The Republic of Moldova
May 5, 2014
Cricova Wine Cellar
January 24, 2015

About Moldova

cricovaThe land of a 14th century monastery sheltered by a cliff overlooking the meandering Răut. As the faithful needed find a way to defend their traditions and faith from the bad guys that were coming to spoil the hard work all too often. The land of fine dining, the place where dishes come in great numbers and big portions. As people around here say a healthy woman is anything but skinny. And, nevertheless, the land anchored on strongholds and fortresses set starting with the 15th century. As the mighty Kingdom of Moldavia wanted to preserve its faith and ethnicity while keeping invaders at bay.

 Why Moldova? 

Because this is the land of rolling hills, extensive vineyards, underground cities (gotcha!) and endless countryside, where rural architecture, religious and military sites greatly blend in the nature around. And then, have we mentioned that forgotten delta reserve?

When Moldova?

Go there in winter for great celebrations complete with overwhelming music and heaps of mouth watering meals. Go there in summer for a countryside stay and a trip back in time, back to the roots. Back home. Go there in the fall for long, leisure visits to monasteries and pleasant walks across the hills; do not finish your dinner without a glass of Cricova nouveau. As for spring time, that is the best time to explore the blooming Codru Reserve, the Lower Prut Reserve with Beleu Lake and those birds flocking around. And if you go there, do not miss the Hundred Mound East of River Prut. Count’em all, but beware they are slightly (like in ‘35 times’) more than 100.

How the he…? Hmm, err, logistics, anyone?

It is ever easier: hop on to Bucharest and then an hour’s domestic flight will get you to Suceava or Iasi, from where we can take you explore the place. While not at all fast, night trains provide comfortable sleepers for bogie fans. As for the zig and zag when there, call us.

Lodging?

Apart from several large hotels clustered in Chișinău, this is the place of small, homey guesthouses set in remote villages and making use of timber or clay, as well as other local materials. Modcons? Distances are rather short, so we can set it all up according to your needs, relying on anything from 3 or 4* hotels in larger towns to homestays in the brousse.

Dining?

Up there, milk comes from the cow, cheese does not travel far, while chicken tastes like chicken and not like chicken taste E something. And, be warned, portions are big and, gulp, oups, sorry, filling.

In a nutshell:

cave monastery, plum brandy, the fortress at Soroca rising off the Dnister, a bowl of zamă de pui and ol’ mamma beating the hell out of you unless you finish your meal. Amen.