Read The Danube Online

Authors: Nick Thorpe

The Danube

Copyright © 2013 Nick Thorpe

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Set in Adobe Garamond Pro by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd

Printed in Great Britain by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Thorpe, Nick.

  The Danube : a journey upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest / Nick Thorpe.

    pages cm

  ISBN 978–0–300–18165–4 (cl : alk. paper)

  1. Danube River Valley—Description and travel. 2. Danube River Valley—History, Local. 3. Danube River Valley—Social life and customs. 4. Thorpe, Nick—Travel—Danube River Valley. I. Title.

  DJK76.4.T47 2013

  914.96045—dc23

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is for Andrea

Contents

    
List of Illustrations and Maps

    
Acknowledgements

    
Introduction
. The Lips of the Danube

1 The Beginning of the World

2 The Kneeling Oak

3 Mountains of the Fathers

4 The Colour of the River

5 The Dogs of Giurgiu

6 Gypsy River

7 River of Dreams

8 River of Fire

9 The Black Army

10 Smoke, Ash and a Tale or Two

11 The Wind in the Willows

12 Danube Fairytales

13 Oh Germany, Pale Mother

14 The Tailor of Ulm

    
Afterword
. A Kind of Solution

    
Notes

    
Select Bibliography

    
Index

Illustrations and Maps

Plates

1.
 Mile Zero, the lighthouse at Sulina

2.
 Sulina with Adrian Oprisan

3.
 In the heart of the Danube delta

4.
 Simion outside his home in Sulina

5.
 Statue of the Glykon, Constanța

6.
 Statue of Pontus, Constanța

7.
 The Kneeling Oak, Karaorman

8.
 Alexander's grandmother, Karaorman

9.
 The Black Sea from the mouth of the Danube near Sfantu Georghe

10.
 Recep Lupu's wife and mother-in-law, Babadag

11.
 Gypsy girl, Babadag

12.
 Mitya Alexi, Ghindărești

13.
 Nikita Ivan, Ghindărești

14.
 Momi Kolev and a camel

15.
 Dark skies over Nikopol

16.
 Danube Iron Gates from the water

17.
 Danube dawn at Eselnita

18.
 The water tower, Vukovar

19.
 Wetlands at Kopački Rit

20.
 Depiction of the Red Army crossing the Danube in 1945

21.
 Snails after the floodwaters fell, Kopački Rit

22.
 Danube floods in Budapest, 2013

23.
 The Danube bend in Hungary from the
Tatabánya

24.
 At the helm of the
Tatabánya

25.
 Hermann Spannraft at the wheel of the cable ferry

26.
 Josef Fischer, Rossatz, Austria

27.
 The Atsaeva family, Grein, Austria

28.
 The cable-ferry at Ottensheim

29.
 The Inn and the Danube meet at Passau

30.
 The tailor of Ulm

31.
 The youth of Ulm

32.
 Statue of Mother Baar showing the young Danube the way to the Black Sea

Maps

1.
 The Danube delta

2.
 The Lower-Middle Danube

3.
 The Upper-Middle Danube

4.
 The Upper Danube

1 Mile or Kilometre Zero, from which the length of the Danube is measured: the lighthouse at Sulina.

2 Leaving Sulina with Adrian Oprisan, towards Crisan and Karaorman.

3 In the heart of the Danube delta, on the way to harvest reeds near Crisan – from Adrian Oprisan's boat.

4 Aunty Nicolina was not at home, but Uncle Simion was. ‘I never could stand fish.’ Outside their house in Sulina.

5 The Glykon in the National History and Archaeology Museum at Constanța: the head of a lamb, the ears of a man, body of a serpent, and the tail of a lion – like the Danube.

6 Pontus, the god of the Black Sea, rising out of the seaweed, clasping the rudder of a ship. From the Museum at Constanța.

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