The everchanging Danube.
Grete & Fred Vithen
Wed 17 Jun 2015 17:43
We haven't had access to the Internet for several days, so this a bit of a catch up. Today is Sat 20th, June. On Wed 17th, we were at a place with a most un-Serbian like name....Silver Lake. (Kilometre 1062 ie the distance to the Black Sea) It is quite beautiful and someone has spent a lot of money creating an American style Summer Camp, with safe swimming areas, peddle boats, sandy beaches, even a big water fountain. Everything is here...except people. When Fred and Grete were here in 2009 on "Jennifer", it was thriving. And now, sadly, like so many places we have visited, it feels like it's in decline, or, we hope, paused temporarily as prosperity slowly returns.
We had travel about 130 kms today and this included one lock, which can take some time, so we left Silver Lake at 5.30 am...well Fred and Grete did, while I slept in till about 8! I was on deck in time to see the most beautiful part of the Danube. The scenery changed from flat plains and low wooded hills, to soaring cliffs and high green peaks. To me, it resembled Switzerland or those beautiful lakes of Nth Italy. And then the river narrowed and grew fast and deep, with lots of turbulence....swirls called "strudels ". Mostly the river is 5 to 15 metres deep. Here it is 80 metres!
The camera doesn't do justice to the majesty. I felt like we were in a scene from "Lord of the Rings ".
We arrived at the lock at about 2pm and luckily for us, at the same time as a huge barge called Compact". After many unanswered calls by Fred on the VHF to the lock master, we were finally given permission to sneak in behind Compact. Otherwise, we may have had to wait for ages, even overnight. Even so, it was after 4pm when we finally emerged, 30 metres lower, to continue our journey.
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