Danube Delta, a real paradise!
When I first arrived in the Danube Delta it was a few years ago on the New Year’s Eve and I fully enjoyed this first experience that proved to be very romantic, watching boats passing from time to time by the hotel where I was staying or gorgeous sunsets every evening. I never would have thought that Delta may mean more than two or three vessels and a few birds that would have got in our way …
This year I admired it again, not once, but twice! Once in early summer and second in early autumn. Let’s begin with summer…
Once arrived in Tulcea we managed to reach port smoothly (Aval Tulcea, Hera pier) where we would go to the Mila 23 village.
Route to Mila 23 took us about 2 hours, although the return was much shorter, perhaps to be able to admire the birds and gorgeous vegetation of early July.
From Tulcea arm we went through the route: Channel 36 – Channel Şontea – Cape Condura – Lake Băclaneştii Mari – Fortuna Lake – Channel Olguţa – Channel Dunarea Veche – Mila 23 village. On Lake Fortuna, one of the largest lakes of the Delta, we could even see Mahmudia hills as our guide Julian told us. I also found out that the vessels circulated on the Old Danube Channel before Sulina was opened, Sulina being situated at the mouth of the Danube.
The way to the village among willows and reed pond is very nice and just before entering the canal that leads to the village, after I saw the water tower where the water is purified and the Dinghy Museum, I admired a colony of pelicans that were frolicking freely. Here I found out that where the water is deeper, pelicans sit near cormorants because they want to steal the cought fish from them. Pelican hovers over 70-80% of the flight, and after it swallows the fish it keeps it in its goiter to get it decomposed in the stomach, due to its high acidity.
Besides the first birds that I admired (egrets, swans, gulls) and several boats that were resting on the shore, we saw nets left by the fishermen, called pots and seines. In one day I even saw a pike caught, but also turtles that we released them … To spread their nets the fishermen make a path int the water with a stick in order to cut vegetation on the bottom and after that they spread their fishing tools.
The fish was previously held in glaciers and they put reed between the ice bars not to stick together. There are days when you do not gather any tonne from all fishermen and each of them has a specific fishery with whom one works with.
Mila 23 village has its traditional houses painted white with blue and covered with reeds.
Every day was different and fascinating! The first day included two tours of 4 hours each in the program, with a break for lunch at Villa Vanessa, where we were staying and who has the most beautiful pier!
Tracks of the two trips on the canals and lakes among the willows, poplars, ashes, locusts and swamp thistles were:
- Village Mila 23 – Dunarea Veche – Caţavaia Channel – Channel Vişina – Gârla Vişina – Gârla Lopatna – Channel Trei Iezere – Lake Trei Iezere – Lake Radacinosu -Channel Eracle – Old Danube – Village Mila 23
- Village Mila 23 – Dunarea Veche – Channel Ligheanca – Lake Ligheanca – Channel Vacaru – Lake Vacaru – Channel Razboinita – Gârla Şontea and we came back through Vacaru Lake back to the village.
We entered even the channels that are not listed on the map, or secondary channels that end. Perhaps, on the above routes I have missed one channel, but I was in so many that you can loose yourself if you do not know them. I went also on narrow channels where vegetation can be touched by hand! The trees are rot when they reach water.
I liked very much to see how vegetation reflects itself on the water surface, each angle being different and creating a beautiful amazing show. Clouds movement always printed another picture and put different colors to the Danube. From gray to blue-green like the sea on the vast lakes that cross the Delta.
You can see more beautiful photos here: (To be continued… ) Site in progress, excuse the inconvenience!