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Romanticism of Small Danube

Published: 15.9.2007
Danube-river is an European river, and the whole river is navigated by watermen, who prefer calm and quick stream, not difficult rapids, from springs up to Danube delta mouth. Danube-river forms on its flow, spontaneously or artificially, various shoulders, the nearest of these are for us Mosoni Duna (Hungarian shoulder) and Small Danube in Slovakia.

Small Danube shoulder has got its popularity in last years. several boat-rent offices as well as several camping places were founded here. Common navigations are taken place here each year. So Small Danube came into subconsciousness of watermen public. Small Danube forms, together with Váh-river, so called Vážský-Danube, returning to its mother-river-bed after more than 160 kms of its flow.

The navigation can be started immediately at turning of Danube main stream. However, carrying over of boats at starting sluices is not easy, and successive navigation through Bratislava misses its magic. So, the best start is at turning of Malenovské shoulder, near Totemová louka (Totem Meadow), or from Bridge in community of Tomášová. From here, it is to Kolárovo (the terminating point) approx. 100 kms distance. You can drive more than a week and  watch the birds, friendly forests surrounding the river. You can have a stop in near thermal naths and have relax in Topolíky, Dunajská Streda or Komárno.     

The excursion with paddling can be joined with cycling tours. The plained terrain will suit many people. However, the unpleasant handicap is a lack of marking, cycling routes are missing completely. The cycling route leads - in general - along flooding piers of great Danube.

Anyway, let´s turn to Small Danube. The river flows lazy throughout countryside. If you stand up on a bank or watch of the bridge, you find that the stream flows quite violently. So, you can overcome your daily  navigation-section with minimal effort of paddling. The first place for camping offers the community of Vlky near to the island. Please, do not forget to supply with suffient quantity of  drinking water, there is not , however, possible an access to civilization. The water from the river is not - without modification - suitable for drinking. From camping place Vlky there is further over 20 kms of navigation to the place of Jelka, where we find a friendly restaurant. You can see some islands in the middle of a river, so you have to choose the right way, each river-shoulder is not passable in ideal way. Further camping place is situated only couple of hundred metres at bridge of Nový Život. Here, we build our tents and pass the night. Anyway, we leave the camping place clean, and all what we brought, we take with us. After several kilometres of drive, under the bridge, we find several other places suitable for camping. The flow character is not changing too much, only steam speed is rolling. Anyway, we do not see the trees along banks, so we do not see the flat countryside of Žitný ostrov (Rye Island), so we are of the opinion that we pass really wild country. But a romantism of sandy beaches in summer allures into bathing and other jolies.

In Potonská Lúka, near to foot-bridge, we can stay the other day of our relax. We find a camping place near to playground, simply furnished but pleasant. As mentioned above, we do not find drinking water in each camping place.

Provided we continue our navigation next day, we can expect several kilometres of quiet (calm) water of swelled up level of Starý Háj, near to Tomašíkovo. A electric power station is here. So we have to carry over our boats across a weir. Afterthat, the stream is again O.K., we reach soon at water-mill in Tomašíkovo. We see it at left bank. The constructions of these mills along Small Danube are interesting – they are not placed at weirs, but direct on water level, connected with small bridge with bank, its wooden wheel was driven by streaming water. The existence of such types of mills proves that Small Danube really streams. The emergency accommodation is possible to be done at this mill.

An hour navigation is now to Jahodná, small town which has in its escutcheon boat and paddle. We find here refreshment and camping place nearby playground. We can stay here or continue further 11 kms to further camping place at Trstice. From here it is to Kolárovo – where we find other water-mill and the longest nridge in Central Europe – the distance of nearly 30 kms only.The way to Topolníky is shorter (11 kms only), so this section could be divided, as near to Topolníky we find also place for accommodation. The termination can be made at road-bridge Topolníky - near to thermal baths. You find it nearby Klatovský shoulder - approx., 1 km from the river distant.

The navigation along Small Danube is calm and fine, you do not meet crows of canoes as it is in case of other rivers.

Text/foto: Vojta Jančar

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