National Geographic : 1951 Feb
143 A Lumbermen's Ferry Carries the Goggled Author Across the Sava River Motoring in backwoods Yugoslavia is never dull; surprises wait around most every turn. Stalled army tanks, dead-end highways, bombed-out bridges, and hair-raising mountain roads constitute hazards. Few highways are paved with anything more than dust. Signposts are scarce; garages even rarer. The wise motorist facing a long trip loads his car with extra gasoline, food, and spare parts. Mr. Long made a 30-day tour. Everywhere he found the people friendly; the magic word "America" opened the way for him. minutes later we drew up before police head quarters in frontier Dravograd. In an upper room, bare except for table, chair, and Tito picture, cameraman "Kurt" Wentzel answered questions for both of us in German while I small-talked with a lanky noncom who had learned English from GI's in Germany. Soldiers lounging outside crowded around the auto; others left chess games to inspect this product of American industry. In the near-by customs house, our next stop, an efficient German-speaking civilian filled out interminable forms. On the street he glanced through our baggage while curious towns people watched. We followed the swift, olive-green Drava to the town of Maribor. Apple trees, heavy with fruit, lined the country road for miles. Trudging peasants turned to stare; tanned youngsters splashing in an ol' swimmin' hole shouted and waved. Across the river a puffing train paced us down the valley. Several new hydroelectric dams, heavily guarded, straddled the river. High-tension towers, still wearing orange priming coats, lined the hills.