But more often than not, the striking castle and the angular church tower are silhouetted against a grey sky.
It’s definitely not on the usual tourist radar, but the huge Bagno Park and area of woodland that separate the two halves of the town, are delightful. The wooden-framed buildings of the old town centre are firmly north German, and the twice-weekly market continues to be laid out on the cobbled street, despite the current restrictions.
It is here that No Name Kitchen volunteer Stef lives. And it is here that the generosity of her friends, colleagues and local groups has completely astounded us.
The large meeting room in the offices of Use-Lab, Stef’s company, was piled high with clothes, shoes, blankets and sleeping bags donated by local Rotary Clubs, Breitensportverband and Soroptimists International, as well as the Pascal Gymnasium in Münster. We spent an entire day sorting and packing with Use-Lab director Torsten his son Tim, Anfried and Ruth - Stef’s housemate.
The situation in Bihac right now is as bad as ever.
The fire at Lipa Camp (read more about that here), which rightly engaged the spotlight of international media, has rather dwarfed the problems that already existed. Thousands of people are unsupported by any camp - inadequate or otherwise - and survive in the crumbling buildings in the city.
My friend sent these photos of where he lives.
The generosity of the people of Steinfurt doesn’t just extend to physical or monetary donations. So often I feel as though I am shouting into the wind. That people in Europe read about and disapprove of the situation in the Balkans, but don’t care enough to act for change. Steinfurt has shown us that people do care. They care about our friends and the injustices that they face, and they’re willing to show that in a material way.
For us, as we begin our journey back to a much-changed Bihac, we are emboldened by the support.
To add to the support shown by the wonderful people of Steinfurt, you can donate to No Name Kitchen here.
And messages of support for us are always welcome.