Crossing the Danube between Giurgiu (Romania) and Ruse (Bulgaria) is an interesting experience. At this point the Danube is, as my dear wife has pointed out, frickin' huge. It's big like the Mississippi or the Amazon. More than half a mile across, and deep. So the bridge is big too. And from a distance, it's a remarkable sight. Almost 3 km or two miles long long -- it arches up and up for a while before going across -- and high: more than 60m/200 feet (say 20 stories) above the water. The view is spectacular. And at either end, there are these... things. Big rectangular towers supported by Greek pillars, like the Parthenon but five times as tall. "Like the Argonath in The Lord of the Rings," said Claudia, and she was right. Well and good. And then you get past the pillar-things, and you're on the bridge, and it's... ...narrow. Really, really narrow. One lane each way, and not a wide lane. One truck could just barely pass another truck, with inches to spare. No shoulders. No side lanes. No provision for pedestrians or bikers. (Those two people who are biking from Liverpool to Australia claim that they rode their bicycles across it in March 2003; but then, they are insane.) The road itself is almost deserted. Going over to Bulgaria, there was one truck on the bridge with us. Coming back, one car. Okay, it was Sunday, but still. At the customs and immigration points on either end, we repeatedly had to wait while officials who had wandered away from their windows came trotting back. It's weird. Especially when you go home and look at the map and realize that this is the only bridge across the Danube for a long, long way in either direction. The nearest bridge upstream is over 100 miles east; the next downstream bridge is nearly 300 (!) miles downstream. For bonus weirdness points, at the exact middle of the bridge there is a ditch, and one lane is closed. So, all road contact between the two countries for hundreds of miles around -- cars, trucks, buses -- bottlenecks down to a single lane that goes over a ditch. Which is fine, because there's no traffic anyhow. The bridge is officially a "friendship bridge". Somehow it makes me think of two people shaking hands while leaning as far away from each other as possible.