Today was the first day of spring in Moldova. We celebrated the amazing blue sky by going back to the village of Donici, in the Orhei region, and to Codreanca Lingurari, the forest that links Donici with the Monastery of Curchi. Donici is part of the first and only National Park in Moldova, has a beautiful church, and a pleasant museum hosted in the house where fable writer Alexandru Donici lived.
[Photo AIRM – Agentia de Inspectare si Restaurare a Monumentelor din Moldova]
We have been there already a few times and we just love the open landscape, the views from the village, the sound of hens and geese strolling around, the calm of the forest paths and the amazing hospitality of the local population. Twice already were we invited to share someone’s meal in their homes and we got to chat as old friends with people we just met.
We also got to get a glimpse of how people traditionally live in the countryside. Cars are sparse, roads are muddy and horse carriages are still used. Shops or restaurants are even sparser: in Donici, a village of about 800 people, there are only two small shops. Many do not have running water inside, but often they do have fountains in the courtyard. Water supply is good in the village and the water is drinkable. Most houses have fruit and vegetables growing in the backyards and large storage places to keep them during the winter (fresh or in jars). They have old style wood-burning stoves heating entire walls, and often a special built-in king-size bed which stays warm long after the fire is gone (the “lejanca“). Many houses are actually made of different buildings, a bigger house which is used mostly in summer, a smaller house easier to heat, and storage places and smaller huts for tools and animals.
I read somewhere that going to Moldova is like buying a ticket to the past, but you don’t feel it until you get away from the cities.