Monday Sept 13 Vidin/Calafat

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 13th, 2010

Sunday afternoon I took the ferry across to Vidin in Bulgaria. This city was founded in 300 BC by the Celts. It is a much bigger city than Calfat and I was looking at it as an alternative to check my engine problems. But the moorage possibilities did not seem to be as good as what I have here in Calafat. I had a reply from my brother in law, Herman, in Holland about the possible causes of the engine problem. He is an expert on large ship diesels but has on many occasions come to my rescue and knows my engine well. He feels that it it is not time yet to exchange the engine and he has given me advice as to what I should be doing to remedy the problem. I have a lead here for a diesel mechanic to assist. Yesterday I managed to restart the engine after several tries but this morning it started up normally. So, there is hope!

There is a whole lot more to do and see in Vidin. It is very nicely laid out along the Danube with promenades and parks. But all is still a bit dilapidated from the isolation and neglect behind the iron curtain. The one picture below shows a minaret in the background. This is the only left of 28 during the Turkish occupation period. But the unusual aspect, that the picture barely shows, is the fact that instead of having a half moon on the top it has a heart shape.

The wait for the return ferry was long but I had a nice conversation with Lucca, 21, and Julian, 20, Romanian students on their way back from an international chess meet. He placed third. Lucca was once European junior chess champion.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Andrew Webster says:

    Vidin is actually quite a pleasant town, with a laid back friendly character. It was the medieval slave trading centre, where East met West and all sorts of things, illegal and legal were traded.
    When we were there we were approached by a very well fed looking Gipsy boy of about ten, who asked for money for food as he was starving. We saw him later playing the drum (very well) in a Gipsy band busking in the square.
    You can buy any form of counterfeit goods (cds, designer jewellery etc) in Vidin. Sometimes they don’t get the latin script right and use the odd cyrillic character. So your Rolex watch says Roлex, which is a bit of a giveaway.There’s a film about this area of the Danube, called I think “Black and white cat”. It’s a comedy about the mainly gipsy communities that live around Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

    Thanks very much for your traveller’s tales – fascinating stuff.