Timbuktu: (noun) A city in the West African nation of Mali, known for its extreme inaccessibility. Now it is used to mean any extremely distant and inaccessible location. Any distant or outlandish place: from here to Timbuktu. This is the one we used in my family when I was growing up.
And from the Yiddish - Yenne-velt: Literally “other world”. Used to indicate the afterlife or the world to come. Also used in the context of a place which is really far away or in the “middle of nowhere”. This is the one I learned from my first Jewish boyfriend's family- sometimes when they wanted to be especially emphatic they would say EAST Yemensvelt LOL.
and then - Kishinev: (KISH-nev) n. A remote city in Russia; hence any place so far away you don't know how to get there (took some job in ~)
And why do I mention this? Because on our trip we spend three nights in Kishinev, now known as Chisinau, and currently located in Moldova (a part of the former Soviet Union.)
We were transferred guide to guide at the border between Romania and Moldova. Our guide for this part of the trip is Natasha (Natalya) she went by both names, and our driver Valentin. Moldova is a small country (roughly the size of Maryland.) We arrived late in the afternoon and did a driving tour of the city before checking into our very swanky hotel the Nobil... and getting a recommendation from Natalya, for a nearby dinner place, called Caravan.
the next day we started our tour with Jewish Chisinau- a small museum in the JCC and then the Jewish cemetery (a large part of which has been taken over by a public park) and then a synagogue and then a few monuments (they are big on monuments in this part of the world.)
the memorial in the park part of the former cemetery-
on to the synagogue which is of course run by the Chabad-
from the history of the Jews we head to Cricova Winery... they have a huge underground cellar located in an old sandstone quarry- it is literally miles and miles and miles of tunnels underground.
the sparkling wine is still riddled by hand!!!
they have a number of tasting rooms and this is where our tasting was held-
some of the other rooms - all underground-
our tasting wines-
In the store we purchased the highest end sparkling to take with us to Odessa and our meeting with Iryna (our dear friend from Lviv, Ukraine) and the second highest sparkler and a bottle of the terrific red we had at the tasting... total for all three bottles US $18!!!!!
then it was on to a small archeological museum, a cave church and lunch at a local agriturismo place with singing by local girls....
the view of the cave church from the distant hills- the red arrow points to the opening in the cliff face where the third photo down was taken- looking out and back to the hill this photo was shot from...
then on to a wonderful lunch!
the house with the dark green tin roof (left side mid photo) is where the lunch was hosted -
our singing ladies of 14,14 and 15 years old... lovely young women from the village-
we headed back into the city - by now late afternoon and reserved at a superb local restaurant -
we continue the papanash tastings- LOL - this one was messy and yet still tasted good...
back to working on the Romania trip photos - meanwhile I may get to the Odessa photos and the story of our reunion with Iryna after far too many years!