Budapest to the Black Sea

River Danube - Iron Gates
Morning mist and a mysterious bridge to nowhere there is no decking and on both sides of the river it ends in mid-air - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
The Gobulac Fortress  is strategically located on the embankment of the River Danube at the narrows which mark the start of the Iron Gate Gorge. (As heading downstream BELLEJOUR passed the fortress during the night, these images were taken on the return voyage upstream) - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
Later in the day passage began through an 83 mile stretch of the Danube, commonly referred to as the Iron Gates - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
 The southern Carpathian Mountains are separated by the Danube from the north-western foothills of the Balkan Mountains  - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

A new Mcronia Monastery was constructed on the ruins of the original in 1931 but it was submerged during the building of the first Iron Gates Dam in 1967. This second monastery was commenced in 1993 and completed in 1999-2000 - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

The tallest rock relief in Europe is the nearby 43 metre sculpture of the face of Decebalus who was the last king of Dacia who fought the Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan.  Not much farther downstream is the Tabula Trajans bearing a Latin inscription commemorating Emperor Trajan who built a road through the gorge in 104 AD - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

. The artificial Lake Djerdap was created when the governments of Romania and Yugoslavia entered into a joint venture to construct a dam on the Danube.  The subsequent rise in water level submerged several villages including Sip, where the dam was built - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

The dam incorporates two hydroelectric power stations and on both the Serbian and Romanian  side there is a two chamber double lock.  This arrangement allows simultaneous locking of vessels travelling both up and downstream on either end of the dam - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

Iron Gate One is one of only two dams on the middle and lower reaches of the Danube.  A huge concrete Yugoslav flag on the Serbian side stills  pays tribute to former Yugoslav President Tito - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

  Leaving the upper lock to enter the lower. The dam is 200 feet high and over three quarters of a mile long and each power station contains six turbines  - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
Leaving the lower lock.  Because of the great difference in levels above and below the dam a double lock is required - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
BELLEJOUR continues down the Danube past the motionless cranes at Drobeta-Turnu Severin - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
Drobeta-Turnu Severin - the near-deserted shipyard where vessels would have been launched sideways into the river contrasts with Cargill grain silos nearby  - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
On a lesser scale than Iron Gate 1, the Iron Gate 2 Dam is about thirty seven miles farther downstream.  The dam and power station at Iron Gate 2 are both on the Romanian side with only the single chamber single lock and sluice on the Serbian side - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow