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Published: July 24th 2018
The scenery we woke up to and the road along the river
On most ships you might have a day as sea, but since we are not in the ocean, today is a day at river.
We got up early because we wanted to get good seats on the main deck and we were afraid we would not be able to since we were going to be on the river all day. Almost no one was up there. Breakfast started a half hour later than usual and once it opened we went down and had a nice breakfast. While we ate we watched the beautiful mountain scenery go by and took some pictures. These are the first real mountains we have seen on this trip. We saw the greenhouse looking building which houses the excavation of an ancient settlement from 20-50 thousand years ago and a little later we spotted some ruins in the water. After breakfast, we returned upstairs, and people slowly arrived. I decided to get a mimosa and celebrate while we waited for the Iron Gates.
Around 9:30 we entered the Iron Gates Gorge. Here the walls of the mountains went sharply into the river and the width of the river narrowed. The wind picked up as it
The greenhouse area with the OLD ruins
was funneled in thru the gorge. I had to hold onto my hat so that it would not blow away. We saw several signal houses one of which was converted into a monastery, where you could stay free of charge if you helped the monks maintain the property. We also saw the cave where a general hid his army of several thousand. The entrances were small, but the distance between the 2 entrances was large. The cave must have been huge.
A road followed the river and consisted of a ton of tunnels and bridges. It would be a pretty drive.
The cruise director then told us to look towards our left and we saw giant face carved in the rock – the Romanian version of Mt Rushmore. We were also told that several cities, one of 20,000 was flooded when the dam was completed. The people all had to be relocated. So, we were floating above these flooded villages. The final site was a plaque for the bridge that had been built across the river in Roman times
After the Gorge we settled in and started reading and working on yesterday’s blog. Then we arrived at
the first lock. This was a double lock and is one of the largest locks in all of Europe. The lock is at the dam and after getting in the first lock and descending, we went straight into its extra lock that got us down to the level of the river below the dam. As we passed thru, we got to see the innards of the hydro-electric dam. Serbia is on one side of the dam and Romania on the other. If the lock passes thru 2 countries, like this one, there is no charge. The border crossing was the road above us that was part of the dam and the lock was in no man’s land. While we were in the 2nd
lock, we went down for lunch and sat in the outdoor area so that was could see the sites.
After departing the 2nd
of the double lock we heard some interesting conversations along with geographically challenged folks telling people that Serbia was Romania and Romania was Serbia. They didn’t know which way we were going. It’s not that hard. We went back to our seats and read for a while longer. Around 2, we went to
watch a video on the EU. It made both of us sleepy, but we decided the air up on deck would revive us, so we went back up and watched the scenery and read. Around 5 we entered the 2nd
lock on our journey. This was only a single lock and it was much smaller. The bees really like Susan; they keep going after her. She is getting a lot of steps because each time one comes around, she does a loop on the walking track.
Tonight I couldn’t find my sweater so I finally decided – given the shirt I was wearing last night – that I had left on the ship. Sure enough, it was in lost and found. We had dinner with a funny couple from Scotland. They were so interesting. As we were eating we docked in Vidin Bulgaria. This will be my 3rd
new country during the trip.
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