Can't help it, memories of Ceaucescu's Romania are flooding back to me. My then partner and I were the first British people to cruise the, then new, Danube to Black Sea Canal. It was built at huge cost in the 80's to cut off a couple of hundred miles of river and sea for barge traffic to get to central Europe. We arrived in Romania and, knowing that Ceaucescu had officially opened the canal a couple of days earlier, asked if we could visit it. Phone call that evening from a friend in the tourist board, "be ready at 1-30 tomorrow." At 1-30 a car arrives at our hotel, our personal guide for the day tells us that we are going on an official cruise on the canal for local government officials, MPs, his uncle - the Minister for Tourism , Uncle Tom Cobley and us. A great day out, unlimited food of a standard and quality I had never seen in Romania before. The wine and tuica flowed like Welsh rain and the poor old canal was an absolute flop and never paid it's way. But at least I was the first Brit to travel it's length!