Stories

Great day in Transnistria

by Paul Clites - 1 year, 2 months ago

I took a day trip from Chisinau, Moldova to Tiraspol, Transnistria. What a great experience! I felt fully safe at all times. Border control was no hassle, though crowded in the little office, and it helped that I had a Russian speaker with me (a one-way driver arranged by my hotel in Chisinau).  Just fill out the immigration form top and bottom, and don’t lose the bottom half before you cross the border on the way back. The border staff were very professional. Tiraspol is walkable if you are ok covering a bit of distance.  The parts of Tiraspol that I saw were much cleaner and well maintained than I expected. There were lots of things to take pictures of (government buildings, churches, parks memorials, and simple street life). Currency exchange booths are all over, charge no commission, and have a narrow split. Be sure your currency bills are fresh, becuse they will reject worn or torn ones. Check out the bustling marketplace which is rather clean and orderly (a couple blocks off main street). Hint – if you take a picture of a main government building like the parliament, a military guard may come running out and say “no pictures”. But the guy who stopped me was friendly, didn’t ask me to erase any pictures, and then gave me the tip that they like people to take pictures of the statue of Lenin in front of the building and if the building happens to be in the background, oh well. At a city bus stop, I asked a couple teenagers if they spoke English and could give me directions to the bus station for my return to Chisinau. So Dima and Kate spent an hour with me taking me around, telling me about themselves and their country, and practicing their English. They said they (and their teacher) are learning English from books in school, and they want to be an interpreter (sorry, not good enough yet), and I was their first native English speaker who spent time with them. I gave them my business card, and they couldn’t wait to show it to their English teacher and tell her about the experience. It probably was an odd scene with two teenagers, and me, 61 years old, white hair and a goatee. If I had it to do over, I would stay another day or two and see Transnistria beyond Tiraspol (don’t forget to register if staying more than a day trip)



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