Visit Moldova – a Beautiful Country

Visit Moldova – a beautiful country which was formerly part of the USSR.  Many people have yet to discover this gem of a country sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine.  According to wikipedia “Moldova is also the least visited country in Europe by tourists with only 11,000 annually recorded visitors from abroad.”

On the Eastern edge there is an area known as Transnistria.  It is a de facto state independent of Moldova but not formally recognized by most countries.

The capital city is Chișinău.  The official website can be found here.

Things to See

The vibrant city of Chișinău is almost in the center of the country.   There are plenty of green spaces through out the city.  One of the parks is Dendrarium Park which on a lake and has a magnificent water feature.

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The Architecture

     The architecture of many of the buildings is gorgeous. For example, Manastire, Ciuflea Monastery or St. Theodor Tiron Convent no matter what you call it is still a beautiful site to behold.  It is an Orthodox Church which is bright blue with gold onion domes.  It is well worth a visit.  Moreover, there are several other churches and other buildings dotted through out the city which are also impressive.

Manastire Monastery

The Manastire or Ciuflea Monastery is spectacular.

Prunes Stuffed With Walnut And Served With Whipped Cream, Traditional Moldavian Dessert

Prune Uscate Umplute cu Nuci

Dried plums stuffed with walnuts or “Prune uscate umplute cu nuci” a delicious Moldova dessert

What to Eat

The food is very similar to that of Romania but the taste seems to be more flavorful.  One of the most iconic dishes is   Tocană which is a kind stew.  It is often served with a side of Mămăliga which is their version of polenta or corn meal mush.  Shaved cheese, sour cream or even an egg come with Mămăliga.  For dessert try the “Prune uscate umplute cu nuci” which is dried plums stuffed with walnuts in a syrupy sauce.  While this sounds very basic the flavor was spectacular! Plăcintele is served many ways sweet or savory.   This baked flaky pastry dough comes with any of a number of different filling.  You can buy them at stalls along the streets or at many restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

The Curiosities

During the summer street vendors sell a variety of items.  If the season is right you can buy a bag of fresh walnuts for a bargain.  One item was quite curious, it looks like some sort of alien fruit.  However, the taste is very vegetable accept around the seeds which have a jelly like coating reminiscent of pomegranate which is quite sweet.

Momordica Charantia or Bitter Melon



Rupester Monastery on a Cliff in Orhei Vechi

Old Orhei Monastery Moldova (Romanian:Orheiul Vechi) is about 60 km north east of Chisinau, Moldova. It has a monastery built into a cliff over looking the Răut, or Reut river.

Out of town

Just outside of Chișinău is Rupester Monastery in Orhei Vechi, it is a very interesting place to visit.  In addition to, the beautiful church on the cliff, there is a more interesting structure inside the cliff!  This is an ancient structure which served as a place of worship as well as shelter.

The Sites

There are all kinds of interesting sites to see scattered along the countryside. Including this restaurant which looks like a castle.

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A castle restaurant on the side of the road in Moldova