Thursday, June 26, 2008

Feeling HOT, HOT, HOT

I wish I could upload some photos, but they will have to wait until Budapest, when I have a connection that is faster than this misery (it's worse than any dial up). We were in Belgrade today. Fascinating history. I actually can give a decent sketch of the mess that once was Yugoslavia now. It's a really sad situation now, with a huge brain drain going on here (similar to Bulgaria). I will post a more nuanced discussion when I can write more.

The heat makes it difficult to stroll and observe with the patience it requires, but our brief visit in Belgrade, walking on a pedestrian mall, a park, and side streets, showed the wear and tear of its recent struggles.

Navigating through the Iron Bridges (a series of dams) - June 25

We are halfway through the cruise, making our way through the Kazan Narrows between the Balkans (Serbia) and the Carpathians (Romania). We have seen medieval castles, country hideaways along the river, and a rock where an adulterous queen was tied up until she repented her sins. We spent the whole day on the boat, but most everyone seemed relieved after several days of busing all over the place. The choreography of this form of tourism is about controlling the environment (in terms of safety), keeping bellies full and spirits entertained. There is more to it, and I hope to write more about it.

Once we made it through the locks, we sailed through a narrow passage where we encountered this public art piece on the Romanian coast. It is a contemporary piece, though it looks older.

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