We decided to venture a little bit outside of the routine tourist areas of Sarajevo on our final full day in the city. Hoofing it up and down the glute-engaging hills of Sarajevo’s urban ramble, we headed in the direction of the Yugoslav-era neighborhood of Ciglane. If architecture can be described as “socialist”, this area of the city visually embodies that ideology unmistakably. Blocky apartment complexes stacked on top of each other sink snugly into a steep hillside overlooking the 1984 Olympic Games Complex. Visiting the neighborhood offers an intimate look into quotidian life of working-class Sarajevo. The area’s flea market is worth ambling around for a few minutes; everything from fresh fruit to the hottest deals on knock-off clothing can be found within its rusty partitions. We passed some time trooping through the tiered district taking photos and people watching. The neighborhood is also famous for its vernacular lift which saves locals some serious sweat getting up and down from their apartments. Unfortunately the lift was out of order during our visit. We got the feeling that its functionality is probably sporadic at best, and somehow that made it even more endearing.
One noteworthy vestige of the Ottoman era in Sarajevo is the Yellow Fortress. It is one of the only parts of the original defensive wall and fortification system that originally enclosed the entire Old Town area. Its length was measured in time rather than distance; it was known to take 1 hour to walk the entire perimeter. Today, the Yellow Fortress is a popular hangout due to its incredible view down the Sarajevo Valley and the entire length of the city’s sprawl. We took a short walk to the fort from the center of Old Town and picked up a couple cans of Sarajevsko beer on the way for a satisfying sunset session.