A September 2005 trip
to Moldova by 3mttours
Quote: What a small country can offer.
If you go by car, you need to be armed with a lot of patience at the border control, which seemingly takes forever for people not living in Romania and probably the CIS. At the border you'll get a sticker on your passport to report to the police for registration if you stay for more than 3 days. It is not necessary if you stay at a hotel. Roads are in poor condition and totally unmarked. With a good map, you'd probably get on very well. If you want to go to the countryside, simply take an off-road car, as roads simply can't be driven on otherwise.
Among its ethnic minorities are Turks and Russians, the latter being a pretty big one (15%). In many places it is a considerable advantage to know Russian, as some of the people can't even speak Romanian (the official language is "Moldavian," which differs from the actual Romanian language by its really funny accent). Until the beginning of the 19th century, Moldova was one state, of which Russians took half, the present Republic of Moldova plus some territories around it. Between the two World Wars, it came to Romania, as its other half became united with Valahia to form Romania during the second half of the 19th century. You may find that they feel ambivalent about Romania. They somehow feel connected to the country but also feel like they have been "trespassed," as Romania has given it away twice, once to the Russians, then to the Soviets. I found that they regard the greatest Romanian poets as Moldovan ones; truth is, they were born in Moldova, albeit the Romanian one.
They are really scared of the secret police, which seemingly still operates in their country.