminding me of a slightly more flavorful Budweiser. After that we wandered cafe-lined streets, filled with people drinking coffees, eating ice-creams, smoking cigarettes and chatting.

I've noted that though young people here don’t have a lot of money with which to indulge in designer labels, they do have style. Colorful scarves, mixing of retro T-shirts with blazers, creative hair styles and accessories give Bosnian hipsters some flare. At first I was delighted by the zillions of boutiques! However, while food and drink are significantly cheaper than Western Europe, clothing is not.

Our tummies rumbling, we ducked into a candlelit courtyard, surrounded by colorful piles of rugs, for sale. We had a light dinner featuring specialties of the region. I had cabbage leaves stuffed with meat, and topped with a kind of sour cream, and my husband, Jason, had a chicken and vegetable dish. (I will make an effort to write down the names next time. We were still half-asleep!) We yearned to sample more regional libations but apparently, we had stumbled into one of the few actual restaurants that does not serve alcohol, in accordance with Muslim law. This area is famous for its many springs, so we indulged in mineral water instead of wine.

On our way back to the hotel, we sampled one of those delicious ice-cream cones, then stopped in a bar for an after-dinner drink. I asked for Campari but got Bacardi, straight up. Not what I asked for but too much effort to explain. By the time we got back to the hotel, our heads hit the pillows, and we slept for 10 hours.

I hope to get my hands on a camera. (I oh-so-cleverly left my camera battery charging in our apartment… in Washington!)

4 comments:

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