Gregory Baranski

Trips :

Poorest country of Europe - Moldova

Morning in Busteni, Romania

The wake-up was not easy, yesterday we had farewell after an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange and I went to sleep after 7am.

Instead of starting at 9am as initially planned, the first thumb was raised at midday.

Thumb up First point on the map - Busteni, Romania. With beautiful mountains in the background.

As it is a village, catching a ride took just a few minutes and I went straight to outskirts of a major city called Brasov.

Next guy that stopped for me standing just after a bridge surprised me by question he asked “Do you speak French?” that’s the last language I would expect anyone to speak there. Fortunately after a few minutes we found out a common language - all older people in the Eastern Bloc were taught Russian in school. I found out that he’s an ex-professional cyclist.

Few minutes after leaving he arrived again, this time he wanted to give me money - I heard about this happening, but for sure not in Romania, a country full of stereotypes saying something completely different. And it wasn’t like 5 LEI, but 45, which is like 8$.

Tip from Romanian guy Received “a tip” from Romanian guy who took me on a ride.

Next 1.5 hour I spent waiting for anyone to take me, and finally some woman that just came back from Italy with father stopped, and because I slept next to nothing today I had to catch up on in the car.

Struggles of the sunset

Because it’s already November, sun sets really fast here. A while after 5pm it was already dark outside, not making it any easier for my journey.

I was left in the middle of nowhere, having 3km more to walk, walking only made me realize how alone and lonely I am, but fortunately what cheered me up is a car that stopped 20 minutes later.

It turned out to not be the best thing to happen to me - those guys took me to a fcking train station, I understand the good will of other people, but I was clear about my intentions that I want to autostop, not train. I’m pretty sure every hitchhiker can relate on this. Of course my idea of hitchhiking all the way to Moldova was criticized, because it’s too late, too dangerous and finally why?.

But I managed to find a gas station few kilometers away, and I told them that I want to go there. What’s interesting instead of an actual translator like Google Translator app or something, we used one of the guys wife through a WhatsApp call, I could barely understand what’s she talking about.

On the gas station some amazing lady helped me writing name of cities on a cardboard. Barland / Chișinău hitchhiking sign To Chișinău through Romanian city Barlad.

Solution for the dark was to flash a head lamp on the sign and hoping that someone would actually consider helping me. After like half an hour someone stopped, and guess what - they’re going to Moldova.

At the beginning traditionally we had some small talk, like where are you from and what do you do here, he knew some really Basic English. After like 15 minutes silence dominated our conversation and I just felt asleep, he even gave me a pillow and adjusted the seat so that I could sleep.

Woken up at the border, then I asked where do we actually go and where do I sleep, because he mentioned something that it’s a village. He called his friend and he agreed to host me, that’s amazing. Really how does it happen that I am always ending up well. Also it turned out that the village is nowhere close to Chișinău, but that’s good. Instead of going there tomorrow I’ll go directly to Tiraspol.

The guy was an Orthodox Priest, and his friend probably as well, his house had a very big portrait of Jesus. I received some delicious food and went to sleep. Thought about having a shower, but after seeing how does it look like I decided that maybe it’s better to wait for tomorrow and do that in Tiraspol.


The biggest struggle for me to overcome right now is to deal with the loneliness, for the past 2 weeks throughout the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange I was almost constantly with someone else.

And also I don’t have internet here, the house doesn’t have WiFi, and I won’t be paying for the Roaming.

This is still an open question - should my trip to Asia be done alone or with someone else. The biggest issue is that I don’t necessarily have a person with whom I’d like to go, and I don’t want to go with an inappropriate person, just like it happened on my trip in the Middle East.

Good night, tomorrow I’ll try to find a hostel in Tiraspol instead of Couchsurfing. Maybe that’s a way to meet other like-minded travelers.

Realizing where am I

After waking up after a very cold night and leaving the building, the monastery in which I slept turned out to be a full-blown farm with animals.

Monastery I slep at The monastery in which I spent last night.

I met some people working outside but none of them really cared. I started exploring the surroundings.

Tractor Old rusty tractor.

Ostrich Ostriches? Didn’t expect them here.

On the way to Transnistria

Moldovan bus stop Cimișlia bus stop - looks like bus stops that I saw only on pictures from the 80s in Poland

On the way to Tiraspol Hitchhiking directly to Tiraspol(Тирасполь).

After around 30 minutes I got the so-called golden shot, taking me directly to Tiraspol. Of course no English was spoken, I was trying my best to communicate in Russian, but again after some time I just felt asleep.

Nothing except the road On the way you can see literally nothing, empty fields and one tree per kilometer. Supposedly it was a long time without any rain.

Everything started to be way more interesting as we came closer to the Transnistria border control.

Continuation at post about Transnistria - Journey into the past.