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Cruising the Iron Gate

Wed 08.08.2018

This trip is special because the sightseeing and enjoyment already start in the bus. Driving on the road is a real joy. The road is like a scene from postcards, and Danube is next to us almost all the time. The ride looks shorter than it is, because it is impossible to not get lost in the beauty that could be seen through the windows of the bus. And  the tour guide stories provided us with important and interesting facts about the areas that we were passing.

For example, my first impression was that Djerdap looks like an exotic rainforest, and that thought was confirmed by the guide when he said that Djerdap is often called the "rainforest of Europe".
The experience was even better because of the low fog in the morning, and everything looked like a true fairy tale.
At the first destination, Golubac Fortress, we met with the exciting history of this fortress, heard numerous legends about its origin and name, as well as numerous anecdotes that happened throughout its rich history. After guided through Golubac Fortress history in its modern visitor center, we had the opportunity to actually see it. The fortress was magnificent standing proud above the wide riverbank of Danube. It looked like an old, abandoned castle.
Our next stop was the abundant Serbian lunch. It was only afternoon, but our appetite greatly grew as we saw the Vlach's specialties on the table in Captain Misa breg where an exquisite view of Danube and its surroundings could be marvelled. The magic of taste and colors, amazed all our passengers from the group, and I have to say not just people from abroad, but also people from Serbia who had already tasted these dishes during their lifetime, yet were certainly stunned. We could also order excellent local juices or homemade wine, and rakia (Serbian brandy). And like authentic Serbian hosts they were waiting us at the entrance for a welcome with shots of rakia.
Two passengers from Denmark told me that they never ate such delicious food as in Serbia and that we have the most delicious watermelons in the whole world. The food was even more enjoyable due to the authenticity of the buildings and the outstanding panorama. That is nothing strange, because the complex is located over 1000m above sea level. This was food for the soul.
In one moment, the host of this complex joined us and narrated the exciting story of Captain Misa and also his own life story which caused simultaenously many sad sighs and much laughter. We felt very welcome  here and our host made it clear that every guest is important.
It seemed to me that our group thought that we could spend the whole day here. But we knew that another real enjoyment is waiting for us.
The drive to the port, where we would enter the boat, was increasingly exciting. The Djerdap basin had more and more original forms, and everyone was astonished and took pictures of the areas we were passing.
It was a sunny day, so we were seated in the open part of the cruise. We ordered coffee and enjoyed the music. The atmosphere was full of smiles and the sun was shining gently. Cruising through the beautiful blue Danube started and it seemed like we were at sea. We saw two attractions: Tabula Traiana (Roman board) and Decibel’s head, magnificent in the tall rock on the Romanian side of Danube. We were impressed with the narrowest part of the Danube, as well with the small church that is almost at the edge of the coast.
We could not only see them and take great photos, we also heard stories about all these sights so they became even more interesting to us and we felt the extend of their importance.
Gentle wind, summer sun, the unreal beautiful Danube, the rhythm of music and the views of Djerdap ended after two pleasant hours. We again had the impression that we would stay here all day if we could.
The last destination was Lepenski vir - an archeological site that changed history's textbooks. The kind hosts briefed us and, then, left us to see a documentary movie about the discovery of this important and complicated prehistoric culture.
To me, the most impressive thing about the discovery of this place is the dedication of those who discovered this place - their enthusiasm, perseverance, and faith to find something great. And they succeeded! They found a settlement in which man lived 9500 years ago! They offered this great discovery to the history and archeology of the world, and they also gave Serbia a big tourist attraction.
People of prehistory were inspired by the rock that is located across this archeological site. And in my opinion, that is what makes this place even more attractive.
We heard what this rock meant for them – they measured time thanks to it and it helped them stay oriented when they were returning home from hunting, but it also served as a source of inspiration to create things. When I saw that rock, I understood why it triggered them – it looks fascinating, almost hypnotic.
In the end, we visited the visitor center and saw an interesting exhibit.
Then this extraordinary tour had to end.
The Danube, as a good host, again accompanied us, this time with an unusually beautiful sunset.
With the sunset and ride along the Danube, I remembered everything I saw today and realized that people who want to get to know Serbia better, should visit this place as soon as possible.

Written by Jelena Stefanović

You can make an online reservation for this tour here: link