Cycling the Lower Danube. Euro Velo Route 6. Day 4 Part 1

We didn’t meet many other touring cyclists going our way, and only a very few in the opposite direction (which was into the prevailing wind, and therefore silly). But we started day 4 alongside 3 German men (of  a certain age) and this enthusiastic French couple who were cycle camping around Europe for 4 months.

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I don’t envy them that amount of luggage though !

The ride to Orsova was great – a small hilly loop inland, from where we had this wonderful view

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and met this chap – an egomaniac, without doubt.

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before a pleasant lunch in Orsova where we could admire the local hardware store, which reminded me of every hardware store I have ever seen.

The road from Orsova to Drobeta-Turnu Severin (hereafter, Severin) outdid the Belgrade bridge for sheer terror. Suddenly all the largest lorries of Europe were heading from Northern to Southern Europe, or vice-versa. The road was just wide enough for two lorries to pass, but not two lorries and a bike.  There was a near death experience every 30 seconds, plus all the drain covers on the numerous bridges being put in with the slots parallel to the direction of travel, thus becoming potential wheel traps (except for mountain bike tyres, which of course we didn’t have on our Bromptons), and two unlit tunnels, mercifully short.  I cannot recommend this section of road, but there is no sensible alternative as the opposite side of the river, in Serbia/Bulgaria, has longer and windier tunnels.  At least there was an opportunity to stop near the Iron Gates dam and hydroelectric plant, responsible for the loss of much that was beautiful and unique about the Danube Gorge we had just passed through, though, doubtless welcomed by Romanians and Yugoslavs at the time.

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Only the view from the upstream side is recorded, as a security official prevented photographs from the downstream side.  One does wonder why.

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