The Blue Danube – Take a Day Trip With Me

DanubeThe first thing I learned is that the Danube is NOT blue. I was expecting it to be a little like the Niagara River here at home, where some days it is green, other days gray, and the occasional rarity, a deep blue. It depends on the erosive power of water with sediments washed from the river’s bottom and weather conditions as to the appearance for the day. For ten days sailing, not once was it blue. The river was clean of debris, although there was a day of floating oil or gas slicks. Click the galleries, images are worth a look.

Speaking of weather, the long day of river travel had some great things to see if we could only see through the thick fog. Pumped for this river trip, I just love, love, love big epic landscape shots. You can probably tell from my abundance of scenery captured on this blog.

Sadly, I removed the pro wide-angle lens from my backpack before travel. In a way, it was a good thing because the 300mm got damaged. The entire trip had a very expensive polarizing filter affixed to the lens. Although packed well, both the lens cap and filter had their threading damaged preventing removal. I did get the lens cap off, but not the filter. Indoor shots and sunrise shots were hard to capture as a result.

Talk about bad luck in timing. Up before sunrise to get photos of a pretty sky and off in the distance, I see this blanket of fog headed in our path. I knew right away our sightseeing would be hampered, and hampered it was.

Fog covered Castle

Fog covered Castle

Not being the only photographer on board, there was a lot of grumbling. One guy said since we could not see the famous Gobubac Castle along the Danube, he was going to swipe a photo of it online! All that could be seen was a ghostly image of it above. The fog gave it ambiance though since castles have much intrigue and mystery. I was sad to have missed it.

All was not dismal, the sun did make an appearance after we passed the most scenic areas to manage a few decent shots.


Our group got a good look at Decebalus, the king of the Dacians facing Romania, carved on the Serbian side. He is the tallest carved rock statue in Europe and was created from 1994 to 2004. I bet you thought he was really old, I know I did. He keeps watch at the Iron Gates at the border of Serbia and Romania. Honestly, as cool a character as he is peering down, I was hoping he was carved long ago.

Since boats are really not my thing, I came prepared with seasick medicine just in case I had an embarrassing episode of the queazies. Luckily, they were not needed as the river was calm and the flat-bottom boat was steady. Perched on the bow ready for the wonderful sights that awaited, I waited and waited. Fog occurred almost the entire trip. For someone who relishes a day of fog in a place where it happens infrequently, I was about having enough of it.

The day was so gray that I joked with another photographer that when I got home, I was going to drop in a puffy cloud, blue sky to each image with Photoshop. Remember – EVERYTHING IS BETTER UNDER A PUFFY CLOUD DAY!!!! Instant happiness.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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45 Responses to The Blue Danube – Take a Day Trip With Me

  1. alesiablogs says:

    These photos have a Lord of the Rings mystique about them! Fog and all is not so bad!

  2. swo8 says:

    That was quite the trip. What a lovely part of Europe! Just loved your photos.

  3. That carved statue is really impressive! Yes, it looks like a carving from long ago. Travel is always crazy regarding supplies and equipment. I’m not sure anyone would have noticed, though, because your photos, as always, are exceptional.

  4. Great photos. It looks like you had a good trip.

  5. That statue looks like something from Lord of the Rings. I had no idea the Danube was lined with dramatic mountains. I imagined it bordered by flat plains, like the Mississippi.

    • The Danube is very long and did have some farmland and “seaports” along the coast. This was called the Danube Gorge, and that was another reason for the thought to where I live. The steep gorge face of rock has some similarity. I will show more of the Danube later. The Iron Gates are rather interesting.

  6. Even with the fog your photos are great. Glad it cleared a little because the carved statue is beautiful. I though it would have been older, too.

  7. Victor Ho says:

    Sorry to hear about the lens. It’s something that’s never happened to me in all the travels I have taken. The Blue Ridge mountains and the Grand Canyon are. But the Danube is called Blue…. There was a ‘man on the mountain’ in New Hampshire but the natural rock formation finally collapsed a few years before I saw it this year. Oh well. Life’s disappointments mix with new adventures. Try a transderm scop patch for sea sick next time. Prescription but it works. No big side effects like drowsiness.

