(We have a dog now!)
We’re calling him Musti. That’s Finland’s most classic dog name.
(I still nap with the cats, though.)
Sarajevo surprised me with all its lovely restaurants, cafés and bar offerings. Especially the cafés – Sarajevans are café people and lounging around in one of the many coffee spots and sweet bakeries seemed to be a typical activity for an afternoon in Sarajevo. The city centre is full of cafés and they have adopted the coffee cultures from every historic influence: traditional Bosnian, Turkish, Viennese and Italian.
Foodwise, the city seems to be slowly incorporating some aspects of modern, international cuisine to its variety. The traditional “ašćinica” canteens are the places where most locals eat, and they are – in practical terms – similar to the old fashioned family taverns also found elsewhere in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. Many ašćinicas mainly serve lunch and close some time in the afternoon. Bosnian traditional foods are hearty and tasty, incorporating influences from the wider Balkan, Turkish and even Mediterranean cuisines. In the traditional restaurants, the foods of the day are on display behind the counter, you can go look at them and then order what looks best.
The cuisine is very meat-focused, with relatively few vegetarian options, other than as side dishes. Alcohol is a little difficult to find in many restaurants, although not impossible!
And – oh yeah – you should also read my other post about Sarajevo.
Bosanski Lonac – A must-eat! Bosnian stew, made of meat chunks and vegetables. The stew varies a lot depending on personal preferences, family recipes and regions, as well as historically societal class. The stew is prepared by alternating layers of vegetables and meat, until the pot is full.
Sarma (meat) & Dolma (vegetarian) – Filled grape leaves. Sarma tends to have a rice & mince meat filling or dried smoked beef – dolma usually just has seasoned rice.
Prebranac – Made across the Balkans, Bosnian baked beans. The beans are soft yet still with a bite to them. Flavoursome, rich and savoury, like a warm hug.
I’ve been thinking about the natural geography of cities quite a bit. Especially having lived in three different cities and visited many more, you start to notice things and see what you’ve always taken for granted.
Being from Helsinki, I grew up near the sea. The sea was a given, a basic birth right that held no special significance until I moved away. I’ve come to realise what kind of a privilege I had had for my whole life.
In Paris, the Seine provided a little air hole, some sense of space and distance, a view – if not to the horizon, the unknown, then at least further than the end of the street.
In Karlsruhe, for a long time I felt something was a little “off”: an unidentifiable feeling, an anxiety, sometimes a bit like I was suffocating. One day, while on a quick day trip to Heidelberg, I realised what was causing it.
Karlsruhe is the ultimate landlocked city, with no water or changes of altitude. I realised that I had never lived in a city like that before and that I was not adapting very well. In Karlsruhe, you never get the possibility to disconnect from the city, to see out into the distance. You never get to see the landscape, the bigger picture, the horizon. You’re not prodded to marvel at nature, the humanity of it all. You don’t get to feel small, or to disconnect from your life and your position in it. Maybe this is an escapist viewpoint, but I cherish it none the less.
You know that part in Amélie, when she is looking over Paris from Montmartre, wondering how many couples are having an orgasm at the same time? That. In Karlsruhe, you never get to do that.
I’m writing this from the train back to Germany from Zagreb, and a big portion of the journey is through the Alps of Austria. Quite breath taking, really – endless, massive, several-kilometers-high mountains with a white snow coating and a fog curtain gently resting near the peak. Deep, long valleys with alpine towns, one after another. At one point we were so high, that the whole scenery, houses, everything – was covered in a bright white snow blanket, glimmering in the sunshine of the early morning.
Sarajevo is also surrounded by mountains, the Dinaric Alpes (though they also have the Milijacka river), and it got me thinking if maybe mountains are even better? In sea shore cities, you have to go to the sea in order to appreciate its wonders. However, in many cities surrounded by mountains, you can see them from most places in the city. I can’t really describe the feeling it gives me, seeing the rolling hills, the forest, vineyards or houses on the hill, from everywhere you are.
Anyway, wherever I decide to settle, there had better be mountains or sea, or at least a big river. Or both. Or all of the above.
Hi. I’m Sara. I’m a household nerd.
Welcome, dear reader, to Practicalities. Practicalities is a lifestyle blog, if being practical is your lifestyle!
This is a place for crossing Europe by train, hunting mushrooms, mending rubber boots and storing truffles. It’s curing clay pots, roasting reindeers and making too many Rumtopfs. Basically, this is a place for all things home and tradition. Nice to have you over 🙂
Of Himmeli-tradition coming to life in Leipzig
February 17, 2018
Of Laskiaispulla & Shrove Tuesday – or Fasching
February 13, 2018
Of DIY Elbow Patches
January 21, 2018
Of Himmeli Workshops in 2018!
December 8, 2017
Of making a traditional German Rumtopf
July 20, 2017
Of Népra, sports and life
August 29, 2016
Of making your own laundry boosters
July 23, 2016