Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hello Moldova - Friendship Force Greetings, Exchange Day 1, WTRD 17, August 26, 2016

Sleeper Cabin is a Euphemism for Sleepless Cabin

Our sleeper car on the night train to Chisinau, Moldova turned in to a sleepless cabin.  I actually slept pretty well until a 2;30 am nature call.  It went downhill from there.  About 3:30 just as I was getting back to sleep, our car conductor, opened our door, turned on the overhead lights, and said that we would soon be boarded by Romanian Check Out officials.  First officer was passport control.  He peered at the passports, then us with our train tossed hair to see if we were a match, then thumbed through the double thick passports to find our Romanian entrance stamp so the he could place the exit stamp in close proximity.  Next came the customs agent who wanted to make sure we were not smuggling cigarettes and art antiquities out of Romania.

Heads back on the pillow for 10 minutes while the train moved across no man's land between Romania and Moldova., then the process repeated itself, but this time it was check in with Moldovan Passport control and customs.  

We were not in a cabin directly over train wheels, but other FF members were.  They had an additional visitor  The tracks in Romania and Moldova have not matched since the the communist era.  Apparently the rails on one side or the other are thicker or thinner.   Consequently, all the wheels on the train have to be changed upon arrival and departure between Romania and Moldova.  No kidding!  Look at the length of this train!

Each car on the train is jacked up and down, and moved back and forth, rumbling and grumbling and the wheels get changed.  Those who have a cabin above the wheels gets an extra visit from the wheel men to make sure everything is ok.

By 6:30 am, Russ and I gave up trying to sleep, got up, cleaned up, ate some protein bars, and I had some coffee.  Like the Chinese and Russian trains, this train had a boiler full of water.  I carry a thermos bottle and instant coffee, so I got my morning fix.    Our train arrived at the Chisinau station around 9:00 am where we were warmly greeted by our Moldovan Friendship Force Hosts, and reunited with members of our Sacramento club who came a day earlier directly from the US.  Our hosts arrived with flags, smiles, and fresh bread.  The symbolic Moldovan welcome  is offered and each guest partakes in bread dipped in salt.

Once we have accepted the welcome offering, we are partnered with our host.  Our host is a single mom, Mariana and her 8 year old daughter Catalina.  After a wonderfully sweet breakfast of Moldovan pastries and coffee at a nearby restaurant with our hosts,  we have a short orientation meeting and our Moldovan Exchange coordinator explains the week's schedule to us.  It is going to be a busy weeks starting with the Moldovan 25th anniversary making its Independence from the USSR.

Our host actually had to return to work, so one of the other host/coordinators drove us to our accommodations, where we spent the rest of the day catching up, sleeping,  relaxing, and getting to know our host family.

Mariana and Catalina's cozy apartment is up 5 flights of steps.  We will be able to work off all of the treats we have been eating.  Mariana has fixed up her living room as our bedroom.

Mariana cooks us a t nice meal, plinimene  (similar to raviolis) with fresh cream.

After the evening meal, the four of us took a walk to see Catalina's school and then shared with our hosts some gifts that we brought from California.  

All is Well with the Worrall Travel Rs in Moldova.

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