My brother Max is currently visiting me in Moldova and when we were discussing the travel itinerary he was really interested to see the monastery at Saharna and especially exorcism. You read that right – every Thursday night there’s an exorcism at this monastery, so Thursday afternoon we ventured to Rezina, which is the Raion center nearest this monastery.
Since we were heading to Rezina, we decided to visit a restaurant that is super cool in Rezina. This restaurant serves traditional Moldovan food and is build from wood, spiraling, with giant tables and chairs made from trees on the first level. This description doesn’t do it justice, but hopefully the pictures below will give you an idea.
The restaurant is located about a 20 minute drive from Rezina, near a very small village in beautifully, picturesque rolling hills. During our meal, one of the other Peace Corps Volunteers who was with us went to take some pictures and started talking with a family celebrating a birthday at the restaurant. After dinner we were invited to join that family and partake in their masa. The birthday boy even went so far as calling our cab driver (who he knew) and offering him a bottle of wine to wait longer for us.
While the impromptu birthday masa made us late for the BBQ that we had awaiting us in Rezina, it did offer a chance for my brother to experience a dose of true Moldovan hospitality. After we finally made it to our cab, we headed back to Rezina, for a hike along the Nistru and a BBQ before heading out to the exorcism. Since the exorcism begins at midnight, we left Rezina center at around quarter of and headed to watch and tour Saharna.
I won’t go into too much detail about the exorcism, since others might want to attend and I don’t wait to spoil it. We also were not allowed to take pictures there, but there are pictures of Saharna, which is a beautiful place that I hope to explore more in the daylight next time I visit.
The grounds of Saharna are extensive and have some really cool hiking trails, a waterfall, a beautiful but shaky and terrifying wooden bridge, a pool of what is supposed to be the holiest water in Moldova and a foot print that is apparently Mary’s.