It has been some time, since my last blog post, some 9 months to be exact. One could say I was too busy, but in reality I think I just lacked proper motivation to continue what I have started. So I decided to end the break with a an easygoing post, reflecting on the rivers I have visited around Europe, during my travels.
Rivers and viewpoints are the first things I try to find upon visiting a new destination. It shouln’t come as a surprise, having been raised in a town next to one of the largest rivers on the continent. Rivers were essential part human settlements and often the reason of choosing the location of it. Having this in mind, rivers are unbreakable part of towns’ history and would tell you a lot about the visited destination.
Sremski Karlovci/Danube, Serbia
I will start with the river on which I spent a lot of time as a child. Sremski Karlovci, my hometown, is encompassed, on one side by mountains (yes, yes, I know most of them are hills, but there are 2 peaks over 500m, so…) of Fruška Gora and river Danube on the other side. The Danube is the second largest European river, longest being Volga. It springs in Germany and ends flowing into the Black sea in Romania, flowing through 10 countries altogether. During the Roman times, the Danube served as a border towards the barbarian tribes on the north. All in all a well know European river. As a kid I used to spend a lot of time near it, weather swimming in it or fishing or just camping on its banks.
A town I got to know only recently in my life, Valjevo positively surprised me in terms of what there was to visit and to do in it or its surrounding. Old part of the town, Nenadović Tower, Divčibare, nature and especially rivers, 4 of them to be exact. One of them is the Gradac river, approaching Valjevo from south and flowing straight into the Kolubara river near the town center. One of my visits of the town, took me on a long stroll along the Gradac. We ended up deep into the forest, discovering Degurić cave, the longest cave of Valjevo krast.
Located in the south of Slovenia, just two train stops from Croatian’s capital, Zagreb, Brežice is one of the smallest municipalities in the country (around 6.800 inhabitants). Despite being small, the town prides itself with rich history and cultural heritage, being home to Brežice castle, now one of the biggest museums of the country. On the outskirts of the town, we found the Sava river, which looks nothing like the one I know in Serbia. It is the biggest tributary of the Danube and it connects three capitals of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
Sarajevo/Miljacka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, torn by war not so long ago. Most of the town got rebuilt since than, but scars can still be seen. It is the town that I visited the most, if we count those that are outside of borders of Serbia (5 times in total) and I must say each time I discover something new about the it. Special mention is of course the Miljacka river, flowing through the urban core of the town. Many interesting things are tied to the river’s history, the most famous maybe the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria which happened close to one of the bridges. He was murdered by Gavrilo Princip, which sparked one of the biggest conflicts in our history, the WWI.
A small river, the Onyar flows through the historical part of Girona and afterwards flows into the Ter river. What makes it interesting is that it is surrounded by buildings, up to a point that there is no way to approach it in the town. There are numerous pedestrian bridges connecting the two sides of the town over the river. The scenery around it is something I expected from Catalonia, colours, colours everywhere.