Down the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest: Serbia too the Iron Gates

The Danube together with Valva Rivers run into inwards Belgrade. Photo © past times Judy Wells.
Situating a settlement at the confluence of 2 rivers tin hold upwards an wages economically together with strategically. The employment is, as nosotros learned entering Kalemegdam Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia, everyone else wants it, too.
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We didn't reckon an "attack here" sign, merely inwards the past times 2,016 years the metropolis has been destroyed 77 times together with changed hands 66 times alongside vi meg residents killed inwards the process.
Entering Kalemegdan Fortress. Photo © past times Judy Wells.

The Romans built the fort on the bluff overlooking the Danube together with Valva  Rivers, the nearly of import stronghold on the "stumble road," the armed services route betwixt Constantinople together with the West. The gates are massive, pocked alongside holes together with dents from erstwhile assailants.
Doors of Kalemegdan Fortress. Photo © past times Judy Wells.

Tip: Yes, you lot climb a gradient merely the path is either clay, paved or grassy together with the elevation alter is real gradual.

When the tribes came southward inwards the seventh century A.D., the Serbs were the largest together with strongest of them all, replacing the Romans together with commanding iii times the dry soil they take away maintain now. The Turks arrived together with took over inwards 1389.

It is slow to reckon why they all wanted to command Belgrade. The views from the fort's ramparts are as beautiful as they are strategic.

Today the fort is a park, lushly dark-green together with leafy, dotted alongside monuments within alongside slay lawn tennis together with basketball game courts, a children's play surface area together with displays of old armed services weaponry exterior together with inwards the grassed over moat.
A dinosaur demo inwards the children's play area. Photo © past times
judy Wells.

Downtown Belgrade looks as engaging merely later a comfort together with snack halt inwards Republic Square, pelting storms curtailed our exploration. Word is that the metropolis has a booming nightlife.    

Revolution Square surface area inwards Belgrade.

Donji Milanovac

Young dancers came first. Photo © past times judy Wells.
Ship's tour leader Alina warned us the side past times side stop, Donji Milanovac, was a modest town alongside naught much to reckon merely that the locals were going to demo it to us anyway. First, later passengers had assembled on the dock, the immature people entertained alongside lively folk dancing.

The modest museum was interesting, specially the department on sturgeon angling which used to hold upwards the village's principal economy. H5N1 household unit of measurement was allowed to take away maintain 1 sturgeon a year; the sale of caviar from a 600-pound sturgeon supported them nicely. The town was moved iii times to conform shifts inwards the Danube together with the resulting dams killed of the sturgeon.

Greek Orthodox Church. Photo © past times judy Wells.
We saw the Greek Orthodox Church together with the schoolhouse merely at that topographic point was picayune else to reckon until nosotros returned to the dock. Despite high winds, artisans together with seamstresses had ready booths, hanging embroidered shirts, skirts together with tabular array cloths outside.

Tip: Walking is slow alongside few changes of elevation together with non far to go.

After days of switching currencies every solar daytime together with beingness stuck alongside leftover bills together with coins that were useless inwards the side past times side country, this came as both a stupor together with a treat. Vendors non entirely took whatever currency you lot happened to have, they returned alter inwards whatever currency you lot wanted.

I intend Donji Milanovac has flora a novel industry: tourists.

Iron Gates 

Cruising the Danube as River Splendor transits the Iron Gates, 83 miles of gorges separating Serbia together with Romania was a treat. The expert tidings was that nosotros loved relaxing alongside a potable together with watching the beautiful scenery overstep by, waving at fishermen together with pleasance boaters. The bad news: at that topographic point was no stopping together with a few places looked worth one. 
Dacian King Decebalus carved into a cliff. Photo © past times judy Wells.

Particularly intriguing was the "Romanian Rushmore," a giant caput of Dacian King Decebalus caved from a stone-faced cliff.  It was an eerie vision, similar a scene from a Tolkien novel, together with strangely disappointing to let out it was completed inwards 2004 together with non centuries ago. 
Trajan's duo brought the defeat of the Dacians. Photo © past times judy Wells.
Sad, too, as the King's visage stared at the indicate where Roman Emperor Trajan's forces built a duo to cross the river together with defeat his kingdom. 


It was bittersweet going through the locks that killed off the sturgeon merely also fun getting to reckon the "tags" of ships' that take away maintain used them.

We percentage a lock alongside Avalon Passion.
Also a testimony of the growing popularity of river cruising.


Down the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest: Serbia too the Iron Gates