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Published: October 3rd 2016
There are so many nice things to tell about Gagauziya. But let's start from the beginning. After my stay in Cahul / Moldova where not to mention Eugeniu and his friend Vitali (Vitali from Cahul look and find him in Cahul/ he is a great person you should meet him), the couchsurfing friends who helped me so much with a great bottle of wine for gift and valuable help.
Well that night i rest very good and the morning after woke up early and I was ready to make the bike ride from Cahul to Gagauziya. Actually, I still had pain in my legs because the ride of the day before was almost 90km and in that last 1 hour i did a sprint like in Tour de France with 15 kg of luggage on the back),including the hills. The hills became mountains and were getting bigger and bigger, but it was the trip well worth it, the area is in fact very nice where you ride past the most beautiful villages. So mid afternoon around 2 I arrived in Gagauziya after Taraklia (Bulgarian villages). So the first village was Svetlii, after i entranced Congaz here i took
a rest and was sitting at the local cafe center with some local people. It is easy for me because Gagauziyen people speaks Turkish with obviously a dialect but can still be clearly understood. So I became immediately friends with some village youths who had offered me a bottle of kvas and even wanted to buy beer) The last one was okay but I had to cycle 23km more so I rejected this beer friendly. It was what it took quite a while a nice conversation and it was getting almost dark, I hesitated to go. but in the meantime there was no stay there in Congaz. However, friendly local people request that if I could not find anything could come to them to sleep. This is it! This is the hospitality that I have learned from my Turkish roots! This things of course makes me extra happy and it makes the stay even more enjoyable with so many nice people. But still I did the last 23 km anyway which in turn made to a final (Tour de France) sprint. On average I cycled 30km a hour. I entranced Comrat and it was getting dark when I drove into
the capital. Happy finish! I immediately started looking for a stay (gastjenieta) after some asked to have I founded one. In Gagauziya the people speaks mixed Turkish and Russian langauge. In official they are ethnic real Turks who still speak the Turkish(Gagauziyan) language but they have become orthodox Christian in the past so in faith there are no Muslims. This makes it also interesting because I often wondered whats here in the history happened. Ethnic Turks who had made the long trip to Europe from middle Asia and moved a few times. There are also some remaining Gagauz villages in Bulgaria. But they have always maintained there culture despite the Ottomans and Romanians exercised pressure to change their belief and language, what this was failed After some wars and some other pressure from other empires they have survived.
so the day after I wake up in Comrad in the capital of Gagauziya, but there was not a tourist center) And I was just like a mad fool that was cycling the city in and off. Until I thought it was better just to talk and discuss this with some young university students who are maby able to
help a distraught traveller. This young lady helped me by calling other people and ask if they could help a tourist with a tour) End all, she helped me with a tour by someone else that had the day after time and even arranged some host place by someone she did not know) So it was all new people) So I stayed with someone I did not know what came out underdone well as we argued quite a lot of interesting conversations) The girl that arranged all this (Marina) told me that i should be wake up the next morning at 7:00 am to had to go to the tour. The guy that was able to help me with the tour (Andre) came after 1:30 hour, so I was there there at 07.00 when everything was closed and few people saw in the early morning a strange man with a bike). He came with his bike and we went to Besalma village.
We had nice talks in meanwhile we were cycling to Besalma village. Andre was very impressed about my trip and ask where some questions, so i tried to help him with all this questions. After
we reach besalma koy we first went to the local mill was no longer in use after we went to the museum which I also can recommend to everyone. Because this museaum you will see the real Gagauziya history with a helper rates helped the tour and discover the true culture and history. so it was very worth to listen and see thing things.
After this great tour we went back to Comrat 15km far from Besalma. After here arrived with Andrew I came to the square and i saw some young university studens who were impressed with my trip and on of them ask me to make a interview on a local news page. Here I also met Vasily. Vasily is a thoughtful and great person who always is always open for helps, he arranged and call some people who he knows from the local television station, to make also a short news about me, which of course is always nice. This short tv interview was very nice and so we made again knowledge with other people.
After this Vasily led me afterwards and we went to a restaurant to eat here first
Gagauz dishes, which was very tasty. In the evening when it was already dark Vasily invited me to his house some 15 km far from Comrad. Vasily's hospitality was top, he asked his cousin for help, his cousin came with a regular car to take me to their home 15km away. The bike did not fit in the car, after he offer to rode the bike and he let me sit in the car. So we drove with his nephew in the car in meanwhile Vasilly was cycling along the road to the house in the village.
There were also some friends of Vasily that was planning to help him the next morning to pick grapes in their local grape field. I could not just leave Vasily in meanwhile he needed help in the next morning. Even he didn't offer me straight to help him in the fields i decide to help him also. So we went with 8 men in a cozy and tractor hangar to the grape field) At first we had a great breakfast ofcourse prepared by Vasily. Until 13.00 o'clock in the afternoon we finished what was obviously strange for me because I
was actually on holiday but I wanted to give something back to Vasily for his wonderful hospitality. So we were finished with the gathering of the grapes after the traders came and buy the grapes which was also interesting to see how they were acting. We were laughing and joking in the way back to the house. After he bought beer and we went to eat again. Besides the white Gagauziyan cheese was very tasty. Highly recommended!
This same day we went in the evening which was very nice we were hanging around in Comrat and met young friends of Vasily. Who are almost all working in the textile industry in Turkey. In Gagauziya it is very difficult to work with low wages and to survive. Most Gagauziya problem is the high unemployment among young people. So the country Moldova is still struggling with economic problems, unfortunately after many governments come and go it is still not better.
It was a nice evening and a good night's sleep so it was the day after time for me to leave from Gagauziya. It was a nice experience to be here and known the culture and
meet very nice people and make friends. It is highly recommended to get lost once in gagauziya and there will be quite some welcoming people who want to help you. Do not miss the opportunity to go once to Gagauziya to see the beautiful scenery and village life. My special thanks to Vasily, Andre and the English teacher Marina, Eugeniu and Vitali from Cahul who were able to help. The owner of Terrassa bar in Comrad -Nikolaj and Veaceslav- also for the nice welcoming and conversation. Wish you all well. And hopefully till next time... ilin yol olsun (gagauziyan meaning good luck)
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