Chișinău is learning to make differences – between old and new, between order and chaos, between obscure and brilliant. And this contrast is made by the touristic areas and the other ones of the city.
Do you think Chișinău isn’t a beautiful city? You’re so wrong! Sincerely, before I went there, I had some doubts: what would I do there from Friday to Sunday? And now that I’m back home I realize that I wasn’t able to see everything I wanted and I hadn’t enough time for the places I visited.
I failed to visit the Museums of History, I spent just an hour in Dendrarium where I felt that I could stay half a day, I haven’t seen Bucuria (Joy) Candy Factory and I didn’t “open” The City Gates!
I still have many places to see, so I’ll be back soon, I promise!
First hour in Chișinău
After the bus left me at the Central Station, a very crowded and messy place, I went to the boulevard and everything changed: clean, opened-space, with smiling people.
I stopped at kilometer 0 of the city and then at the Triumphal Arch. There I felt for the first time I was in the other capital of my country, Romania! That sensation lasted until the first big intersection as traffic made me immediately think of Istanbul – the traffic lights are only for cars and you must intuit when you can cross the street without too many horns.
So much to see
For two days I ran from a place to another just because I wanted to see all the city’s beauties. Chișinău is big and the streets seem endless when you want to quickly reach on foot a destination. (But you can take the bus, a ticket is only 10 cents! Yes, 10 cents, is not a mistake!)
So, this way I discovered the famous Statue of Stephen the Great, the Central Park with its unique fountain, the Cathedral and the big chess table in front of it. Here, old men were playing each afternoon.
Still, there were so many things to do … walk among the thousands of colorful shades in the Flower Market, have a brief history lesson at the Museum of Ethnography, visit the Water Tower, taste as many candies as you can in a well-known candy store named The Joy. I’ve done it all, with the price of muscle soreness. More, I went downtown to the Armenian Cemetery (to see the life-size monument of Grigore Vieru, which is impressive) and to the Victoria Memorial, where we enjoyed the changing guard.
A green city
The Water Tower was a must-see place on my list. There, I climbed on the terrace and I realized for the fist time how green the city is! The landscape is so nice!
Chișinău has many parks: Valley Mills, Rose Park, Botanical Gardens, Râşcani-Ciocana Park, Valley of Charms Park and, the most important, the Arboretum (or Dendrarium).
The Arboretum is more like a botanical garden with a wonderful landscape. Here you’ll find wooden footbridges crossing the springs, very old trees, flowers of all varieties and colors and dozens ducks on the lake.
The menu in any corner of Moldavia must be composed of pies, chocolate and red wine. You’ll be shocked by the prices, too: a bottle of sparkling wine Cricova (one of the brands) – is 2 euros! And you will hardly stop drinking because it is so good!