Viewed from afar, Moldova’s villages resemble a cluster of gingerbread houses. The plaster adornments framing the windows and doorways look as though they were made by the steady hand of a pastry maker piping on frosting, and the wooden cut-outs gracing gables reminded me of the lacy paper snowflakes that I used to make as a child. The catch is, my creations never looked so symmetric, nor as intricate as Moldova’s home adornments do! Coupled with utilitarian and decorative water wells, the homes make strolling Moldova’s villages a joy.
Villagers were amused that I appreciated the homes’ folk art decorations so much. Some invited us to enjoy a glass of homemade wine on their lawn, another shared grapes with us, and one school teacher even insisted upon giving me a coffee table book on the topic of Moldovan architecture.