He first heard of our city from media reports on the war in Bosnia. When he came to Sarajevo as a tourist in 1999, the buildings were still scarred from the war, which left him with indelible memories – it was a new and shocking experience for him. However, when he came to live here in 2004, he began to notice interesting people, the city itself and its architecture.
He encountered a culture that is very different from that of North America. He says that in Canada, people work more and have less time to rest and that Europe is different because people always find time to relax, enjoy and socialize with friends.
What has impressed him most about Sarajevo is the pleasant atmosphere which makes every visitor feel at home. He has made a lot of friends and met a lot of interesting people while living here. He describes Sarajevans as loyal, generous and hospitable, and is inspired by the fact that they are always ready to share, regardless of how much they have.
As for shortcomings, he finds that they sometimes have an aggressive way of communicating and can see people’s kindness as a weakness. However, he thinks that Sarajevans’ temperaments are part of their charm and this lends a certain warmth that Westerners lack.
The hardest thing for him to get used to was driving in Sarajevo and also the way people carelessly park their cars on the sidewalks. However, with time, he is slowly getting used to it and every day he is less bothered by it.
For Anthony, an ideal day in Sarajevo begins with pancakes and then he and his family go for a walk in the center, where they inevitably drink some coffee! He says that they are always on the lookout for a new coffee place and enjoy spending the afternoon hours along Wilson’s Promenade. He also goes skiing with his family on Jahorina and Bjelašnica or for pleasant summer walks and bike rides. They often go up to Trebević and stop off at Napredak’s mountain lodge for a coffee.
What makes Sarajevo so different from his hometown is the fact that Sarajevo is an old town, while cities in North America have sprung up more recently and were built according to fixed plans. Unlike those cities, he says, Sarajevo grew spontaneously, giving it a charm which makes you feel like you are in a little Istanbul, especially up in the hillside neighborhoods.
Anthony emphasizes that one of Sarajevo’s major advantages is its size, because most of the important places in town can be reached by foot, without having to use public transport. But sometimes an advantage can turn into a disadvantage, he says, adding that the narrow streets are sometimes not the most practical for driving.
For Anthony, the true symbol of Sarajevo is the harmony and blend of differences which can best be experienced at Slatko Ćoše.
For those who come to Sarajevo for the first time, he definitely recommends a walk through the whole town, a visit to Sarajevo’s bridges, City Hall and Baščaršija, and suggests that they absorb the history and listen to the interesting stories that are found on every corner.
He also says that they should definitely try traditional Bosnian cuisine, and heartily recommends sarma to everyone!