Moldova. Republic with wine rivers and fruit shores
Getting into the bright and spacious Chisinau International Airport, you immediately tune in to exciting discoveries and a journey of European quality. The main air harbor of Chisinau seemed to me very cozy, and the staff were friendly, open and sociable.
Having specified the purpose of my visit, the border guard handed me a passport and wished a good trip. And I went to the city.
When I was going to Chisinau, I could not imagine this city. What is he like? Modern, like Singapore, or unique, like Venice? I am convinced that you should not rush to conclusions, based on a cursory examination, Chisinau is a city that requires a long and close examination from different angles.
Personally, I opened the city in the gray tones of the Soviet past and the bright green shades of sprawling city parks. I must say, there are a lot of parks in Chisinau, and all of them are filled with a romantic atmosphere. Walking here, an amazing picture arises in the mind: summer, the air smells like flowers, somewhere in the distance you can hear the sounds of a guitar and the sound of fountains, couples sitting on benches holding hands and looking at each other’s eyes.
Having stayed in the capital all day, I finally became convinced that this city and I were incompatible, so I set off in search of interesting places.
At 50 kilometers from Chisinau, filled with divine light, solitude and silence, the Kurky monastery is spread. The monastery has more than two centuries of religious and cultural past. This monastery, then as now, is considered the most beautiful and famous monastery of Bessarabia. On its territory is the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, which is impressive for its size and magnificence. Walking here is a real pleasure, in an incredible way I felt peace, and my soul was filled with warmth and spiritual light, despite the fact that it was gloomy and overcast on the street.
Arriving at the historical and archaeological complex “Old Orhei” and climbing the hill, from which a grandiose landscape opens, I felt like a great commander. Hands folded on my chest, I froze, enjoying nature. My thoughts were confused in my head, and they were not really needed right now, they rather prevented to contemplate the greatness of this place.
I probably would have stood motionless, but the guide shouted to the “hovering” travelers and suggested visiting the limestone caves where the Christian rock monasteries and cells are located. The main task of the tourist here is to hear the guide, examine the religious messages left on the walls by our ancestors, touch the calcareous texture of the cool walls and not hit your head on the rocky ceiling. Everything at once is simply impossible to do, so I had to sacrifice the story of the guide, for the sake of tactile sensations.
No traveler can be full of spiritual food, but even the food on my trip is not just food, but also an occasion to get acquainted with culinary traditions and customs. A place called “Vila Rose” opened for me national dishes and drinks in a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The owner of the restaurant treated the real Moldovan wine, served the national dishes of Moldova and invited to a master class on cooking traditional Moldavian pastries, without which no feast can do.
I will not hide, for my taste there is no brightness and colors in local dishes, the kitchen is simple and unpretentious.
But in the memory of taste buds, some dishes are still preserved. One of them is Zama soup. It is cooked in strong chicken broth and consists of carrots, onions, bell peppers, potatoes and homemade noodles. For me personally, the combination of noodles and potatoes in the soup is unappetizing, but in Zama this combination seemed organic and really tasty to me.
Another dish of national cuisine, Vertuta, is a roll with filling, rolled into a spiral, which is prepared from yeast dough and baked in the oven. For the filling used a variety of ingredients – sweet and savory. Inside Vertuta you can put, for example an egg with onions, cabbage, potatoes, cottage cheese, pumpkin.
From baking, I especially liked Placinda – it’s a flat cake with a filling that resembles a flat cake. It is prepared from yeast or puff pastry, and the filling is placed in the middle of the rolled dough, the edges of which are then joined. Inside this cake can have cheese, meat, potatoes, cottage cheese, apples or pumpkin. Placinda is very good, in terms of its impact on a person, it resembles sunflower seeds – eating piece after piece is difficult to make yourself stop.
Local people, yes, people, the emphasis in Moldova is put on Oh, the dish is excellent! They are small, resemble dumplings in size, and you can eat several dozen at one time.
And, of course, the crown among the dishes of Moldovan cuisine belongs mamaliga. It is made from corn flour and served with grated cheese or stuffed with cheese.