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Ride Report: Moldova

Moldova

We entered Moldova a little later. And as the last time I was here, in 2016, it was an easy border crossing. Not much more than 30 minutes to process all 4 bikes and riders. On the other side, we met with Denis. He had had some issues with his bike, so he met us in his car at the border, but later we went by his house for him to pick up his wife’s bike.

We started having lunch, and Denis took us to a nice local place with good food. It was nice getting something to eat.

Pit stop at a side street restaurant, Briceni, Moldova

Having had something to eat, and something to drink – non-alcoholic, of course, Denis took us sightseeing to places we would never have found on our own. It was such a great experience to get to meet Denis, and that he would take the time to show us around his neighbourhood.

Moldova, which is relatively flat does have its hilltops with great views. The first sight was this hilltop just north of the village Corjeuti.

From my Facebook page, Denis had recognised a photo I had taken back in 2016 when visiting with Peter Riber. It is a World War II monument in the middle of the town of Trinca.

I mean no disrespect, but I didn’t really know what to make of it. Besides from obviously being a memorial to WW2, this statue of a soldier with one hand probably holding back the enemy, and with the other holding grapes.

But it was kind of funny that Denis had recognised the image from my faceb0ok page, and cool of him to take us to it. It was nice to revisit.

During the WW2 time, Moldova was part of the Soviet Union, and in Russia, it is not called World War 2, but the Great Patriotic War.

After a short break, it was very hot this day too, we continued to a local mine, just outside the village Gordinesti, that was carved in to a limestone rock. It was a little uncertain if we could ride into the cave, let alone getting to it, as the road was a little technical, and it had been raining a lot the days before. Denis would think that the caves would be flooded.

While it was not a problem getting there, the cave was flooded, the surface wet, muddy, and slippery. So we ended just walking in there to the point where water was blocking our way. Which was really only after 50 meters.

After visiting the caves, we parted with Denis, and continued our ride towards the town, Soroca. It is also known as the Gypsy Capital for its extravagant mansions, that never seem to get finished, apparently due to how property is taxed. There’s some controversy about how Gypsies, or Romas, fund the construction of those houses.

We had booked a hotel up front, which is not something we normally do, but we wanted to do a little research to make sure that the bikes could be parked safe.

We checked in to Hotel Central, with the bikes safely parked inside a walled backyard. We had a shower, a beer at the bar next to the hotel, and we went for a walk towards the Soroca Fortress.

Soroca Fortress

Looking for a restaurant, we found a nice place close to the fortress with outside serving. We had a good time at the restaurant, good food and more beers.

As we were sitting here, and were finishing up our food, a couple of local kids approached us to beg for leftovers. Often, restaurant staff sends them away, but not this time. And the kids kept a distance and were not aggressively begging. As we signalled to server that we had enough, the server took our leftovers, put it in a doggy bag and gave it to the kids.

It was actually a nice gesture from the restaurant. Had we known that up front, we would probably had ordered more food, and eaten less.

We walked back to the hotel, and went to bed. I was very tired. Even though the fall I had had earlier that day, before entering Moldova, was quite uneventful, it is still tiring coming off the bike.

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