Chatuchak Park in Bangkok, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exploring Soroca, Moldova

For breakfast, we went back to the same restaurant here in the Central Hotel. Marcel was off duty, and a woman who didn't speak any English looked after us. No problem, we can order breakfast in Romanian! Sort of!

Anyhow, we each had a cup of tea, and a plain omelette with cheese and salami on the side. Total with the tip was 90 lei ($6.30 CAD, $4.75 USD) for the two of us.

Then, it was off to explore the city of Soroca (pop 38.000).

Soroca is located right on the Dniester River. Across the river is Ukraine. We were wondering where the nearest bridge is to cross the river. Just curious. But then we saw how they get across...they have a ferry!

The ferry from Moldova to Ukraine.

A pedestrian about to board the ferry.

We thought about going to Ukraine for the afternoon. But there was enough to see on this side of the river, and even though we keep track of how many countries we've been to (currently 27), we don't count them just for the sake of counting them. So we will leave Ukraine for a time when we can really visit.

The ferry finally got a vehicle on it.

We wanted to visit Soroca Castle, and we had been warned that many attractions and museums are closed on Mondays. And we knew this, but we totally forgot. Stupid. Anyhow, sure enough we got to the castle entrance and it was closed.

Soroca Castle, built between 1543 and 1546.

This fellow was guarding the front door!

Soroca has a significant Roma (Gypsy) population. The gypsies have long been oppressed throughout the world, and when they do well they like to show it off. So here in Soroca, they have what is locally called "Gypsy Hill", where Gypsies have built opulent houses in a desperate effort to outdo their neighbour. It's the ultimate "keeping up with the Joneses" project.

We walked up the hill to have a look.

The only problem is, they rarely finish the building. So the entire area is a mess, with houses in various stages of construction. You can tell that some of them haven't been touched in years.

On many of the properties (like the one above) you can see where the original house on the property still exists. Then they have used the entire backyard to build a monstrosity. It's really strange because most of them are not being lived in. 

Back at the hotel, and I had a late afternoon nap while Ruth did some computer work. Then we went back to the same restaurant again for dinner...

Roast pork with mamliga, cheese, cream, and grilled veggies.

We also got a side of pickles not shown in photo above and when the "pickles" were brought to us, they were pickled tomatoes, didn't expect that! I had a half liter of beer, Ruth had a cup of tea, and the bill including tip was 220 lei ($15.40 CAD, $12 USD) for the two of us.

The restaurant to ourselves.

I tried a Russian beer. Not bad.

The we went for a walk to check out the Christmas lights.

Today, we drive back to Chisinau.

Seriously? You won't believe the price....

And in Canada...the KitchenAid classic mixer. I don't think it's ever been this cheap...


  1. Another interesting day and some tasty looking food.

  2. Wonderful day of exploration! Dinner looked a bit odd but you obviously enjoyed it! Cannot believe you have been to 27 countries so far in your travels! Impressive!

    1. But there are 192 countries in the world...27 sounds like nothing to us...

    2. 197 and 28 if you count Taiwan (and Transistria)

    3. It depends on what is being counted as a country but yeah it is somewhere between 192 and 197 but only 27 for us and that is counting Transnistria.

  3. Interesting about the Roma's. How are they making so much money and why do they only build to a certain point and stop? Very interesting for sure. One thing about this area that has stood out is the lack of color and of course the "Soviet" look to everything. I'm sure you've had a grand time exploring off the beaten path and I have sure enjoyed following along! Especially all the churches and citadels. Even though the colors are plain (on the outside), the architecture is impressive.

    1. We don't quite know how they make they money but from what we have heard many go to our countries in Europe and make their money there then come back and start to build until they run out of money and then they have to go and make more money in order to build some more. We have also heard that if houses are not finished then they don't have to pay taxes.

      We have also notice the lack of colour but we have also noticed that buildings are being repainted with more colour than just the plain grey/white concrete from Soviet times. It also doesn't help with the time of year (no green grass and leaves on the trees) and the grey cloudy skies. We are sure that late spring, summer or early fall it would look totally different here. Most of the churches/monasteries are bright and colourful inside and out.

      It certainly has been a different experience for us here and we have learned a lot about Romania,Moldova and Transnistria that we hadn't known before. Travel is always a good thing! :-)

  4. I guess rainy days and Mondays always get you down? ;c)

    1. I am assuming you are talking about having a nap, Kevin thinks any day is a good day for a nap. ;-)

  5. FYI, these unfinished houses are, mainly gypsy-palaces... :)

    I aslso visited Moldova and Transnistria in March 2016.

    1. Yes, we knew that and we mentioned that in the blog.

      Hope you enjoyed your travels in Moldova and Transnistria as much as we did. :-)


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