Sarajevo had already won me over with its hospitality, beauty and cosmopolitanism. I didn’t think it had any surprises left for me to discover. This is until I stumbled across Zlatna Ribica. A cosy coffee house/bar situated a couple of streets away from central Sarajevo. Its eccentricity and utter charm will make you want to spend the whole day there – continuously sipping coffees, beers or wines to your heart’s content while the world continues outside.
Stepping through the doors I felt as if I had stepped back in time at least 50 years to some quaint Parisian café. The decorum screams vintage, with posters and trinkets dating back to sometime before this one. The place really gives me a feel for antique Bosnia. It is quiet. Only a few patrons sip from their cups in the corner so it is easy for me to find a seat. I occupy the one next to the goldfish, happily swimming in its bowl. The waitress does not need to hand me a menu because they hang above my head, on telephone chords. My menu takes the form of a children’s book about animals. You see milk isn’t thirsty kitty’s favourite drink, it is actually lemonade for 4KM. Different menus were written on playing cards and tarot decks and other quirky miscellany.
At this point I didn’t even care of the coffee was bad (it was not by the way). It was just nice to escape into this little world for an hour. I wish I could take the place back home with me. It is this charm of Bosnia that I want to remember from my travels. Despite the countries struggles it still has a beautiful integrity and culture that I think should be shared with more people.