Am in Crisan, a small village on the delta of the Danube in Romania. It’s a strange village because it is two dimensional; spread out across up and down the shore of a narrow spit of land, trapped betweeen one of the two main branches of the Danube in front and a reed bed behind.

All around the river branches and reforms. It’s just a short boat ride till you are on a stream with banks lined with reeds, travelling through large ponds choked with water ferns and lily pads. As the boat travels through, frogs leap for safety, out of the path. And there are birds everywhere; I’m not one of lifes twitchers, but here you can see the motivation. Pelicans, herons and ibis are common. Occasionally in the distance, a flash of blue is the most you are likely to see of the kingfisher, elusive, but at least you see it often.

The village is quiet and peaceful. I’ve not seen a car move, just a JCB, but boats everywhere. It has little tourist stuff going on; there are a couple of pensione, including the one we are in, one canoe hire place, and two bars. Most of the people who visit are fishing or birdwatching. I wonder how it will be 20 years time. Will the Danube rise; will it turn into an hippie outpost; will it become a tourist spot with bars and souvenir shops selling ethinic tat by the yard?

Tomorrow, we travel to the north of the main stream; not sure whether the environment will be much the same, or whether we will see many other kinds of bird. I don’t really care; it’s enough to relax regardless.

Written on 07/07/2009