Interview with David Hoffman by Zejna SY
Taking into consideration that there are, let’s say, 15 top destinations in the world, would you say that Sarajevo can be on a par with them?
Sarajevo has something quite unique about it that can’t compare to other European capital cities. It’s a melting pot of cultures that you just have to walk around a to discover for yourself. I think Bosnia and Herzegovina in general offers people an authentic travel experience because it is not overrun by mass tourism. The country is still very green with natural forests and still has many small towns and villages. For me, Sarajevo was sort of like traveling back in time. The city is a living museum of buildings, historic events, gastronomic adventures, and hospitality.
What are the reasons people should visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Sarajevo?
There are several reasons, but the first that is very appealing to travelers (especially with the Euro exchange) is BiH’s affordability. It is economical to travel through the country and still be able to eat very good food and stay in nice hotels. Western Europe has become unaffordable for many travelers, especially Americans whose Dollar is no match for the Euro. Another reason I believe makes BiH a fantastic destination is that it is safe. I felt very safe the entire trip while my wife and I drove throughout the country. Every time we stopped for directions or ordered food at a restaurant people were very helpful and kind to us. Another thing that makes BiH great is that you can visit in winter or summer and still have choices of things to do. Whether you would like to do outdoor activities, visit historical sites, or go wine tasting, all these things are possible. And finally, the food is incredible!
Can you remember something interesting/ eye-catching or something you saw for the first time in Sarajevo?
I love Sarajevo’s chic cafe culture. Every neighborhood has coffee shops where people can sit and talk. There are modern cafes and traditional ones, and although the decor and menus differ, they are all used for the same reason – to reconnect with people in your life and to recharge for the day. I think Americans can learn a lot from this. It is important to slow down a little and break up your day. Of all the places I visited and filmed in the city, the Tunnel Museum was a very eye-opening experience. I interviewed one of the home’s family members and hearing his story made everything I had heard about the war very real. Seeing the tunnel is impressive and important, but listening to his story helped me understand the experience more. But Sarajevo is not just a city that has survived. It is thriving! I loved the energy and nightlife atmosphere.
How would you characterize people from Sarajevo? Are they warm and welcoming?
The people of Sarajevo, like the people of BiH, were welcoming and hospitable. I had the opportunity to film a family bakery near the Bascarsija district. They allowed me into the kitchen where several men of the family were making the delicious Somun bread. It was boiling hot and the kitchen was small. I was definitely getting in the way with the camera, but they welcomed us with open arms and told me to keep filming. They let us try some of the freshly baked bread straight out of the oven! I think that is the perfect example for me to show my experience with the people of Sarajevo.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Davidsbeenhere