A Designer in Europe - Bosnia and Herzegovina

From the moment we arrived in BiH, we could feel some tension in the air. This is a beautiful place that is still trying to recover from the war in the '90s. We talked with many people that want a better life for themselves but don't see hope in their government and in some cases, their community. 

his is the first building we saw coming off the bus in Mostar. It's a crazy disorganized, multi-building, almost blending in to the rocky mountains it sits on.

Robot is like a Walmart, decidedly less cool than the Tron-like images conjuring in my mind when I first saw the logo.

or whatever reason, there was no attempt (yet) to cover or demolish the decaying buildings left over from the war. But interesting art and graffiti lay at the bottom of most of these buildings.

The juxtaposition of a modern commercial building and an old bullet-riddled building.

Near the famous Mostar Bridge, there was an exhibition of photos from the war. The photojournalist owns War Photo Limited, a company that puts on similar exhibitions around the world. Very powerful work.

here there are black dogs, there will be companies and logos made about them.

This building is part of the International School in Mostar, where King Jung Un studied.

rain terminals have given way to bus terminals. I don't mind traveling by bus, but I wish the ceremony surrounding travel was felt more in bus terminals. Most stations have had a strictly commuter-like vibe, without all the roaring-20s hope and grandeur found in train stations.

When we arrived in Sarajevo, we could still feel a little of the tension and recovery taking place, but it was very small in comparison to Mostar (or later, Tusla).

There have been faces on the facades of buildings throughout Europe, but these geometric, mustached guards are unique.

Photos of the reflection on the river in Sarajevo. I think these would make great additions to the rug exhibit we saw in Split, Croatia.

I got to see some graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts gallery. Design 101 is pretty universal in it's aesthetic.

We really enjoyed these mixed media prints, and later found a gallery on the other side of Sarajevo with more of this artists work.

A fun, modern loop bridge stands in contrast to the other river bridges, and leads to the Academy of Fine Arts.

rave stones are very much part of the landscape in Sarajevo. A constant reminder of the war.

One of the most striking things I saw in Sarajevo was from our hike up to the abandoned '84 Olympics bobsleigh track. It was sobering to see something that celebrated the coming together of nations, and 10 years later functioned as a sniper tower.

he Sarajevo Brewery has a circus-like factory building. I read somewhere that if Willy Wonka had a brewery, this would be it.

Inside the Sarajevo Brewery pub for post-hike drinks.

In the contemporary art gallery we walked into an exhibit which was critiqued by 1st and 2nd graders. It was fun to contemplate their choices.

In one of the lively squares in Sarajevo, there was always a game of mega-chess being played. Snow or shine.

'The Sarajevo Rose' is a filled-in patch in the concrete from mortar fire. A constant reminder of the war.

Burek can be found throughout southeastern Europe, but the coal-fired version found in Sarajevo's old city is arguably the best.

n any other place, a row of shops selling cheap wares would seem kitchy, but the streets of the old city felt like they have been this way for hundreds of years.

The logo for a theater that put on productions throughout the siege of Sarajevo, and continues to put on plays today. Inside they were setting up for The Little Mermaid puppet theater.

We stayed for a few nights in Tusla on our way to Belgrade, but we could tell we were there in the wrong season. Most things were shut down and there was a thickness to the air that made it difficult to breathe. 

Close to Tusla, there is a NATO base that employed thousands of young men from Tusla. These men worked as translators and other jobs in BiH and again in Iraq and Afganistan. It seemed like whatever business we walked into there was a guy eager to talk about his connections to America, and why we would even be in Tusla in the first place.