Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some info about Chisinau

So, I was doing a little research about Chisinau, Moldova and this is what I found:

Rich with history and fertile soils that produce abundant vineyards, Moldova is an
unjustifiably forgotten tourist destination, as yet untouched by the budget airline brigade. In this land-locked eastern European country, you can wander round vast monasteries, sample the local wines, or trek through ancient forests.

Despite remaining one of the poorest countries in Europe, the people are friendly and welcoming, and the main centres, such as the capital Chisinau, have everything a visitor could need. Chisinau's cathedrals, monuments and museums survived severe WWII bombings to the city, including the house where Pushkin spent his days in exile penning some of his most famous works.

There are plenty of small restaurants and coffee shops. The service tends to be slow, but the cuisine is delicious, with a range of traditional national dishes and European food.
National specialities:
• Mititeyi (small grilled sausages with onion and pepper).
• Mamaliga (thick, sticky maize pie) which is served with brinza (feta cheese).
• Tocana (pork stew) should be tried with sweet-and-sour watermelons and apples.

National drinks:
There are more than 100 varieties of excellent wines produced in Moldova.
• White wines include Aligote, Riesling and Sauvignon.
• Moldovan Cabernet and Merlot are noteworthy reds.
• Doina or Nistru brandy is an ideal accompaniment with desserts.

5 to 10% will be gladly accepted.

In Chisinau, there is a good selection of theatres and concert halls, and an opera house. The Eminescu Music and Drama Theatre specialises in Romanian productions, as does the Youth Theatre Luceafarul (Poetic Star). All performances in the Chekhov Drama Theatre are exclusively in Russian (the building used to be the Chisinau Choral Synagogue). The Philharmonia Concert Hall houses Moldova’s Symphony Orchestra. It is also the base for the folklore Doina Choir, the internationally-renowned Zhok National Dance Ensemble and the Fluerash Orchestra of National Music. Russian and Romanian productions can be seen in the puppet theatre Licurici (Glow-worm). The country is famous for its tradition of folk arts and there are many lively musical groups (Tarafs), which play a variety of rare folk instruments including the tsambal (not unlike a dulcimer), cimpoi (bagpipe), fluier and nai.

Shopping:  buys are the handmade carpets and locally-produced wines and brandies. The main open-air market (tolchok) is on Calea Mosilor, about 10 minutes’ drive away from central Chisinau. Although crowded, it sells everything and is a good place for bargains. There are several craft centres where trades include woodcarving, enamel painting, embroidery, weaving, and the making of musical instruments.

So, we'll see how the reality matches the description.  More later.


  1. Sounds like more good eating is in store. The cabbage rolls and meat jelly also sound intriguing. I would venture to say that you will be one of the few Americans visiting Chisinau.

  2. pronouncing it is a challenge: Most use the pronunciation Kishinev

  3. Hey Jim - I just want to tell you how very much I love your blog! In fact I love it so much that I've given you the Blog de Oro award. check out the post on my blog: http://wescott531.blogspot.com/2009/10/winnings.html . To accept the award, just copy the image, paste it in a blog post, and select the 10 blogs you think should receive it next. Sort of a PIF blog award. Congrats!! Keep up the great blogging!

  4. Hi Jim, I finally was able to figure out how to get into your blog. Both Terry and Donna Johnson helped me. I am a little "Polish" about such high tech things. lol -I am so happy you are enjoying yourself. I can only imagine being in Eastern Europe again. -- I do plan on going to Poland someday and revisit my birthplace.
    Love and kisses.

  5. MMMM, the Tocana dish sounds lovely. The whole place seems like heaven on earth.

  6. What a great post! Now I want to go!! You have a wonderful blog, will be back.