Budapest to the Black Sea

Rousse, Bulgaria

There was a noticeable increase in river traffic below Iron Gate 2 and as the sun began to set BELLEJOUR passed a large number of empty barges moored on the Bulgarian side of the Danube - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

Under a laden sky the following morning BELLEJOUR, flying a Bulgarian courtesy ensign, encountered several pusher tugs like the Ukranian registered RIBINSK propelling multiple barges - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

It was not possible to determine the RIBINSK’s cargo but grain and coal are probably the most common commodities and large coal deposits were observed at Svishtov, although the power station there seemed out of commission - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

Around midday BELLEJOUR was back in the EU when it berthed at Rousse/Ruse, Bulgaria - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
No one was upset when children clambered over the canons around the Liberty Monument in Freedom Square - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
beyond the fountains the Sovietesque city hall and modern DSK Bank building compete for attention with the more traditional architecture - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
The Courthouse (СЪДЕБНА ПАЛАТА) and cafés in Alexandrovska Square - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
Leafy boulevard leading to the Opera House - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
The pedestrianised Ulitsa Alexandrovska
While Bulgarian and Russian share a similar Cyrillic alphabet, the languages are quite different.   Several outlets may supplement Bulgarian with  some English as here in a charity shop in  Alexandrovska Street - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
If the Bulgarian and Russian words do not correspond sometimes English can help.   The shop is selling Autoparts  (АБТОЧАСТИ), accumulators (АКУМУЛАТОРИ), oil (МАСЛА), auto-consumables  (АВТОКОНСУМАТИВИ) and filters (ФИЛТРИ) - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow
It was shortly after 9 pm, with the Danube reflecting the last rays of the setting sun, when BELLEJOUR left Rousse for Cernavoda in Romania - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow

Soon sheet lightning was illuminating the eastern sky as the silhouette of the Danube Bridge came into view.   Named the Friendship Bridge by the Soviets, the Danube Bridge is a double deck truss with the road on the top level above the railway.   The bridge was opened in 1954 and joins Bulgaria on the right bank with Romania on the left - VIDEO CAPTURES Malcolm McCrow          

Iron Gates