The Eastern European Republic of Moldova is bordered/surrounded by Romania and the Ukraine. It’s been a self-declared independent state since 1991, when the Soviet Union was dissolved, with some of its territory by the river Dniester disputed with Transnistria. A European republic in every sense, Moldova aspires to become a full member of the European Union via the current implementation of a three-year Action Plan.
Due to its strategic location between Asia and Europe, Moldova as been invaded by Romans,Goths, Bulgarians, Magyars, Mongols Tatars and Ottoman Turks. The Russian Empire followed and the country underwent “Russification” with the Romanian language officially removed. A Moldavian Democratic Republic (but within the federal Russian state) was declared in 1917, locals were deported to Siberia during the Stalinist period (1940–1953) and after a failed coup d’état by the Soviets, Moldova declared its independence in 1991.
Moldova’s main cities are central Chişinău the capital, Bălţi in the north and Tiraspol in the east. Most of the country is sandwiched between the Dniester and Prut rivers, with the Prut flowing into the Danube. Despite Moldova being landlocked, it’s actually very close to the Black Sea which means it has a mild, sunny climate.
Moldova’s wines are world renowned. Today’s wine production is mostly for export, with many unique family recipes and vine strains. Wine tours are on offer almost anywhere in the country, with Romanesti, Ciumai and Purcari some of the most famous cellars/vineyards. However, Moldova also has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world.
Otherwise, Moldova’s visitors come for the history, architecture (including some lovely Christian Orthodox churches) and the hiking-friendly natural landscapes. The railroads also offer interesting trips through the country.
The Moldovan cuisine contains elements of Romanian, Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian styles, with pork and beef dishes predominating.
Posted : Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 10:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save