After our visit to the regional history museum in Comrat, the drive to Congaz is rather short, almost straight south. We find the Gagauz village along the straight road, and at first, it doesn't seem like anything special. When we turn off at the traditional Gagauz hotel and park, we already get a hint of a traditional atmosphere. As soon as we enter, and are welcomes by women in traditional dresses, we know that we made a good decision to stay here. They show us the two options: stay in one of the traditional Gagauz houses, which are covered by a large roof, or a more standard hotel room. While our heart would opt for the typical houses, we notice that there is no ventilation and they are just too hot to sleep in. I go out for a quick walk north through the streets of Congaz. A warm early evening light shines on the quiet village.
Behind high fences, I see traditional wooden houses with carved decorations. Too bad the fences don't allow for a full view and appreciation of their beauty. Most of the streets are unpaved. I walk past several water sources: wells under a cover. Would it really mean that houses don't have their own water supply or are not connected to a water providing network? In any case, after walking a couple of blocks north, I reach a square where I find the Orthodox church hidden between big trees. I walk around the church, see the warm sunlight reflected in the gold, am greeted by a few curious boys, and see a monument behind the church. I'm on my way back because dinner is waiting. Some Gagauz locals beg for a picture, pose, and laugh. What follows is a great evening in the traditional restaurant of our accommodation, where we try all sorts of local dishes, dance to the folkloric music that is playing without pause, and go to bed with very full stomachs.
The next morning, we are up early, and get two bikes out. We make a big detour through the city, stop frequently to see the traditional houses I had already seen the day before. We reach the outskirts of Congaz, and ride the road that divides the village from the surrounding fields. Now, it becomes clear how much of an agricultural village Congaz really is. We see huge fields being worked outside the city, and small fields with crops adjacent to the wooden houses of the village. We see ruins of old plants, which supposedly once processed whatever was harvested in the fields. We see geese feeding at one of the farms. We enter Congaz again, have a nice chat with a lady who calls her son to translate, have a short stop at the local cemetery, before we pass the Orthodox church I had seen the day before. It is time to go back to our accommodation and enjoy a local breakfast.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Congaz (Moldova). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Congaz. Read more about this site.