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 The SOVIET STORY in Moldova 06th – 12th of May 2018

The SOVIET STORY in Moldova 06th – 12th of May 2018

 

How about celebrating 9th of May – the Victory Day with military parade in a non-existing soviet country? Strange, isn’t it? Strange but possible… Transnistria is one of the former Soviet Union's original "frozen conflicts", and a template for later Russian-backed disputes including Eastern Ukraine. It has remained unrecognized by any states other than Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia after its 1992 war of independence from Moldova. Using Soviet rituals for its legitimacy rather than its governing ideology, the territory is ruled by a nationalized mafia and guaranteed by the Russian military. Each year on 9 May Transnistrians stage an elaborate Victory Day celebration in the capital Tiraspol to remember the victims of WWII, known as the Great Patriotic War. So let’s go and see how they celebrate, meet locals and talk to them, visit their capital Tiraspol, understand their religion - Russian orthodox, see their country, history and see for yourself how they live and what they have to offer.

06th of May 2018 – arrival Chisinau

You’ll meet your local guide and driver at the airport. After check-in you’ll have a city tour about the capital of Moldova – Chisinau. It includes: the Central Park and the Alley of Moldovan literature classics, the monument of Steven the Great and Saint, Great National Assembly Square, the Triumph Arch, the “Nativity” Cathedral, the Organ Hall, the Market of souvenirs, etc. Welcome dinner and tour program preview.


07th of May 2018 – Chisinau - Gagauzia – Manuc Manor from Hincesti – Chisinau

Today we drive to Comrat, the capital of the smallest Autonomy in the world - Gagauzia. In order to understand who, the “gagauz” are we shall pay a visit to the Museum of History and Ethnography from Besalma village. There we will learn about the history, culture and daily life of the Gagauz from ancient times to the modern days. After enjoying a mini concert of Gagauz songs and dances, we head to Copceac to visit the last working “colhoz” from Moldova - a type of run by state farm. Here we will have a traditional Gagauz lunch, and experience the old communist life. The “Victory” collective farm was founded in 1947 and now is the leader in producing and exporting fruits and vegetables in the southern area of Moldova. It is the only surviving collective farm after the collapse of USSR.

Return to Chisinau and on the way stop in Hincesti at Manuc Manor. The mansion itself - a true French-style castle, with a winter garden, guard towers and a park - was built in the second half of the XIX century by Alexander Bernardazzi, Moldova’s most famous architect and for several decades has been owned by the Mirzoian family, Manuc-Bey's descendants. Just for record, Manuc – Bey was the one to intermediate the ceding of Bessarabia to the Tzarist Empire in 1812, therefore we can call him one of the parents of today Republic of Moldova. Same accommodation. Independent dinner.


08th of May 2018 – Chisinau – Tiraspol


After breakfast we shall visit the Military Museum from Chisinau and learn about the fate of this country during the Second World War and about its Soviet Heritage. Next continue to Transnistria and after crossing the border we shall stop in a local village for a special lunch in a private family. They will share with us their problems living in an unrecognized country and how frustrating is not being able to speak their native language. Late afternoon arrival in the capital and city tour, but not before touring Aquatir, a large sturgeon-breeding and black caviar-processing industrial complex from Tiraspol. Check in - 4 * hotel. Independent dinner


Transnistria - is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any state or international organization, it is de facto an independent state named the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The country’s national coat of arms still includes the traditional hammer and sickle and the Lenin statue hasn’t yet been pulled down. The Pridnestrovie today may still retain the look of a Communist state and it’s called “the last remaining Stalinist dictatorship in Europe”.


9th of May 2018 – Tiraspol – Old Orhei – Chateau Vartely


Today we invite you to enjoy the military parade and to discover the city of TIRASPOL (capital of Transnistria). We will admire the festivities of the Victory Day and enjoy this unique atmosphere. After the parade - some free time for lunch, to meet local people and interact with them. We advise you to try diferent kind of dishes and sweets freshly cooked in the market.


Later in the afternoon, we shall do a Treasure Hunt – but because we are in Transnistria, off course, the main treasure will be the Lenin Statues that they inherited from the Soviet time. We will drive towards the north, along the Dniester River. You will be amazed about the communist monuments still to be seen in villages and small towns like Grigoriopol and Dubasari. Going back to Moldova and drive to Chateau Vartely where we will also overnight. Wine tasting and dinner. Chateau Vartely is one of Moldova’s newest wineries. They produce a range of fine wines that have obtained a considerable amount of appreciators all over the world. 

10th of May 2018 – Curchi Monastery – Old Orhei - Cricova winery - Chisinau

After breakfast let’s stop at Curchi Monastery, a real pearl of our religious life. Here you’ll visit some churches, and among them - the “Virgin’s Assumption” Cathedral, built by the drawings of genius architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Later we shall drive to Old Orhei, Moldova’s most picturesque and fantastic historical site. Old Orhei is famous for the cave monasteries located there. This zone was ideal for the primary monasticism of early Christian community. It was isolated from the outer world. At the time when Christians came here there should have been smaller and bigger caves in the calcareous rocks cut by pre-historic tribes living on this territory. Today the monastery is inhabited by only one monk. Here we will have a typical Moldovan lunch in a nice cozy Moldovan house.

Our next stop for today – at the world famous Moldovan Cellars - Cricova, which is a real underground wine city with wide streets, warehouses, tasting rooms. The total length of its galleries is 120 km. The constant annual temperature of + 12ºC and 82–95 % humidity are perfect conditions for aging quality wines there. Cricova is also well known for brilliant sparkling-wines produced by the classic French method. Excursion in the underground winery and arrival in Chisinau. Same accommodation and independent dinner.


11th of May 2018 – Chisinau– Calarasi area - Chisinau

Want to learn how to cook Moldovan traditional food? Today is your lucky day!!! At "Casa Parinteasca" Craft Centre from Palanca village, you will get to know not only the Moldovan traditional costumes and ethnographic customs, but you will also learn how to cook the best known Moldavian dish – “placinte”. After we prepare everything, the lady of the house will put them in the oven for 3 hours at least, meanwhile we will visit the Honey Museum from Raciula, learn about the life of bees, taste different kind of honey and other honey products. Later we visit several families who produce different kind of liquors, one family who produces different kind of cheeses, and the third – producing different products made from the apples of their own orchard -red, yellow, sweet, aromatic, fizzy, fresh, baked or preserved, in cakes or tarts, juice or jam - we find here all kinds of apples, this being the house’s specialty.


Coming back to”Casa Parinteasca” Museum we will enjoy a very special lunch, trying also the “placinte” we have made. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by quince jam will surprise you with its amazing taste.


After lunch we might visit 1-2 monasteries from the region, and continue to Chisinau.

Farewell dinner in a local wine bar specialized in promoting quality Moldovan wines produced by small producers.

12th of May 2018 – Chisinau and departure home

If time allows we shall visit more soviet sights of Chisinau, pay a visit to the Lenin Statue that is kept nowadays in a local park etc. Transfer to the airport. Departure back home.