Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. I originally had no plans to come here but wow am I glad I did - what a city! Just two decades ago this picturesque valley was the sight of a four year siege - the longest of any city in modern warfare - claiming well over 10,000 lives and leaving the city in ruins. It’s estimated that an average of over 300 shells were launched per day at the city’s civilian population. While the incredibly recent past is almost unthinkable to outsiders, it has not and will not ever be forgotten by the locals, as the bullet strewn walls of the Old City and blown out buildings that have yet to be touched serve as reminders around every corner. Nothing is more sobering than the various “Sarajevo Roses” - concrete craters made from mortar explosions that were later filled with red resin to represent the physical scars of the bombardment - that remain outside schools, churches, markets, and other pedestrian areas. It’s taken 20 years to rebuild and reconcile, and while the past cannot be undone, today the energy of the city is intoxicating. Endless cafes, bars, restaurants, churches, mosques, and shops line the cobblestone streets of the Old Town and the city continues to evolve into one of the most important and culturally influential destinations of the Balkans, or all of Europe for that matter. The history, humanity, and resiliency here make Sarajevo unlike anywhere else I’ve been.

“To get over one addiction, you have to become addicted to something else.”

– (via afraidof-reality)