Chasing The Sovjet Legacy in Eastern European

Bulgaria - Romania - Moldova - Transnistria

Again  was this time of the year when my best friend Alex had a birthday and together with my other bestie Mitko ended up seating in a car on our way from Sofia to Bucharest. Initially our expection was to explore the Romanian capital and return to beautiful  Bulgaria. Well Alex had different poi idea. I should have been more suspicious when he indirectly advised me to bring my travel passport along. 

 Crossing Danube River Bridge

Crossing Danube River Bridge

Welcome to Romania

...60km later we enter Bucharest impatient to join Alex's birthday party.

 Alex's Birthday Party in Bucharest involves examination of various types of scotish fine arts

Alex's Birthday Party in Bucharest involves examination of various types of scotish fine arts

The new member of the gang is 18 years old scotish teenager with looong family history.

From Romania to Moldova...with love

Next day morning Alex dropped the bomb. We are going to continue his birthday party in Moldova.

Alex & Mitko ready to departure from Bucharest

The rich farmer and the poor citizen

 Driving to Chisinau, Moldova 

Driving to Chisinau, Moldova 

Finally in Chisinau, Moldova

After 8h of drive, 3 nerve-racking phone calls with my boss, 3 short breaks, 2 toll fees paid (1st as a tractor & 2nd one as a car) Alex, Mitko and I finally made it to the Chisinau. The flat we booked located only 10min walking distance from the downtown looks like any average communist apartment from the 80's. 

What to do in Chisinau

The first day in Moldova we plan a visit to Milestii Mici Winery. Build in the former limestone galleries, the complex represent world largest underground wine cellar according to Guinness World Record (Aug 2005). As Juliana (our guide) told us 200+ km of underground streets with names corresponding to different type of wine, constant humidity (85~95%) and temperature (12°C~14°C) mystify Milesti Mici visitors who lose oneself with easy (if no map is available). There is no mobile phone signal...muahahaha...We asked Juliana if she isn't scared entering such dark catacombs with 3 strangers....brave girl...till the end of the 1h tour she was so scared... wonder why?!

...but before we enter, it's time for THE dance.

True Story

Most predominant fact about Milestii Mici Cellar that doesn't let us sleep at night... is the 2 million bottles collection and how we can snatch something unnoticed by the facility guard (old lady)..or at least some of the special bottle wine (worth 2000+ USD) from the "secret" wine chamber.

If you happen to find us drinking such expensive moldavian wine, I swear...it's just random coincidence.

Ex sovjet car exhibition in the woods

XYZ village 

We were recommenced to visit Hancu Monestary near the city of Hincesti. It turns out it's not that close..but about 20km away.

According to the info i found on internet the monastery was established in the 17 century...but as you can see from the pics, the buildings are quite new...Enough marketing..let's go back to Chisinau. 

ЗИЛ 130

This is a second monastery we hit on the way back to Chisinau...don't remember the exact name or why we stop here...

Once we got in Chisinau...the only thing left was the experience with the crazy night life...Forankly speaking this is one of the few reasons to visit Moldova's capital...We party till 5,6  or 7...hard to remember...

Somewhere after midnight Alex dropped the 2nd bomb. On the following day we should visit the separatist Republic of Transnistria, where the Sovjets still live as if it's 1980. Yes, my friend Alex has strange hobbies - collecting coins and visiting places where normal tourist hesitate to enter.

Challenge Accepted!


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