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Published: September 19th 2018
I passed through immigration quickly although the staff seemed suspicious wanting to know why I wasn't transiting, it must be unusual for people to actually come here. The arguing with dirt bag taxi drivers began immediately, they tried to charge me triple the normal price but by walking a short distance I found one with a metre and the guy actually turned it on so it cost me 85 Leu rather than the 250 those bastard wanted. You should have seen the last one scowl at me as I drove away grinning.
My hotel is quaint but adequate and my hostess bought me plate of pastries and a glass of the famous Moldovan red, which wasn't bad after eating I went to bed as I have an early start tomorrow.
After a breakfast of salad, cheese, bread and what seemed to be cottage cheese pancakes I walked the few streets to the Central bus station where after some confusion I located my bus and purchased a ticket, the ticket seller, the bus driver and the first lady I met on the bus all spoke English. There was even Wi-Fi on the bus which worked I
At 8am I boarded a minibus to the "Republic of Transnistria" a predominantly ian enclave straddling the Dniester River which is technically part of the Republic of Moldova.
The bus took about 45 minutes to reach the "border" where I had to get a visa to enter the "country", a short time later I arrived at the train station and where I waited for by guide to arrive. I waited and waited, it seems the bloody German girl who was supposed to join us hadn’t turn up. I was far from amused, so the guide handed me to over to a colleague who showed me the few highlights of Tiraspol's town centre, it was mostly Soviet era statues and architecture, but it kept me busy till the silly frau turned up, it seems she slept in.
We then looked at memorials to various wars including Transnistria's war of independence with Moldova, a monastery, a cool Lenin bust and the 15th century Ottoman fortress at Bender. We finished the day in an excellent local restaurant where I enjoyed potato dumplings baked in mushrooms and cheese. I headed back to the
bus station for the return trip, the weather had taken a turn for the worst as a downpour flooded the roads, eventually I arrived back in town and returned to my lodgings.
It was a interesting place, that is in some ways lost in time, Russian troops still guard the border, costs are incredibly low, and the place is cleaner and more relaxed then Chisinau.
I am coming down with something so am going to bed, I head to the airport at noon tomorrow for my flight to Bucharest. I didn't see much of Bucharest as I was unwell all of the following day, I returned to the airport in the afternoon for my trip back to Dubai.
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