Just follow the golden arches...
Trip Start Dec 30, 2006
84Trip End Jul 27, 2007
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There isnīt a huge tourism market for Moldova yet...much less than in Ukraine even. No hostels and only a handful of hotels. Instead, lots of people rent out space in their apartments and that was my plan for accommodation. I got a website for Svetlana who rents out for $10 a space in her flat she shares with her family.
Twenty hours later via train - yes - thatīs 20 hours...in a sleeper berth all to myself for about $30 - I got into Moldova and rang her up. Unfortunately her mother answered and she knew very little English. Since I knew very little Russian we had a couple of awkward conversations...but I got the drift I was to call back at 1:30am to speak with Svetlana when she got back. Not wanting to sit in the train station, by myself, for five hours, I instead found a guy who took me to an apartment building that rented me a fully furnished apartment for $40. A little pricey but it was nice...very very nice by Moldova standards.
The couple bars I had noticed when I walked to the center where closed by the time I walked back towards the apartment. Not much nightlife going on here that I could see...maybe a side street I didnīt see was where all the action was at. If only I knew where Svetlana was partying until 1:30 in the morning...
There is only one bus a day to Brasov from Chisinau at night so eventually I grabbed a taxi to take me to the south bus depot...my driver has a cousin who lives in Toronto so he was very excited that I was Canadian...it gave him a chance to practice his English which he told me he doesnīt use very often. He believes strongly that a man should live where he is born, explaining why he has stayed in Moldova while others have left after the collapse of the soviet empire. His real hobby is flying and he has piloted a few different aircraft including the MIG-21 fighter plane. Amazing.
He was adamant that I visit the cultural capitals of the world...Leningrad, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev. Maybe one day, when the visa process is easier for Russia and Belarus.