For our first full day in Chisinau we decided to explore the city and Walk to downtown. We passed a bridge on our way there, and underneath the bridge was a little piece of the country. Cute wooden and stone houses with livestock and gardens, bursting with spring blossoms. I always love finding things like this in cities!
Our first stop of the day was the Military Museum, which was of course, for Travis. Usually one must pay to get into the open-air storage of miscellaneous arms, but we just couldn’t get anyone to take our money. We looked around at what was mostly Russian weaponry, while smiling to ourselves as Moldovan soldiers posed for pictures with their favourite item.
The next stop were the parks, which on a map look like side-by-side diamonds. As we walked towards the parks, we passed money exchange places and casinos: frankly it seemed that every other shop was one or the other. Eventually we stumbled upon a flea market, filled with antiques, souvenirs and paintings.
When we arrived at Gradina Publica Stefan Cel Mare Si Sfint the park was in full swing with a political rally for the Liberal Party. We then walked around the park a little, and crossed the street to Parcul Cathedralei.
Parcul Cathedralei holds the Cathedral and the flower market. The market was quite disappointing: it was just a row of shops selling flowers that were mostly past their prime. Pike Market (in Seattle, Washington) has nothing to worry about! The Cathedral though was lovely, but pictures were not allowed. I did managed to snap a few from the hip by covering the shutter sound with fake coughs and loud noises.
We walked around some more, enjoying the Soviet influence over the city’s architecture.
On our walk back to the hostel we stopped at Monastery of St Theodor Tiron, a stunning church. It was incredibly beautiful in there with so many frescoes. And hurray for photos!
We had a full day walking around town in Chisinau, and while we had a good day, the city didn’t win us over. It is mostly charmless, especially compared to other countries around, but at least it was quirky! We are hoping that tomorrow will we help us fall in love with the country as we head to the suburbs.
On our first evening in Moldova we met in our hostels two Kiwis living in London (UK). They were not traveling together, but just both happened to show up at the same hostel in Moldova. What are the chances of that! Anyway, Liz and Josh are awesome people and we were more than happy to share our meal and stories with them.
Tonight we met up again for dinner, and asked that they contribute wine to dinner. We bought two bottles, they bought two bottles, and in the end, we ended up with four different bottles from the same winery. Again, what are the chances of that?