I'm taking you to the "last desert" in Europe - unique Delbilato Sands.
A bit of geography and history
I am a geographer and I would love to tell you more about this place and explain why it is unique and unusual. Тherefore, I need to take you in the distant past, 5000 to 6000 years BC. I will do my best not to be extensive. :)
Deliblato Sands is one of Europe's largest inland dunes, located in the far southeast of the Pannonian Plain. In this part of Europe, winds and river deposits have created the relief it is today. Winds have always been powerful in this region. The winds leveled the former bottom of the Pannonian Sea and in some places the wind deposited the silt, loess and sand and formed plateaus, inland dunes or loess hillock.
Thus, at the end of the last ice age, the Deliblato Sands was formed. The wind carried the sand that had been deposited in front of the Iron Gate to the northeast and deposited it in this place, forming dunes, different heights. Later, during warmer climates, the moving dunes were slowly covered by grass and forest.
Then follows the negative impact of man on nature. In the 18th century, the Ottoman conquest of Europe, whose troops passed through this region, the colonization of sparsely populated areas, then felling of forests and fires (mostly caused by human negligence) destroyed the Deliblato Sands ecosystem. The winds blew a thin layer of soil and dunes became mobile again. The sand, carried by the wind, covered the fields, vineyards, pastures. A desert was created, expanding more and more.
In the first half of the 18th century a planned battle with the sand began. The trees were planted in stages: pine, birch, poplar, but mostly acacia and deciduous grass. The battle with the desert lasted until the early 20th century. The afforestation of the Deliblato Sands continues today.
Delbilato sands is home to many endemic species of plants and animals, because steppe habitats are rare in Europe. You can also find a wolf here, which has become a rarity in this part of Europe. Today, Deliblato Sands is a Special Nature Reserve and is under the protection of the state.
The recreational center of Deliblato Sands is Čardak. Čardak is interesting for children because there is plenty of sports ground and playgrounds for children. Čardak also has accommodations, but don't expect luxury.
From Čardak you can walk well-marked trails of different lengths, with information boards about Deliblto Sand and enjoy the unique nature.
We and Deliblato Sands
We drove from Smederevo to the Deliblato Sands for about half an hour. Whenever I'm in Vojvodina, I think I'm at the bottom of the former sea. When I'm in the plain, I enjoy seeing the sky, which is huge. :)
When we arrived in Čardak with our friends, we decided to take a walk along one of the smallest trails, because my younger daughter is two and a half years old. We chose the Eco Trail, 3.5 kilometers long. Otherwise there are five paths. The largest is 15 kilometers long. They are mostly for hiking, but there are also those for off-road biking.
It's interesting to walk on the sand, especially when you know it's been there since the Ice Age. The weather was wonderful. The walk was easy as my daughter paused, delighted with the sand and the pinecones. This gave us time to enjoy nature more and take pictures.
The terrain is bumpy. We climbed the dunes and descended from the dunes. This is the most uninteresting time of year to visit this place, when nature is still asleep, but still the Deliblato Sands is magical. Pine scent, blue sky and mild sun, the sound of the wind and the song of the bird - we needed nothing more.
It takes a bit of concentration to follow trail as the tracks intersect. Each track is marked with a different color. Ours was green.
We also encountered a herd of cows, goats, their owner and his dog. We talked to him a little and we photographed the cows from a distance. We are not afraid of cows, but still ... :)
I can't estimate how long we walked, but we walked the trail without much effort.
The sun was already on the horizon. So we rushed to watch the sunset on a nearby lake, but I'll write about it next time.
This walk was very pleasant to us and filled us with positive energy. Its the magic of nature.
Enjoy nature more and keep it safe!
I already knew most of the things I wrote about Deliblato Sands because it is part of my education. The information boards refreshed my memory as did my professor's book - Roads of Yugoslavia - Stevan Stankovic. Although Yugoslavia changed its borders and names, nature remained the same.
If you are interested in track three in Deliblato Sands, read my earlier text here
If you are interested in how the Pannonian Sea disappeared and something about the Iron Gate, read my post: Explore the beauty of Eastern Serbia with me
This is my first topic for a Wednesday walk challenge And Make me Smile Collaboration challenge, and I have to mention that I like the idea a lot.:)