The other evening, the Mrs. and I had a chance to spend a few hours out in Tuzla with a pair of her old friends from here in Živinice.
Tuzla has a reputation as something of an industrial wasteland, but like Cleveland or Pittsburgh, its industrial underside does not erase a fair bit of charm. One of the best things about Europe is that the majority of the cities, especially the downtown portions, are full of pedestrian-only streets lined with shops and cafes. Tuzla is no exception. Based on my guidebook (which I am discovering was fairly half-ass updated the last time), the old town is supposedly being swallowed by sink holes from old salt mines. Evidently the locals, did not care much for that, and at one end of the pedestrian mall sits a newly constructed plaza centered by a lovely fountain, pictured here.
Like other parts of Bosnia, the architecture is largely Austro-Hungarian, but unlike other parts of Bosnia, the civicmindedness of the locals is evident by the brightly painted buildings.
A sign that not all decency was lost in the war, Tuzla's orthodox church was untouched during the conflict, and sits just a few hundred meters from the downtown mosque and Ottoman fountain.
We had a great night out with my new/her old friends (with some looks of disbelief from several locals by the people speaking English). We probably have another trip to Tuzla in the next few days, where I might have more to add, but I was pleasantly surprised by the parks, architecture and layout of this supposedly-grim northeastern Bosnian city.
(These photos are a bit poor with the harsh sun/shade combination, I will try again later for some nicer pics.)