• Анђела Петровски

Hotel Promaja




The Forgotten Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Fear Promaja



The road to the Skakavac Waterfalls has one of Sarajevo’s more unique sights to offer: A makeshift cafe and Ex-YU’s probably only inhabitant who is not afraid of Promaja. Or at least not as much as he is of paved roads. We have met Dragan and some of his regulars.


Burek is relaxing on the bench.



The garden of Hotel Promaja is clearly the cat’s territory.


He is about the only one who really gets to sleep in the place regularly.


Hotel Promaja on the unpaved road from Sarajevo to the Skakavac Waterfalls isn’t a hotel in any sense of the word.


It is the nickname for Dragan’s cafe/restaurant that otherwise does not seem to have an official name.


Nor a printed menu. At least none to be seen.


It is probably the only local in the wider Sarajevo area not to have WIFI.


Were Igor not a friend I’d have never heard of the place.


“We come here often”, Igor tells me, while Mujo serves kahva, Balkan style coffee, to a party of four, a couple from Sarajevo who show their guests from Amsterdam around.




They have hiked up here.


“It’s to escape the city, meet a few friends and some other people who enjoy nature.”


A car drives up the road towards the waterfalls, whirling up a cloud of dust.


The bulldozer has decided to take a rest for the weekend. It is parked near a makeshift tool- or whatevershed that belongs to Hotel Promaja.


The biker who has been sitting next to Burek asks Mujo to fetch him a rakija to follow his kahva.




The spaniel belonging to the Bosnian couple with their Dutch friends has spotted Burek and barks angrily in the cat’s general direction.


Burek doesn’t move.


“She doesn’t like cats”, the owner tells me.


“How are you doing”, Dragan greets Igor, a bottle of Sarajevsko in his hand.


Igor introduces us.


“I’ve had this place for more than ten years now”, Dragan tells me. “I built it all myself”.


With a bit of help from Mujo, his only employee.


“I’ve just had enough of the city and decided to do something up here, away from all the stress. And for a couple of years I’ve also been living up here”, Dragan says, motioning to a hut down the slope next to the cafe.




The hut looks very much like Hotel Promaja, made entirely out of wood, save the windows.


“I hardly ever go down to Sarajevo anymore”, Dragan tells me, “Just every once in a while when I need something or when I want to have a couple of drinks with some old friends”.


Igor nods. “It’s not a lot of people coming here. Those that do, are usually pretty interesting”, he says.


To a large degree Hotel Promaja’s patrons are a tightly knit community, with relatively few people coming up here that aren’t part of one group of regulars or another.


And out of these, it is only a handful that don’t bond with those that come up here regularly.




“Me and my friends, we even come here in winter”, Igor says. “Winter is tough in Sarajevo, what with all the fog and smog. It’s great to get out every once in a while. But you can’t reach this place by car when there is snow. You have to park it down below and walk up here.”


If it were for Dragan it should stay that way, the sociable recluse tells me as I am eating some paprikaš Mujo prepared in the surprisingly spacious kitchen.


Hotel Promaja is the kind of place that only serves a handful of dishes, and with exception of uštipci, it does so only on weekends.


Local down to earth food, wholesome and tasty, like it usually is at places with a tiny menu.


„They are paving the road to up here“, Dragan tells me. „That‘s to make it easier for people to get to the waterfalls.“


In theory that would mean more business for Dragan.


It‘s just he doesn‘t want it.


„The guests that come up here either know me or they love nature. That‘s what I like. The road will change that.“


„I have already picked a spot where I will rebuild Hotel Promaja“, Dragan says, motioning up the mountain.


Far away enough from the paved road to deter anyone who just wants a quick and easy ride up to Skakavac waterfalls.




We have moved inside.


As the cloudy day is ending it has gotten chillier, and the wind that gave the place its nickname has picked up speed.


Tito is smiling at us from a 2017 calender amidst some other memorabilia of a time when the future looked much brighter than it does today to almost everyone in former Yugoslavia.

Džejms, a close friend of Igor‘s, has picked up the guitar Dragan keeps around for long nights in Hotel Promaja.


We sit on a table near the fireplace in the place‘s back room.


Džejms pretends to play some chords on the instrument. Like me, he has never learned how to play the guitar.




He smiles, but not to apologize.


Džejms is a passionate entertainer with a typically local sense of humor. And, it should be added, an accomplished hobby photographer.


As we sip rakija and Sarajevsko I decide to ask Dragan the obvious question.


The one I‘ve been circling around in our conversation the whole afternoon and evening.


„Why aren‘t you afraid of Promaja?“


Dragan just lets out a laugh.




Chris Baumgarten

Chris is a Vienna based journalist and hobby photographer in training with a passion for the Balkans. His private blog is balkanstories.net







Zaboravljena zapovest: Ne boj se Promaje



Put do vodopada Skakavac nudi jednu od jedinstvenih znamenitosti Sarajeva: improvizovani kafić i vjerovatno jedinog stanovnika bivše Jugoslavije koji se ne boji Promaje. Ili barem ne onoliko koliko od asfaltiranih puteva. Upoznali smo Dragana i neke njegove redovne goste.


Burek se opušta na klupi.




Bašta hotela Promaja je očigledno mačija teritorija.


On je otprilike jedini koji zaista redovno spava na tom mestu.


