She had stories of her time on the road as a trip of this length will invariably create. She camped much of the time but when it was raining or otherwise bad weather she would sleep with other travelers in their cars – especially in rural Russia where often it is 1000 or more kilometers between cities of any substantial size – or she would sleep with her sleeping bag in bus stops overnight (which afforded her a roof).
We enjoyed drinks at Eli Pili, a restaurant and bar with plenty of character. I knew this place was special as soon as I saw one of their signs on the wall which read something like ‘your food is done when you see smoke coming out of the kitchen” – not to mention all the physical keys lining the main entrance and pictures of people’s arses hanging on the wall.
And then there are others who are traveling for other reasons – I met a middle aged guy from Central very rural Canada who flew over here specifically to try and find a lady he met in a bar several years ago on a trip he took as a mid life break from managing a 4,600 acre farm in Saskatchewan. He has no contact information for this lady – and carries only her first name and an image of her in his mind. He went to the bar where he first met her and started asking around but so far said he had no luck!
I came to Moldova because I had a few extra days on top of my trip to Budapest for the VinCE International Wine Show – and because it is one of the last few European countries I have to visit – but even more so because it seemingly is off the main European tourist routes and also because of this country’s rich and long history of wine making. Very few countries in the world can say they have been home to wine making for 5,000 years with history of grapevines under human cultivation up to 7,000 years.
I heard a stat that said 400,000 of the the country’s 1.3 million working population are directly tied into agriculture – with certainly a good percentage of those working in the domestic wine industry. I believe it after seeing the wine ads in the airport, on the airport bus and hearing passengers who while disembarking were all talking about wine!