    • When I got home, I used channel locks to remove the filter. Lucky the lens itself was undamaged, but the filter will screw on, but not securely now. I will take your advice on the seasick patch. I only ever was sick once on a boat, but that was once to much I and remember it so well.

  8. Too bad and really sorry you got so many days of fog. Autumn is usually foggy in watery areas in Europe after a warm summer.

  9. I’m glad you weren’t seasick, but oh, your poor camera! I feel so bad for you!

  10. It does look a fascinating part of Europe. Sorry very sunny and mellow here in Southern Spain but storms are due….

  11. Great photos. The fog does make the images more mysterious. Every time I saw the Danube it was a dingy brown colour. Not exactly romantic. 😀

    • If I did not have on that very dark polarizing filter, I would have been in heaven in the fog. Even if I had a tripod it would have helped some when we docked. With the boat always moving, it was next to impossible for me to get good shots.

  12. Pat says:

    What a wonderful trip. I love the large rock carving.

  13. Phil Lanoue says:

    I really enjoyed this, thanks for taking me along on the journey!

    • Thanks Phil. You would have been sad because I saw almost no wildlife. Birds were limited to some swans, one heron, a handful of Mallards, crows and gulls along the Danube. In cities, no birds except a couple of sparrows and magpies. No insects either. It was not the weather or migration either to my knowledge. When I left for the trip, we still had birds migrating, plus we have loads of resident birds. I think this part of Europe has been hard hit by all the huge corporate farms – no insects – no birds. Plus “poison seed”.

  14. Despite the fog your photos of your amazing trip are wonderful! There is so much history and beauty which you got to experience and it is captured so well in your photography. I also loved the photos and history shown in the last post and the amazing architecture as well as the Astronomical Clock. Thank you so much for the virtual tour!

    • Thank you Lee. This was an educational cruise. We had local speakers everyday to tell us things we never learn in this country. The architecture was great for me. I got to see buildings I learned about in college.

  15. Loved taking this trip (virtually) with you, Donna. You took wonderful photographs of the mystic fog, but I’m sorry you were disappointed. Sorry, also, about the camera, but thank you for a great tour. P. x

    • I was only disappointed in my camera being damaged. Had the filter not been stuck, I would have enjoyed the fog a whole lot more. It would have been better for me to have had the sun shining brightly. 😦

  16. Karen says:

    We usually travel to Europe at the same time as your trip. It is not as crowded as in summer but the weather can be rainy and foggy. I have enjoyed all your travel posts and all in all, it sounds like a wonderful and interesting trip. Since it wasn’t on your bucket list, I’m curious what took you to this part of the world. I’ve always wanted to visit Prague but since we drive when we are in Europe, I’ve had problems finding car rental companies that allow you take a car from Germany into that part of the world.

  17. bittster says:

    Sorry about the fog…. at least it wasn’t rain?
    I also wish the statue were ancient…. so much cooler to think of it that way. Who knows though, in two or three hundred years opinions may change!

    • We had some rain too. I guess it is just the time of the year. I did look at yearly rainfall amounts before going. They had a wet summer, but October is generally pretty dry as is most often found.

  18. A.M.B. says:

    Wow! What a wonderful trip! These pictures are amazing.

  19. Lovely pictures – and that carved head reminds me of the imagery in the Lord of the Rings movies.
    I felt for you with that camera mishap. I once tried removing a polarising filter in a hurry while taking pictures from a plane and the whole lens ripped out. Aaargh…
    All the best – I look forward to more of your travel posts 🙂

  20. I had heard from European bloggers in Germany and surrounds that they have fog almost daily this time of year. I can see where it can get old. But stunning landscapes. And for all the lens issues, being the excellent photographer you are, we are still given such eye candy never realizing any limitations.

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