Thursday, September 23

Luckily, we moved from Eastern European Time to Western European and so gained an hour of sleep, because we had to be on deck by 7am to experience the passage through the Iron Gate. The scenery is spectacular - high mountains surrounding the river on both sides, interesting buildings,ruins, carvings, and caves, all in the narrow, fast-flowing part of river.
We moved into Serbia, docing at Donji Milanovic for customs and immigration formalities.
We were able to go ashore and see the sights. We even did a bit of shopping (a water colour). The church was lovely, and we were able to look through the door in the icons and see the altar. This was a surprise after the churches in Russia where those doors were tightly closed. It is a nice town and we saw more evidence of entrepreneurial initiative than in either Romania or Bulgaria. Lots of lovely handmade goods for sale.
We sailed on up the river for several hours before stopping at Kostolac to visit the Roman Ruins at Viminacium. The excavations there have been underway for more than a century, but strip-mining for coal in the close vicinity has some urgency to it. Already part of the burial grounds have been destroyed. We sampled local wine (not bad) and learned more about the country.
Kostolac is largely a resort town with few permanent residents, but the houses are very nice.
Across the river in Romania we could also see large estates. That area looks more prosperous than the ones we visited earlier.
After dinner it was time for (ta-da!!) the Canadian Quiz. We had a fine time and I think the guests did too! [ Janice did a great job hosting the event. ]

Photos of the day; click for larger view.

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