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.
Continue reading “The Windows of Moldova”
In the late-afternoon light, the gingerbread homes of the Moldovan village, Rosu, were bathed in golden hues. The homes’ green and periwinkle-blue fences, and wooden adornments on their gables cast frilly shadows on the dirt road, as Shawn and I embarked on an evening stroll.
The wire arbors over the homes’ driveways were brimming with grapes wearing muted amethyst, plum, and seafoam-green hues. They ranged from smaller clusters to plump specimens, calling me to spirit away a bunch or two. They looked so tempting.
As I stopped to photograph a green trellis studded with grapes overhead, two women chatting on the street, called out to us in Moldovan.
Continue reading “Grape Diplomacy in the Moldovan Countryside”
The Republic of Moldova is perhaps best known for its impressive wine – something it’s produced for thousands of years – and its former status as one of the 15 Soviet republics. If you’re scratching your head and feeling geographically-challenged about where Moldova is in Europe, rest assured that others are often perplexed too. In the UK, a family board game called Where is Moldova even exists.
When we arrived to Moldova one week ago, I also became quite taken by its gingerbread-like homes in all shades of blue and its intricately-decorated water wells, most of which are still in use in Moldovan villages. In Moldovan, the wells are known as fîntînă.
The wells are a ubiquitous site in the village of Rosu. Some are more basic, with only the requisite equipment and roof overhead, whereas others wear latticework, twisted iron adornments, even hand-cut metalwork depicting the silhouettes of people, flowers and flourishes.
Continue reading “The Water Wells of Moldova”