The 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.
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.