Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kishinev – the prologue of this year’s travels

This year I’ve visited Ukraine and Russia with a prologue in Moldova. Friend kept asking me: why do you want to go to Moldava? One reason is, because other people don’t go. You have to look very hard for destinations that aren’t swarming with tourists. Kishinev is such a place. In later blogposts you will also see, that you may be able to find tourist free zones next to tourist attractions.

Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe bordering to Romania and Ukraine, which is on the map since 1991. Its area makes about 80% of Switzerland’s area. The capital of Moldova is Kishinev or better Chişinău on Moldovan, which is virtually Romanian. A small part of Eastern Moldova has proclaimed independence and is called Transnistria, but Transnistria hasn’t won international recognition. It’s quite an adventure to cross a country by train, which has no diplomatic ties.

If you’re interested in Moldova, you’ll get more information on Wikitravel:  

From the small airport you enter a modern city.

Entering Kishinev

You can visit the house, where Alexander Pushkin lived while exiled in the region. And look at a picture of Zemfira, his great love, on whon he had written lots of poems.

House of Pushkin

Picture of Zemfira

Well decorated rooms, where Pushkin lived

The main religion of Modava is Orthodox Christian. You can visit the churches, even take part in ceremonies. Orthodox Christians use thumb and 2nd and 3rd digit to draw the cross. Roman Catholics draw the cross from left to right shoulder, Orthodox Christians draw the cross fom the right to the left shoulder. When you see that they bow after drawing the cross, it seems more reasonable to do it this way.

In a church in Kishinev

From the outside

Aminteste ti gustul -: did you ever had cvas (or квас)? Kvass is made from fermented rye bread, it contains a little alcohol. I’ll come back to kvass later in another blogpost, when I talk monastery kvass like it’s mentioned in Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.

Kvass seller in Kishinev

Old trolley bus – and of course the German car industry exports to Moldova

Leaving Moldova by train, I had the pleasure to look at railway stations, where time hasn’t changed anything

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