The old Soviet train was waiting in Odesa for me to come on board for the trip to Tiraspol the capital of the self-declared state of Transnistria within Moldova also known as PMR : Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. I was with the group of Youngpioneertours and had great fun on this “wodka train” we bought all the booze there was in the one and only bar in this old charming compartment and when we arrived we were a little light-headed but not drunk, maybe little tipsy.
train compartment with bar
Welcome in Transnistria !
People here speak Russian and feel Russian but their passport says Moldavian. They also have a Transnistrian passport but with this passport they can’t travel cause Transnistria isn’t a recognized country. I was here to visit the Capital of this unrecognized republic and to experience the Soviet feeling of this place.
They have their own Parliament and its here in the capital Tiraspol, in front there is a big Lenin statue.
The Parliament building with Lenin statue
It’s like time stood still, cause you get the feeling walking around this city like being in an old Soviet open air park kind of museum. Soviet symbols in the street, the old Soviet tank with the barrel pointing in the direction of Moldova.
Putin is popular here
The independence war memorial with its eternal flame, the statue of Suvorov a Russian general who founded the city in 1792, the Pobedi Park (Victory Park) and the Orthodox Nativity Church with the golden domes are just some sightseeings of the city I came across on my stroll around the streets of Tiraspol.
When visiting Moldova or should I say Transnistria I entered a nice little city called Bendery. Bendery lays in Transnistria on the border of Moldova. Actually it’s all Moldova since Transnistria is just like Abkhazia not recognized as a country. Anyway !
A mini bus from Tiraspol brought me to Bendery in about 25 minutes. There was a big outdoor and indoor market.
There is a nice Cathedral people can visit and when you go through the Leninpark next to the cathedral you come on a street where you can see the City Hall full of bullet holes from the Moldovian war in 1992 there are also some photos in front of the building reminding the war that took place there.
Continuing this road you get to the railwaystation where there is an old Soviet train with museum.
I spend a whole day in Bendery and then in evening after a lunch at Andy’s pizza and some shopping in the sheriff store i took a mini bus back to Tiraspol where I stayed another 2 days. Busses between Tiraspol and Bendery are really cheap, best way to go, no need for a taxi.
Lenin statue in Bender
Bullet holes in the walls of the city hall
images from the war
Old Sovjet monument
Old Sovjet train, now a museum in the railway carriages