Wednesday, November 4, 2009

24 Hours Tuzla

(Click here for the whole post on the original site.)

No-one writes guide books for Tuzla. Even the official Bosnia guide book says, somewhat diplomatically, that this area isn't really set up for tourism. So, here we go, the 24 hour guide for Tuzla.

5am: All quiet, except the yowling of the stray dogs. Stay in bed and put duvet over head to try and drown out the sound.

6am: At some point during this hour the early morning call to prayer will go off. People start to get up, but I advise remaining in bed with duvet over head.

7am: Everyone up and about and off to work. Many people haven't had any coffee yet, so strongly advise not making contact with anyone until they have had their caffeine hit.

8am: Office hours start at 8am. Things start to open. Pop into a bakers to pick up some pastries, chocolate and jam are widely available. The bread is also freshly baked and excellent.

9am: Venture out into town. Pop into a cafe to plan your day. Coffee, in the form of espresso will be available wherever you are. If you are feeling braver ask for a kafa domaci, which is like a Turkish coffee, complete with turbo fuelled sludge at the bottom. Drink it black and very sweet.

10am: Remember that you have some outstanding bureaucratic issues to deal with. You are in Bosnia after all and your stay is not complete if you do not do battle with bureaucracy somewhere. Find appropriate ministry and enter. Leave shortly afterwards as everyone is on a 'pauza' and having coffee.

11am: Head for a stroll in the centre of town. The new square, trg sloboda (Freedom Square) is a very pleasant place to sit by the fountain under the tree and watch the town pass by. If you are lucky you may see a wedding spilling out of the registry office, with all the brass bands, photo sessions and throwing of money before the drama moves on elsewhere. Then, move along past the cafes and down the pedestrainised Korzo.

12pm: Attempt to complete bureaucratic procedure. Everyone now having lunch. Go to the market instead and browse all sorts of things from mobile phone covers to jeans to fruit and honey.

1pm: Lunch. Should the weather be agreeable do find a restaurant which allows you to sit outside. The restaurant Krcma, near Trg Sloboda is a great place. Cheap and quick, but serves good food whilst sitting outside on wooden benches. It is all pedestrianised to small children can run rampant outside without causing too much trouble. Although do try to prevent them running into the nearby mosque (which is beautiful) as this is not a good thing.

2pm: Head out to the park Slana Banja on the north side of town. The new playground is now open, but muddy. The park itself has some great views over the town as well as some good clay tennis courts.

3pm: Wander down to the Pannonika Lakes (newly built salt water lakes) for a swim. If you are here during winter these will be shut, but they may have erected an ice skating rink and trampolines instead.

4pm: Head up to the park of Ilincica up on the hills to the south of the city. Here the woods have a certain mystical quality to them, but beware the epic amounts of rubbish that blight this beautiful place.

5pm: It has been at least 3 hours since you had coffee. How are you still standing? Find a cafe, any cafe and reinject yourself with caffiene. A good one to go to is the one by the pedestrian bridge over the river/sludge fest ditch which also serves good cakes.

Click here for more!

by Brit in Bosnia

Love it! Now back over to Canada for some more 24-hour action.

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