Friday, December 22, 2006

Some Moldovans have some caves

So here's the scoop. We're behind, but behind isn't really behind anymore, because we're always behind, so shit just "is." Regardless, we're now in Belgrade again for a little jaunt through Serbia before moving to Croatia. We've been through Romania, and Moldova, and the Riviera of the Nistru that is Transnistria, but for right now, we're just gonna blog the fuck out of some Moldova. Pics be up, and the people scream LUKASHENKO.

So yeah, some Moldovans have some cliffside caves, and they built churches into them long ago before Soviets and Transnistrians and overseas bridal sales. Cliffside caves bro, and them things pretty...

Mike celebrates the miracles of karst erosion. But the caves of Orheiul Vechi are not easy to get to, and with Moldova's stunning infrastructure (mud roads, etc.), we were shocked and appalled. Lucky we ran into these dudes. Can you say "sketchy as fuck" in lingua de stata?

We hitchhiked to the caves with them, because there were no taxis at the bus stop to the caves. We had a 15 minute layover outside an abandoned building in the village of Ivancea (I mention Ivancea because it's TOTALLY FAMOUS and like everyone can spot it on a map, right?) while these dudes took care of some mysterious business. But then they dropped us off at the caves, so all was cool, even though when Mike pulled out the camera for the picture they looked at him like he just yanked out a Kalishnakov. See those happy faces?

But I digress. Orheiul Vechi was straight-up pudding-pop cool. Cave phasers were set to stunning. I was struck. Oy.

Pictured below: a big fucking cliff. YOU NEED CAPTIONS FOR THIS ONE.

On top was a monastery, and you climb down into the cliff from there, and there is a balcony view of the whole dang area. It's weird approaching this by car, because you turn a corner and then the world is cut with these big old cliff dudes. And here are the monk's cleeping chambers. Note, no more monks, this monastery has been conquered by marauding Hebrews from the suburban New Jersey tribes. Shalom.

From the patio outside the monastery.

Side note: all you dumbasses who insist COW TIPPING IS REAL, we present to you this:

Notice how they are doing that weird exotic thing called "lying down." Climb back into your ferrari, city boy, and get beat again by your alcoholic doctor father. Y'all don't know a John Deere crank shaft from a handjob.


Climbing out of the caves, we snapped this:

What's that shadowy figure at the top of the stairs? Is it Satan? Is it someone looking to illegally harvest my kidney to sell on the lucrative Moldovan organ market? Is it a peace corps worker? Nope, none of the above.

It's VALERIU! Thug Lyfe.

Valeriu lived in Botaceni, the village next to Orheiul Vechi, and he couldn't speak English, but we gathered that he bides his time hanging out with tourists who come to the caves, and showing off for them. What made us think that?

Oh yeah, that's right. Kid was a mountain goat, we think, and he led us around the cliffs quacking like a duck and playing with his arrow/walking stick while hopping down the cliffs like motherfucking spiderkid.

Cavvvvveeeeessssss. The old cave church, led to us by Valeriu the great.

The monks left some killer cyrillic at the entrance of their old church. Not like I care, I'm too busy blowing lines with little Moldovan boys.


As a sidenote, motherfucking food everywhere is killer, and Moldova was the real good stuff. At central market you can buy shit from anyone's gardens, and homemade preserves and home canned veggies. This lunch was bread, homecanned peppers, and homemade cheese. And it was 2 bucks. But I digress. Cliffside lunches with Moldovan kids are tops. WE ALL CONCUR.


So after lunch, what else is there to do in these Moldovan cave monasteries, but fucking declare international war, 13 year old at play style. PLAY FIGHT. Check the youtube. The three of us "marched" back the parking lot while taking up cover behind boulders and "shooting eachother" with sticks. I think I was a prisoner of war for a while, but Valeriu and the ruthless Moldovan military didn't want excess baggage so I was harvested for organs.

Anyway, the sun was setting and we had to get back to Chisinau, but as mentioned earlier there was no public transportation. The guard at the monastery tried to help us, and even found a crazy family that offered to take us back...the next day. We declined their offer, especially since mommy looked like a coked out Gucci whore. So we tried to hitch again, but had no luck until 8 kilometers later when we finally flagged a taxi that of all things was headed to Chisinau. Such is the forture that Moldova bestows on its vistors. Over those 8 KM though, we passed a gypsy party, a psycho dog, and a Russian speaking woman who grabbed Michael's hand like he was going to die. And the people are the local bar who tried to help us. It was nice to get back, but we certainly missed out on some undoubtedly fucked up adventures by taking that taxi. If we were smart we would have had a sleepover with Valeriu.

Scroll down for Chisinau. Wait a day or two for TRANSNISTRIA!!!


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