Danube Blog Post 3

Best Laid Plans…

So we never set out with a great master plan. Just follow a river to its source and maybe head west towards the coast. Seemed reasonable. But 3 days in and 3oclock in the morning Teds weather curse commenced with a blinding light, lions roar and a torrential downpour. For all but one day in the next week’s forecast the weather symbol was a design of multiple drops of water flashed with a Harry Potter scar, together set against billowing dark grey clouds. Great for camping and cycling. Actually not. So we decided on a new plan.

Go exploring before the rain starts. So we headed out into Giurgiu where we ere staying and then to Ruse over the Friendship Bridge and into Bulgaria.

Ex Empires in Giurgiu

To spend a full day just exploring a town with no agenda is mind expanding. Specifically not having an itinerary, a places to go exploration designed by google. Just see where we end up., When you doing this in a different culture takes it to another level yet again. When you have studied that culture at college but never seen it in real life things rise another notch. But this is also 30 years (ok 32) on and you then have the passage of time, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union and several decades of capitalism. As you can imagine, things couldn’t get much more exciting for little old me.

Soviet Architecture – far less uniform than I was imagining

At this point I should properly mention the patience of my brother. Anyone who has brought up children under the age of 5 knows just how calm of mind one has to be. Well, I truly think I must have tested his on this day as I constantly braked for another image. I had promised I wouldn’t do this but I realise now I lied. I simply couldn’t help myself. I was having fun.

Star Wars Like Monsters scattered decaying across the plain

For the first time we crossed the mighty waterway by bridge. One of only 2 in the whole of Romania (I guess that way if you fell out with your neighbours it would be easy to cut communications!) for the first time we witnessed the sheer scale of the river. She is impressive. And demands respect. And is very, very beautiful.

The majestic Danube – entire cities as toys on her banks

And while I cannot aspire to regarding Soviet architecture and beautiful by any means it does demand a respect. Though I do wonder how many spectacular building were raised to deliver the social and town planners dream. It’s as though a planners model has been executed in real life with little regard to history. Fascinating yet slightly sad.

the new, well actually I don’t know what it is actually. My Bulgarian doesn’t stretch that far

on the way home

So with this interlude over and the weather symbols constant in their disappointing nature, we decide to venture further with our experiment of the cultural and decide to head to Bucharest, with a view to then catching up on lost cycling days by catching a train to meet where we would have cycled to if it had been sunny.

I did start just then trying to write a justification for this strategy but actually realise that I don’t have to. This is our adventure and we can do as we please. And we have both got so much out of more intimate explorations than simply spending all day every day in the saddle constantly striving to attain a goal only we have set. leave the agenda open. It is the journey that is important not the destination. And anyway, this is every bit as much fun.

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