Two Days in Bessarabia

It turned out to be difficult to report from the road when traveling with a big group and having a dense itinerary. Now, already back home, I have time to take up the narration. Last time I wrote from Chişinău on May 21 but did not report what we experienced there. On May 22 we were out for a day trip to Vadul Raşcov Jewish cemetery and the cave monasteries of Tipova – both magic places.

In Chişinău we enjoyed to get guided by the charming Irina Shikhova, the director of the local Jewish museum. Irina showed us her museum, the former Jewish hospital and the Jewish cemetery. The museum is done with love and this is mainly Irina’s merit. The hospital is still in use and at the moment undergoes a bigger renovation. Other buildings like the former laundry and the synagogue are either abandoned or are used for different purposes.

To Chişinău’s Jewish cemetery I have been twice before – nevertheless the place struck me again, mainly due to its ruined mortuary with the bullet holes in the doors and the wall build of smashed tombstones from the destroyed old cemetery. One of our fellow travelers has family roots in Chişinău and I assume the day was especially meaningful and emotional for him.

On May 22 we were out for a day trip to Vadul Raşcov Jewish cemetery and the cave monasteries of Tipova. Nothing compares to Vadul Raşcov with its fascinating cemetery at the shores of river Dniester. To Tipova I had not been before. Following the wish and advice of some of the group members we reached the famous cave monateries late in the afternoon. What a view over Dniester valley!

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