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Published: August 17th 2015
Today we enter the Iron Gates (a gorge on the river Danube that has a fortress guarding this gorge). Problem is that they pass the fort at around 0600, so early start. Quite a few people on deck for this view. The fort comes into view and it is built on top of the rocks at the entrance to the Iron Gates gorge. Impressive sight and the Captain spins the ship on it's axis so both sides can see it. Chris is watching from the bedroom and gets a good view as well. The wind is blowing quite hard due to the gorge effect. It is also quite cool in comparison from the past few days.
Then we enter the gorge. The cliffs are very steep and there are caves in the limestone everywhere. Go back to the room and have a shower, then breakfast. we have a short tour this morning from a town called Donji Milanovic. We are going to an ancient archeological dig called Lepenski Vir. They found a whole city from around 6000BC but had to effectively move it because they flooded the valley for a dam and Hydro station. Impressive sight but it was under a domed roof with clear roofing. Just like a sauna.....
Back to town then we sail for the rest of the Iron Gates. Lots of people on deck this afternoon and at first the clouds were out so nice and mild. Then the clouds disappeared and it got very very hot. Luckily they set up a bar on the deck and offered Pina Colladas or Bloody Maries - the latter got a run. We finally got through the gorge to the first lock. This lock is huge and can take 6 ships according to the commentary. That would be tight, more like 4. Anyway, the drop is 30 metres in 2 stages. We drop about 15 to 20 metres in the first lock, then we open to a second lock. Into that and another 10 metre drop. Wow.
We have sailed all day and now have Romania on one side of us and Serbia on the other. There is another lock to negotiate which is as big as the first one. That will be after dinner. Eating when I notice it has started raining. Dash up to the room to retrieve washing hanging outside the room. All good, back to food. Finish dinner then guess what, upstairs for a nightcap. Over and done and to bed early tonight.
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