Blogs from Moldova, Europe

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Europe » Moldova August 14th 2018

Travel is what I thought about most on this journey. I blocked out all other thoughts of work,home and the future. All I cared about was living in the moment.I tried to figure out whether I enjoyed it or not. Sure, I love the pre-planning stage: booking flights, trains, buses, hotels/hostels and Couchsurfing hosts. This was all done in the safety of our cosy living room, with laptop on knee, while sipping green tea with 2 slices of lemon in. All very nice. The actual doing it is a different ball game. It's stressful, frustrating and damn right maddening, but one thing it is not-is not boring! Travel is a roller-coaster and you gotta ride it. I know, I’m paraphrasing Ronan Keating’s ditty from 2000. Please forgive me for that. But it’s true. One day you ... read more
Edgeman and Marina
Rathaus
Top Street Artists

Europe » Moldova » Transnistria June 27th 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, ... read more
Lenin in fromt of Parliament
Soviet power
Lenin again

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau May 7th 2017

In the morning we went by coach with our Moldovan guide, Natalia, to Orhei Vechi . First we visited a small museum with various archaeological finds. Following this we walked up to a very small monastery church carved into the rock. As we weren't going to be having lunch until mid afternoon I bought a pretzel from a girl selling them part way up the hill to the monastery. It didn't taste as good as I thought as it took all the moisture away from my mouth! The monastery church was very atmospheric. In the corridor, leading down to the church, was what I presumed to be the monk reading aloud. The church was filled with the smell of incense and the flickering of candles, including people crossing themselves in front of the various icons. This ... read more

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau May 6th 2017

From the railway station to our hotel was a market, which looked more like a car boot sale. The unusual thing was that all the items were laid on the floor. It included old TVs, mobile phones, many clothes and shoes. We were staying at the Hotel Cosmos which certainly looked very soviet in style. The hotel had 22 floors but I don't think there was anyone staying higher than floors seven or eight. There didn't seem to be many guests, apart from us and the players in a Moldovan football team. Some of met our Moldovan guide, Natalia, for a short walking tour of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. I liked Chisinau, and it was certainly not as bad as some of the descriptions I had read about it before the trip. I felt very ... read more
Our Moldovan guide, Natalia, holding up a Soviet Union passport!
Parliament building
Cricova!

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau May 6th 2017

Left Manchester on Friday 5th from Liverpool to Bucharest. The flight was with Blue Air, a Romanian low cost airline, who I've never heard of before. I was lucky to have all spaces free next to me so I was able to stretch out. No food was provided apart from a small sweet given before we landed! Landed on time and then met my pre-booked taxi to take me from the Airport to the Railway station. I tried to explain where I was going to visit in Moldova but I had problems with my pronunciation and so it took some time for him to understand where I was going. Had some time to wait at Bucharest airport to meet rest of the group I was travelling with. I was travelling with Lupine Travel and there was ... read more
Wheels!
Looking from our carriage

Europe » Moldova May 5th 2017

Trip to Moldova and the self declared republic of Transnistria with Lupine Travel.... read more

Europe » Moldova » Transnistria » Tiraspol October 5th 2016

My cycling trip from Kishinev (capital of Moldova) to Transnistria (conflict zone) was 70km and was easy to do. So after a good breakfast i started around 10:00 and I arrived about 2pm in Transnistria where border control is present. Even though you are still officially in Moldova, it is a conflict zone so they want to check and see your passport. Then they give you a ticket where it stands that you must leave within 12 or 24 hours. They give me a ticket of 24 hours. It is special to be here in transnistria. The conflict zone since the Soviet era did not want to reunite with Moldova and isolated remained surrounded by the red Soviet army. It is, Therefore, a zone-which you normally can entrance but need out again within 24 hours. It ... read more
At the streets of Tiraspol
The blue plastic money

Europe » Moldova » South » Chisinau September 30th 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 ... read more
With Vasilly in his village in Gagauziya
Besalma village
with Andrew in Gagauziya

Europe » Moldova » Transnistria » Tiraspol September 18th 2016

Ever wanted to know what life was like back in the USSR? Transnistria - a 'state' within a state, recognised only by themselves - is about as close as you can get. When Moldova declared independence from the Soviet Union, a sliver of land just to the east of the Dniester River didn't want to go with them. There was a short civil war in 1992 which was ended by a ceasefire. These days, the Moldovan government recognises Transnistria as an autonomous territorial unit; Transnistria regards itself as an independent republic but is not recognised as one by any UN member state. Nevertheless this "country that isn't" has gone on to develop its own constitution, government, parliament, flag, national anthem, currency, military, police, postal system and licence plates. This promised to be interesting. No place proud ... read more
Communist Block
City Hall
Notable Transnistrians

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau September 15th 2016

"Why are you going to Moldova?" asked the Romanian border officer. "Why are you going where?" you might ask. The average European may have heard of this country wedged between Romania and the Ukraine, but the average person from outside of Europe very likely has not. Certainly before I set out travelling, I had only heard of Moldova because the country's football team occasionally popped up on fixture list for European qualification campaigns - I believe England played them home and away in qualification for the 2014 World Cup - and because I saw it on a map. It is very much Europe's final frontier of sorts - its last unknown state. So to answer the Romanian border officer's question, I was going to Moldova because no-one has heard of it and therefore I was intrigued. ... read more
Grand Dining Hall
Moldovan Parliament Building
Inside The Cathedral Of Christ's Nativity




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