Monday, June 10, 2013

Sally's visit

This past weekend we were blessed by a visit from Sally, who is part of an organisation "TEN" which is a Christian organisation which works across Europe through local people working in their own countries. She was here to see Sinisa and meet Ljilja, and it was easier for Ljilja and I to host her, so that is what we did.

On Sunday, after church, we took here for a short walk around the Kastel and to Safikada's "grave":
Safikada is Banja Luka's "Juliet", and the legend is that she fell in love with her "Romeo", an Austria-Hungarian soldier and they pledge their undying love for one another. He was sent to the front lines (some say on the influence of her father, who was one of the main Muslim leaders) where he was killed... She was devastated and went to the soldiers who manned the noon-day cannon, and begged them to allow her to place flowers in the barrel so they would shoot off to heaven and go to her love. They all knew about her forlorn story and so allowed her to do so... she waited to one side and once the cannon fuse was already lit, she threw herself in front of the cannon and legend has it was thrown to the spot where her "grave" is today. People still light candles to this day (esp around Valentine's day) to unrequited love... that is the legend of Safikada!

The afternoon was far too hot to carry on exploring, and so we left it for later... but it was dark by the time she was done with Sinisa and Olja, but at least she got to see Banja Luka in all its beauty at night... The only photo that we did get was of the downtown monument to the earthquake which happened in October, 1969 (20 people killed, over 65000 homeless... almost 60% of Banja Luka destroyed... it was a bad one! For those that are history buffs, there is a newsreel film about the earthquake here). The clock commemorates the exact time the earthquake happened, and is based on an actual clock that stopped because of the earthquake... Here is Sally beside it:
She already left this morning to go back to England... it was great having her come and visit and we look forward to the next time!!

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