{Photo Friday}: Golden Fall

I had the great opportunity to get out with a friend one weekend to visit one of the many parks located in the capital city. It was an incredible fall day, complete with an idyllic setting and fall weather. I’m glad we stayed long enough to explore and adventure through the park to catch the best sunset I’ve ever experienced in Moldova.

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Among the many visitors at this particular park, we had the chance to run into some random goats enjoying the fall day as well. It was such a great afternoon that I cannot help but to share more photos.

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Hanging out in Fields of Lavender

The hot summer days of Moldova have defiantly arrived. This past weekend was no exception as I adventured to a lavender festival in a small village surrounded by fields of lavender. I was grateful for the opportunity to get some quality time with some friends as this was one of our last few adventures together before they all leave Moldova over the next couple of weeks and finish their Peace Corps service.

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However, the journey was not without adventure. Since our local friend offered to drive us from my site directly to the festival I was happy to join them on the journey. Unfortunately, the GPS map led us to a field road where we discovered too late that it was not ideal for cars.

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We ended up finding another car ahead of us who was on a similar adventure. By the time we reached them, my friend’s car was smoking and fluid was pouring out from the front. Thankfully the couple in the other car stopped and were kind enough to help us out. After involving various people along with some others from the village, we were eventually able to make it to the festival thanks to the nice couple who took us the rest of the way. Unfortunately, my friend’s car did not make it to the festival.

The lavender fields were breathtakingly beautiful. The dress code for the festival was to wear white, which made it fun to be able to take photos with friends in the fields.

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Even with the unfortunate car-adventure in getting there and amidst the scorching heat, we had a lovely time. I will certainly miss these ladies SO very much!

As I researched about lavender grown in Moldova, I learned that Moldova used to be one of the biggest producers of raw medicinal plants and essential oils in the Soviet Union. It’s rich fertile soil was the reason it used to be such a large producer of essential oils. Since the collapse of the USSR, Moldova is no longer such a large producer of this product. Fields of lavender are still grown today in various parts of the country, but apparently not in comparison to the amount it used to produce.

The vast lavender fields of Moldova are beautiful and calming. I can see why they host an annual festival to celebrate such beauty.

 

Part 3: Let’s go to the Capital City in “Adventuring with friends in Moldova”

This is the third part of a short series from a recent trip to Moldova my friends made from PA. Since many friends and family from home would love the opportunity to do the same, I’m sharing our adventures with you so you can experience it as well. So pack your bags, your coming to Moldova (without leaving home)! Drum bun (have a good road)!


Next stop after a few days in Balti, we go to the capital city of Moldova, Chisinau. Remember when you first arrived to Moldova and your friend made you get on a rutiera for 2 hours to go somewhere else? Well, now you’re back in this city and can actually explore it instead of driving through it.

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Your friend takes you to an American BBQ restaurant where you meet one of the owners, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who shares the story of how he and another RPCV and a local friend opened up the restaurant about a year ago. You taste their BBQ and some local micro-brewed beer (or maybe you have a coke) and hear a bit about life as a local business owner in Moldova. You make note to check out Smokehouse’s site: smokehouse.md and to read more about the process they have gone through in opening a business in Moldova without paying bribes: opensource-entrepreneurship.org

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One day you meet two more friends of your friend and you all go on a underground tour of Milestii Mici, a Moldovan winery that holds the Guinness World Records as the biggest wine collection in the world.  You take lots of photos, explore the underground limestone tunnels lined with ginormous barrels of wine, and savor various flavors of their wine.

Some of the other days you explore the city and discover some fun parks…

Try some new foods, Czech beer, and fun coffee!

Another day you adventure outside of the city to a monastery, Orheiul Vechi. Your friend warns you that we may or may not make it there or back in the way we originally hoped or planned. Plus uncertain that it would be open since it was a holiday. You question your friends ability to be so calm at these moments and wonder how it actually will work out.

Thankfully, it’s open and the public transport to and from this incredibly beautiful place works out on this day. As you explore the beautiful scenery, you notice how serene and peaceful it is even with the drastic drop off reminding you not to get too close to the edge.

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There is so much to take in when exploring a new place. So many new sights, smells, tastes, and sounds. You try to take it all in so you can share it all with curious friends and family from home.

After a few days of adventures and explorations in various parts of Moldova it is time to go home. You make your way to the airport and say farewells and see-you-laters in front of the the passport control line.

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As you wave goodbye to Moldova from the airplane, you think about all the memorable memories that were made in a brand new place. Now you have a better understanding of where your Peace Corps Volunteer friend calls “home” for now. Poftim!

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Photos by: Hannah Ingram
(which are so fun to see since they’re through a new set of eyes and a new perspective! Thanks Hannah!)

{Photo Friday}: Albastru Doors

I have this strange fascination with taking photos of doors. It doesn’t matter where I am, I continue to be drawn to them. Especially when they are particular colors of albastru, which means “blue” in Romanian. I stumbled upon this unique set of doors during a walk through a nearby village. I can only imagine the history these doors have experienced and most likely they were originally made by hand. I think they’re beautiful.

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A set of blue doors found in the village of Corlateni during a spring-time walk.

{Photo Friday}: Golden Road

I took this image earlier today as we traveled back to Balti after a full day of being in 2 villages in the northern part of Moldova. It started out as a rather dark/dreary winter day but as the sun started setting, it cast a golden color along our drive back home.

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{Photo Friday}: Mosaic Windows

During travels with my family we ended our adventure in the city of Barcelona where one afternoon of our short visit we found ourselves exploring Park Güell. This park was originally created/designed by Gaudi and as someone like myself who loves mosaics I found it quite fascinating and enjoyed my time here.

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So many mosaic pieces can be found all throughout Park Güell. I took many photographs and found this one to be one of my favorites.

{Photo Friday}: Toamnă colors

Earlier this week I was traveling through the northern rural part of Moldova with my primary partner organization and was in awe of the beautiful fall colors we passed through along the roads. Seeing these colors reminded me of fall in Pennsylvania and made me a little homesick. It’s a beautiful season and a busy time of year. I am grateful I got a chance to experience the fall colors in the midst of their changing before the winter season quickly approaches.

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables