Sarajevo Sunday 30/7/11: we met the tunnel house people

Tue 2 Aug 2011 17:07
43:49.7 N   18:17.8 E
Sarajevo is another pockmarked city with wide streets and drab high rise, but it feels incredibly normal.  Some buildings, notably the Holiday Inn, are a garish mustard yellow, which seems to be a popular colour in Bosnia.  Sarajevo has a lovely Old Town, we saw it on a wet Monday morning and it was fairly deserted.
We went to Sarajevo to visit the Tunnel Museum, which was an interesting place to get to.  We drove down a rickety road at the back of the airfield, where we were hailed by a man to go and park in his back garden, next to the line of washing.  This was the next door neighbour of the tunnel house.  We were sat down to meet the family and have coffee and cakes (a bit like baklava but, we were assured, not the same at all!)  The little boy (Mohamed I think) spoke really good English, and said confidently that it was a disgrace that the Serbian war criminals are being tried at all; they should just be shot.  His mum, who was 18 when the war started, put him right.  She told us she was 18 when the war started and she and her friends spent much of their youth hiding in basements from sniper fire and shelling.
The tunnel was built from the house next door, owned by the Kolar family.   It had already been shelled and was a ruin, although the family and neighbourhood did some repairs and the grandparents kept on living there.  The father Mr. Kolar and his son Edis were demobbed after the war, and because of unemployment, decided to maintain the entrance to the tunnel as a museum.  We met Edis, who was running things the day we were there.  He had pictures in the museum of the constant stream of celebs who have visited.  Brangelina were supposed to be there this weekend.  They were at the Sarajevo Film Festival but apparently had a last minute change of plan and didnt visit the the museum!