Previously on the Rivertraveller:
– My Boss came back from the 2 weeks vacation with full power
– We’ve discovered totally new place
– We’ve had the first border control, and still a few more is waiting for us
– I could stamp my own passport!!! 🙂
So, as I’ve mentioned, here is the second part of our southern adventure. Last time I’ve checked in Novi Sad, where we went to a tour with the guests under the castle, and after that had a beautiful dinner over the city. In the early morning the ship set sail again, and did not stop until the morning, until Belgrade. Of course, the police and the customs came on board here as well, just like a daily routine, go and look around the ship, have something to drink, to eat. This was the most serious place, what I’ve ever seen for a border control on the river (and it was just the 3rd day yet). A whole floating complex with several office, benches, different scanning machines, 24/7 guarded and watched. What is pretty impressive for me, I did not think they care about this thing so seriously.
This time I did not go out with the tour since I had to work during that time, but in the afternoon when I had my break, I went to explore the city – by my own style, by run. I carried an ID card with me just in case the officers would stop me, so I could identify myself. I get to the parking place, checked to the left and the right, warmed up a little, and started my session to the left, all around and under the castle, and later on the bank of the river Danube. Then somewhere a sharp right turn, and go into the city center. To be honest, I was heading to the castle, but for that I had to go through the outside part of the capital, just a right-left-right-left combination, and I was there, sloshing up through the parks under the walls of this structure. Here I stopped to take a breath, because my health condition was still not the same and the best. Was it because of the allergy, or I was still sick a little, I have no idea, but it made me nervous. After a few minutes I continued my run, entered to the castle, and I started to wonder inside. Like a lost tourist, I went to the left and to the right, turned back, took a picture, back again, then get lost, then a street with dead end, so turned back once more, a few more corners and then out under – probably – the main gate. It was the most decorated and the biggest one, so I assume it was the One. I felt myself like a soldier who tried to defend the castle, and in the end run out into his death. Okay, I was without any armor, sword, helmet, but I’ve got a phone in my hand and a Real Madrid jersey. Which is a little better. After this point I made a little more run before I got back to the ship. That was also a story. As it figured out, the parking place was secured by the police and some military guy, and maybe I’ve seen a gun with them. And they’re waiting for the arrivals and departures. The earphone was in it’s place – of course -, and I thought, what if I ran inside, one of them talks to me and I don’t hear him, then they give me a nice dotty clothes in the end, which wouldn’t be so comfortable. So I took out my earphones, my mood was already deeper than before, but at least I did not receive anything but a few pair of bulging eyes. And I did not press the last few meters because – hopefully – understandable reasons. The result is 6.7 km under 35 minutes, in the same temperature. Not so bad 😉
On the next day, the most beautiful scenery on the Danube came up – the Iron Gate and the Kazan-narrows.
If I’ve ever said that “I can’t describe it with words”, I did mean it. But for this place, I can say ” I can’t describe it with pictures neither”. Okay, I can try it, just everything else, but it won’t be the same like in real life. And the fact that all the pictures were taken by a Samsung S3, doesn’t help. I love this phone, he tries really hard to do the best of him. But of course, this is Your decision, so here we go with some – in my opinion the best – pictures.
This Iron Gate itself is located on the border between Romania and Serbia, all along in 140 kilometers. And some additional features to make it a little bit interesting for the captains:
- Iron Gate I. lock
- Iron Gate II. lock
- Some places the Danube is not more wider than 120 meters
- The original depth of the river is 75 meter, at some points
- Some of the stones and hills are 500 meters high – counted from the river’s level
So, our Captains had to go through these kind of places and fight with these difficulties, and they’ve succeed, since I’m still here and writing.
But the point is, this untouched nature, the castles, the ruins, the hills and mountains with their peaks, when the clouds and the fog cover them, just absolutely amazing. When you’re walking – sailing – on the hill’s shadow, and you’re in the middle of the river. When in one minute you feel like the mountains are closing on you, and in the next minute the distance between the two sides of the river is a hundred meters. And, if you just lose your attention for a second – what happens a lot of times during work -, then in the next minute you’re in a totally different place.
You can’t get bored – not even if you want -, the beautiful places were coming after each other without an end, and the Captains were so cool, that they’ve stopped the ship, or slowed it down for us, for the passengers to take pictures. And, almost in the end, the unique thing in Europe, the statue of Decebalus, more precisely, it’s portrait caved in the stones. That who was him?
Decebalus was a Dacian King in the end of the I. century. In 106 A.D. he was suicide in the end of the war against the Romans. In those time the ruler of the Roman Empire was Traianus, and after his soldiers found Decebalus’s dead body, they’ve chopped his head and brought it to Rome to prove their power. After this, the country of Dacia had disappeared forever.
The thing is, that for his honor they’ve made this 40 meter tall and 25 meter wide sculpture in that place, and it’s still the biggest statue in Europe! Fascinating work!
Later on we’ve reached the first lock in this part. It’s a totally independent lock, I mean it has it’s own power supply and get produce energy for some smaller villages around. And there are two of them, so it’s also spectacular. And of course, I can’t miss our new friends either. 3-4 dogs were there in the lock, and walking, escorting the ship from one end to the other, almost ready to jump on board. They were friendly, smiley, calm and nice, but still, rule is rule, we’re not allowed to bring any kind of animals on board.
We sailed out from the second lock, and left these beautiful, breath taking places behind us known, that soon we’ll be back to conquer again this part of the Danube! But until then, we had to go through a few more things…
To be continued…