Great Victory Day in Transnistria
6-12 MAY 2019
TOUR 6nights 7 days
Moldova celebrates Victory Day on 9 May to remember the end of World War II. It is a day to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany and to solemnly remember those who died in the war. It is also a time to honour World War II veterans who are still alive.
On Victory Day, there is an official ceremony where flowers are laid on the Eternity Memorial in Chisinau to honour the victims who died in World War II. And there are also various parades and other patriotic celebrations.
However, Victory Day is a somewhat tense and controversial time in Moldova these days. There are separate pro-socialist parades sometimes, alongside the “other” parades. The ethnic, linguistic, and political divisions in the country are very real and very deep-seated.
Originally, what is now Moldova was the eastern portion of Moldavia, which became a formative province of the republic if Romania. In fact, in 1940, Russia invaded and annexed this part of Romania. The region had been called Bessarabia earlier.
The cooperation of Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany early in the war and the Soviet annexation of parts of Poland and Romania are overlooked by some; while, at the same time, everyone is glad that Moldova was liberated from Nazi control, even if they don’t look fondly on the Soviet control that followed for the next forty-five years.
What a unique and fascinating experience it is to be in Tiraspol, Transnistria (the unofficial breakaway republic that does not officially exist) and witness the 9th of May Great Patriotic War Victory Day celebrations! This is a journey back into Soviet times, a real eye-opening experience that we are sure you will remember for a long time. Starting in Chisinau, capital of Moldova and then journeying on to Tiraspol, the ‘capital’ of Transnistria, you will meet locals, tour the sights, witness the celebrations and go on a Lenin statue hunt through the surrounding villages — so many communist statues to see. A fascinating tour for those interested in Soviet history and unique cultural experiences.
WELCOME IN MOLDOVA
DAY 1: ARRIVAL CHISINAU
Arrival in Chisinau or in Bucharest ( and you will be transferred from Bucharest to Chisinau on the 01st of September by car/bus). Welcome dinner and presentation of the tour. Accommodation at a 4* hotel.
DAY 2: CHISINAU — CALARASI AREA — CHISINAU (LUNCH & COOKING MASTERCLASS INCLUDED)
After breakfast you’ll have a city tour of Chisinau. The tour includes the city highlights of Central Park, the Alley of Moldovan literature classics, the monument of Steven the Great, Great National Assembly Square, the Triumph Arch, the ‘Nativity’ Cathedral, the Organ Hall, the souvenir market.
After your city tour, it is time for a special lunch! Want to learn how to cook Moldovan traditional food? Today is your lucky day! At «Casa Parinteasca» Craft Centre from Palanca village, you will get to know not only the Moldovan traditional costumes and ethnographic customs, but you will also learn how to cook the best known Moldavian dish — ‘sarmale’. Here we will also enjoy a very special lunch, trying also the ‘sarmale’ — cabbage or wine leaf rolls. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by homemade jams will surprise you with their amazing taste. After lunch we will visit the Honey Museum from Raciula, learn about the life of bees, taste different kind of honey and other honey products. Return to Chisinau and accommodation in the same hotel.
DAY 3: CHISINAU — TIRASPOL (LUNCH INCLUDED)
Victory Day in Transnistria
Today we invite you to discover TIRASPOL (capital of Transnistria) – the old USSR is still alive and well in Transnistria. It is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any state or international organization, it is de facto an independent state named the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The country’s national coat of arms still includes the traditional hammer and sickle and the Lenin statue hasn’t yet been pulled down. The Pridnestrovie today may still retain the look of a Communist state and it’s called “the last remaining Stalinist dictatorship in Europe”.
We will enjoy a visit to the main street with its parliamentary building boasting a relatively new Lenin statue. Opposite, a T-34 tank from the Great Patriotic War era forms part of a monument which also contains soil from the pivotal battle of Stalingrad. You probably won’t miss the Soviet-style banners either! Contrary to popular perceptions, Tiraspol is a quite and peaceful city with no military activity since 1992. The only people in uniform you will usually see are military officers and policemen. Military parades are held annually on Independence Day (2 September) and on Victory Day (9 May).
DAY 4: TIRASPOL — LENIN TREASURE HUNT — OLD ORHEI — TRIBUJENI VILLAGE
Today we enjoy the military parade and discover the city of Tiraspol (capital of Transnistria). Admire the Victory Day celebrations and enjoy the unique atmosphere. After the parade — some free time for lunch, to meet local people and interact with them. We advise you to try different kinds of dishes and sweets freshly cooked in the market.
In the afternoon we will do a Treasure Hunt — but because we are in Transnistria, of course, the main treasure will be Lenin Statues that are left over from Soviet times. We will drive north, along the Dniester River. You will be amazed by the communist monuments still to be seen in villages and small towns like Grigoriopol and Dubasari. Returning to Moldova, we finish our day TRIBUJENI Village
DAY 5: CURCHI MONASTERY — OLD ORHEI — — CHISINAU
After breakfast, you’ll visit the Curchi Monastery, a real pearl of our religious life. Here you’ll visit some churches, and among them — the ‘Virgin’s Assumption’ Cathedral, built by the drawings of genius architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Later we shall drive to Old Orhei, Moldova’s most picturesque and fantastic historical site. Old Orhei is famous for the cave monasteries located there. Today the monastery is inhabited by only one monk. Here we will have a typical Moldovan lunch in a nice cozy Moldovan house. Same accommodation in Chisinau and free time for dinner.
DAY 6: CHISINAU — MILESTI MICI — MANIUC BEY Palace -CHISINAU
Today we will visit Comrat, the capital of Gagauzia; the smallest autonomy in the world. In order to understand about the Gagauz, we will visit the Museum of History and Ethnography of Besalma village. After a mini concert of Gagauz songs and dances, we head to Copceac to visit the last working & ‘kolkhoz’ from Moldova — a type of state run farm. Here will have a traditional Gagauz lunch and experience old communist life.Our next stop for today is the world famous Moldovan Cellars MILESTI MICI
The Golden Collection” Milestii Mici was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest wine collection in the world, counting about 1,5 mln. bottles.
Milestii Mici is the place where You are always welcome!
Return to Chisinau. Accommodation in the same hotel and a farewell dinner in a local wine restaurant!
DAY 7: CHISINAU AND DEPARTURE HOME
If time allows we shall visit more Soviet sights of Chisinau, pay a visit to the Lenin Statue that is kept nowadays in a local park etc. Transfer to the airport for your flight home or onward flight.
6 nights * Dep 6th May 2019 * Soviet history, wine, traditional life, meet the locals * Victory Day parade experience * English speaking guide throughout * Escorted group tour * From 993 EUR pp in group of 10 pax
• Double/twin room: Eur
• Single supplement: Eur
• Accomodation in 3-4* hotels
• Meals according to the program
• Professional English-speaking guide services
• Entrance fees
• Printed info about the sites visited
• Luxury coach transport’ services with A/C
1. This program can be changed upon request.
2. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note flights are NOT included in this package. You are welcome to book your own flights, or we can do this for you, simply call or email us for a quote.