exploring the delta

Hotel This is by way of slight compensation for my recent silence. I had a little time on Saturday morning so chose to take a walk across a huge tract of grassland opposite the hotel called the Delta. It looked like a drained reservoir from the surrounding walls. But once past these looked like nothing so much as a nature reserve dropped into Bucharest.  I wasn't at all sure if I was supposed to be there or even how secure it was. If I'd met a pack of wild dogs I would have had problems. But once I had dropped into the basin and started to walk it was wonderful. There were a series of pools surrounded by bulrushes. There were flower everywhere and the sound of birds. There were people dotted around: fishermen, picnicers, sunbathers, some birdwatchers. The air was heavy with the fragrance of a flower like honeysuckle. I couldn't work out how an area quite so large and unspoiled could have been left so close to the city centre.  I started thinking about what could be done with a vast space like this. Would it be possible to run an Indianapolis style car race using electric cars to race around the curtain wall at high speed without disturbing all the wildlife here in the middle. Then from almost under my feet a chicken with her brood ran out in front of me and into the bushes – and out of nowhere a woman appeared calling for someone. A few more yard and I found I was passing two shacks half hidden made out of cardboard and plastic sheeting. A couple of Roma families had set up here.  As I walked passed the children came into the camp in a long crocodile carrying the food and water for the day on their heads. Aged between 2 and 4. Somehow in a distance of half a mile I had moved from the first world to the third world.  They were obvious as startled to see me as I was to see them.  I kept moving – climbed back up onto the reservoir wall and walked back towards the hotel  I remembered that someone had said to me a few days before. The trouble is that we don't care about anything. This was a classic example of a neglected piece of land – but the fact that most people didn't even konw it was there added to its charm for me.



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