Hotel Promaja na neasfaltiranom putu od Sarajeva do vodopada Skakavac, nije hotel u bilo kom smislu te riječi.


To je nadimak za Draganov kafić/restoran koji inače nema zvanično ime.


Niti štampani meni. Barem da se vidi.


Vjerovatno je jedini lokal na širem području Sarajeva koji nema WIFI.


Da mi Igor nije prijatelj, nikada ne bih čuo za to mesto.


„Često dolazimo ovdje, kaže mi Igor, dok Mujo služi kahvu, balkansku kafu, društvu od četvoro ljudi - paru iz Sarajeva koji svojim gostima iz Amsterdama pokazuju okolinu.




Pešačili su do ovde.


„To je lepota bega iz grada, sa nekoliko prijatelja i nekim drugim ljudima koji uživaju u prirodi.“


Putem prema vodopadima ide auto, kovitlajući oblak prašine.


Buldožer je odlučio da se odmori za vikend. Parkiran je u blizini improvizovanog alata - ili bilo čega što pripada Hotelu Promaja.


Bajker koji je sjedio pored Bureka zamoli Muju da mu donese rakiju da pijucka uz svoju kahvu.




Španijel bosanskog para sa holandskim prijateljima uočio je Bureka i ljutito laje u opštem pravcu mačke.


Burek se ne pomera.


„Ona ne voli mačke“, kaže mi vlasnik.


„Kako si?“, pozdravlja Dragan Igora sa flašom Sarajevskog u ruci.


Igor nas upoznaje.


„Imam ovo mesto već više od deset godina“, kaže mi Dragan. „Sve sam to sam napravio“.


Uz malu pomoć Muje, njegovog jedinog radnika.


„Bilo mi je dosta grada i odlučio sam da uradim nešto ovde, daleko od stresa. A već par godina i ja živim ovde gore“, kaže Dragan pokazujući kolibu niz padinu pored kafića.




Koliba veoma liči na hotel Promaja, u potpunosti je napravljena od drveta, osim prozora.


„ Retko idem u Sarajevo“, kaže mi Dragan, „samo s vremena na vreme kada mi nešto zatreba ili kada poželim da popijem par pića sa nekim starim prijateljima“.


Igor klima glavom. „Ovde ne dolazi mnogo ljudi. Oni koji to rade, obično su prilično zanimljivi“, kaže on.


Pokrovitelji Hotela Promaja su u velikoj meri tesno povezana zajednica, sa relativno malo ljudi koji dolaze ovde koji nisu deo jedne ili druge grupe redovnih.


A od njih, samo je nekolicina onih koji se ne vezuju za one koji ovde redovno dolaze.



„Ja i moji prijatelji, dolazimo ovde čak i zimi“, kaže Igor. “Zima je teška u Sarajevu, uz svu maglu i smog. Sjajno je izaći s vremena na vreme. Ali ne možete doći do ovog mesta kolima kada ima snega. Morate ga parkirati dole i prošetati ovamo."


Da je Dragana tako bi i ostalo, kaže mi druželjubivi pustinjak dok jedem paprikaš pripremljen u iznenađujuće prostranoj kuhinji.


Hotel Promaja je mesto koje služi samo malo jela, a osim uštipaka, to radi samo vikendom.


Lokalna prizemna hrana, zdrava i ukusna, kao što je to obično na mestima sa malim jelovnikom.


„Oni krče put do ovde gore“, kaže mi Dragan. „To je da bi se ljudima olakšao dolazak do vodopada.“


U teoriji to bi za Dragana značilo više posla.


Samo on to ne želi.


„Gosti koji ovde dolaze ili me poznaju ili vole prirodu. To mi se sviđa. Put će to promeniti.”


„Već sam odabrao mesto gde ću da obnovim hotel Promaja“, kaže Dragan pokazujući na planinu.


Dovoljno daleko od asfaltiranog puta da ne odvrati svakoga ko želi brzu i laku vožnju do vodopada Skakavac.



Prešli smo se unutra.


Kako se oblačan dan završava, postalo je hladnije, a vetar koji je ovom mestu dao nadimak je ubrzao.


Tito nam se smeši sa kalendara za 2017., usred nekih drugih memorabilija iz vremena kada je skoro svima u bivšoj Jugoslaviji budućnost izgledala mnogo svetlija nego danas.


Džejms, Igorov bliski prijatelj, uzeo je gitaru koju Dragan drži za duge noći u hotelu Promaja.


Sedimo na stolu blizu kamina u zadnjoj sobi.


Džejms se pretvara da svira neke akorde na instrumentu. Kao i ja, on nikada nije naučio da svira gitaru.



Smeje se, ali ne da se izvini.


Džejms je strastveni zabavljač sa tipično lokalnim smislom za humor. I, treba dodati, uspešan hobi fotograf.


Dok pijuckamo rakiju i Sarajevsko odlučujem da Draganu postavim očigledno pitanje.


Ono oko koga sam kružio u našem razgovoru celo popodne i veče.


„Zašto se ne bojiš Promaje? “


Dragan je samo krenuo da se smeje.




Chris Baumgarten


Chris je novinar i amaterski fotograf iz Beča strastveno zainteresovan

za Balkan u svom radu. Njegov privatni blog je balkanstories.net








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