Danube River

I’ve never had the opportunity to go that far to the north Of Bulgaria as to reach the banks of the Danube river. For me Danube has always been our northern border ( that I was reading about in the geography textbooks). That’s way I couldn’t wait for the arrival in Kozloduy. At the entrance of the city we saw two signs – one pointing towards the NPP. In fact, the facility is visible in the distance from the road. We followed the other sign, and entered the streets of Kozloduy. The town is actually quite small. In the center part there are few modern buildings but in the suburbs there are mostly rural houses.

Without wasting more time we went to see the famous Radetzky ship. This is actually not real ship, but a smaller replica, which is now a museum. Apparently I have read too many revolutionary poems, because I imagined something much bigger and remarcable . It turned out to be small rusty boat. The crew counted only two people – captain and engineer. They told us that there is no money. For anything, including quality maintenance of the ship. The boat haven’t passed the required inspections for years, that’s why they are not allowed to sail on it. And even if they want – in this time of year they can not move it because the water level has dropped. Here it is the great steamer Radetzky – in such a bad shape. The boat tour is actually limited to the deck, the cabins and the saloon of the ship, where there are hanging portraits of Botev. Among the more interesting items there are several reserved insurgent newspapers, coins, and the last letter Hristo Botev wrote. There are also reserved uniforms and flags. In any case, the atmosphere will not provoke patriotic feelings in you…

The trip on the Danube coast continues. The temperature is 38 degrees. Endless landscape of fields and farmhouses. I must admit that the North of Bulgaria really looks different form southern Bulgaria. From geographical point of view – no high mountains, or green forests. What you will see are miles of sunny fields of corns or sunflowers. The villages are small – with more houses than people. Some places seem forgotten by God. The infrastructure is bad, no jobs, the politicans don’t care.

The distance from Kozloduy to Vidin is no more than a hundred kilometers. The road is not in very good condition. In the summer the traffic is zero. For about two hours we have passed tree or four cars. We arrived in Vidin and left the car somewhere near the central part. We started our walk from the river station. If you are on the right way, you will soon see the tourist information center. There they will show you the way and give you a map of the attractions. Most of them are located in the Danube park. At the end of the park is located Baba Vida fortress. From the top of the towers you can see the Romanian coast. If you are not that much into sightseeing, then at least you can drink a cold beer in one of the many coffees in the park. Beer goes with sprats!  Now you are ready for new adventures …

By Neli


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