On my first night in Sarajevo I went for a night out with 3 guys at the hostel. Having not seen anything yet, just walking the streets felt like a delight as I saw monuments of significance. The eternal flame flickered in the night, it’s resilience radiating out. Then was the Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed During Siege glowing the colour of jade within the water. Strong and full of respect, standing tall and reflecting the light in shards.
We went to Kino Bosna, kino meaning cinema. This is because it was a renovated old cinema, with black and white images of movie stars lining the walls and a large old school projector commanding the room. It had been turned into a bar that hosted live music of a very traditional kind. This evening was a three man band of a guitar, a drum and an accordion. I got my cocktails and grinning from ear to ear, I watched and clapped along to the jolly music while the rest of the audience sang enthusiastically. It reached the point where they spotted my enjoyment and came to our table. Then they began giving us our own improvised performance and serenaded us. It was such a lovely and personal experience that we stayed there for a while.
Next we went to Zlatna Ribica or the Goldfish (named after an actual goldfish that is swimming around in the centre of the bar). The style was like my dream, filled with antique clocks, old pulley systems, tiny black and white TVs and adorned with golden jewellery and masks. Even the toilets were special, with an electronic voice welcoming you in and decorated even more grand. The waitress, dressed in full black lace corset and jewelled necklace, took our orders and we all sat around taking in our surroundings. The bar is normally very busy so we were lucky to get a table. We chatted the quiet night away, sharing travel tales and exciting adventures, just 4 strangers sharing a drink.
So it was my first night in Kiev, I’d just made a couple new friends at Kiev Central Station Hostel and we had decided to go for a night out. I was in charge of sourcing the nightlife so after some quick googling we were off.
Our first stop was The Caribbean Club, with me thinking this was going to be some traditional clubbing in Europe. But we step inside and it turned out to be the most stunning jazz club I’ve ever seen (not that I had many to compare it to). I headed to the bar to get my bearings, ordered a blue lagoon cocktail and we took a table in the back. I was captivated by the band on stage and the atmosphere they were creating. The singer’s silky smooth voice echoed out and the low lights warmed the room with their colours.
I decided to continue sampling their fantastic cocktail menu and ordered a loud orgasm, I promise for the ingredients and not the funny name. The bartender’s style when making our drinks reminded me why I wanted to take a serious course in cocktail making. The drinks were finished, the performance over and it was time for the next stop of the evening.
We went to B-Hush Rooftop Bar, again a choice of mine from the thorough googling endeavours. Instead of a cheap bar with a DJ like I was expecting, we were lead to the top of a luxurious hotel and seated with the kind of respect where they called me ma’am. Thanks to the shockingly cheap prices of Ukraine, we were actually able to fake it and enjoy the high life of luxurious drinking. While enjoying an apple martini and avocado maki I took in the view, a panoramic lit up city, as alive and bright on the ground as the stars above.
Finally our night ended at a local bar themed as a hospital with staff dressed in nurse and doctor outfits; cheap, good food and mildly entertaining. We headed back to the hostel and I went to bed with a smile on my face. Some would say our night of luxury was just a lucky mistake, but I’d call it serendipity.