On the way to Tiraspol, we met our fan Evgeniy Vasalatiy, who became at the end our friendly and very helpful guide for two days around the self-proclaimed capital of Transnistria. The city lies along the Dniester River and the Odessa-Chişinău railway. It was founded by Russia in 1795 alongside a fortress built in 1792 to protect the lands Russia had acquired through the Treaty of Jassy (1792). From 1924 to 1940, it was the capital of the Moldavian Autonomous S.S.R., established by the Soviets on Ukrainian territory east of the Dniester. Occupied by German forces in 1941, Tiraspol was retaken by the Soviets in 1944. The city, with its large Russian population, has been at the center of a Russian separatist movement east of the Dniester. During the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s, the region erupted into full-scale civil war killing over a thousand people and displacing many more. In the aftermath, the Republic of Transnistria was declared and to this day remains a semi-independent state with its own army, the judicial system, and border controls despite being recognized by nobody other than the three other breakaway states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Transnistria is a Russian-backed, breakaway state sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine. It is a land seemingly stopped in time. Whilst Wild West Capitalism has replaced Communism through the ever-powerful Sheriff corporation which runs throughout the country, the republic is still littered with remnants of the USSR from hulking Lenin statues to giant hammers and sickles adorning modern Russian backed banks. We had a great time in Tiraspol, in the morning we have changed some money (18,8 PRB / 1 EUR) to have some cash because international cards are not working here. Then we bought local funny plastic coins and some commemorative silver coins. In the afternoon we have explored the city’s parks, massive Soviet buildings, and other monuments like the Mother Land with Suvorov, Lenin, a T-34 tank, and a Soviet jet standing tall against Kirov Square, Pokrov Church, and the imposing parliament building. Then we took dinner in La Vida restaurant (Chicken nuggets 49 PRB, Lassagne 81 PRB, Caesar salad 79 PRB, Water 15 PRB / 0,5 l, Pepsi 17 PRB / 0,5 l, Beer Chisinau 24 PRB / 0,5 l). Good club with food and drinks opened till late is Vintage (entrance 50 PRB, Huge meat plate 285 PRB, Pizza 95 PRB, Vodka 0,35 l / 105 PRB, Coke 13 PRB / 0,3 l, Mojito 88 PRB).

Parking location – Tiraspol: 46.834835N 29.604535E