Via Sunday Miscellany: Frank Shouldice recalls a friendship forged in postwar Sarajevo...

I arrived by bus shortly after daybreak. My first time in Sarajevo. The four-year siege had ended 15 months earlier and in the morning half-light, the sheer scale of destruction was something to behold. A city pulverised by history.

I passed the train station, long since bombed out of service. Two charred skyscrapers loomed in their own shadows. Countless shops and houses burnt out, any structure still standing pock-marked by bullet holes. The famed Holiday Inn located in the crosshairs of Sniper's Alley had taken numerous hits but contrived somehow to stay open for business.

There was only a trickle of visitors to this once-thriving city. With so few hotels operating local people took in visitors for 20 Deutschemarks a night. I got an address in the old town, an apartment off Ferhadija Street, a beautiful Austro-Hungarian style building that had taken its share of punishment from snipers in the surrounding hills...

Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday from 9.10 am - listen back here.