Read the latest comments from our ambassadors to

Chisinau, Moldova, August 26 - September 2, 2016

  • 24 Aug 2016 5:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Julie, Chris and I are sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for our flight to Turkey and then to on to Chisinau.  Thanks to a very nice lady at checkin, our bags are checked all the way through.  Since we bought our tickets for the destinations separately they were going to make us get our bags in Istanbul and check them in again.  Now that boarding has been delayed, it is a very good thing.  We have two large suitcases very full of clothes and school supplies.  Warren brought 30 dresses to the meeting, and Barbara  Beland two large shoeboxes of school supplies.  The 2 bags weighed in at 33 kilos total.  See you all soon.

  • 24 Aug 2016 8:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We aren't sure how it's all going to play out but Marty, Chris and Julie have two huge suitcases full of clothing and school supplies.  It seems that since we booked our flights on two tickets (one from SF to Istanbul and the other from Istanbul to Chisinau) there is some concern we won't be able to check the luggage all the way through.  The 2nd flight is more restrictive on weight and bags so we HOPE we won't have to pay any more to get the bags there!  They also said we might need to collect the bags in Istanbul and recheck them... what a headache when we already have a tight connection.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

  • 23 Aug 2016 1:05 PM | Anonymous member

    August 20, 2016. Spectacular Sunday Seven           by Nancy Sinnwell


    Sunday was a marvelous day with seven exciting experiences. We started in Sibiu with breakfast in a beautiful baroque dining room; the ceiling (roof) opened up just as our excellent leader, George Meyer, entered the room. 


    Being a Christian day of worship we walked to the Metropolitan Eastern Orthodox Cathedral to watch part of a service where the women sit or stand on the left side and men on the right.


    Event number three was a visit to the Sibiu food market which had separate areas for meat, fruits , vegetables, cheese, flowers, etc. One interesting fruit was sea buck thorn (Catina), a tiny orange berry with a seed in the middle, which is tangy and rich in vitamin C.


    Next was a long ride along the Carpathian Mountains where we saw fields of sunflowers and corn, and villages with red roofs with church steeples in the center( In this Saxon area of Transylvania there were few castles built for protection. These villages fortified their churches where everyone went for protection).


    The Gothic style Caste Corvinilor was next and we viewed the exterior as well as the interior rooms. We drove past elaborately decorated gypsy (Roma) homes in a suburb on the way to the castle.


    Another long ride along the mountains was next. Our final stop for the day was the town of Cluj-Napoka, the second largest city in Romania with approximately 80,000 university students during the school year. After a walking tour of several buildings and statues in the old city, we were on our own to find dinner and return to our hotel. There was a large crowd that came together for a concert in the large open plaza in the middle of the old town. Before the main concert there  was an excellent brass quintet ( 2 trumpets, a French horn, trombone and a bass ) playing from a balcony on the church steeple which was a perfect ending to a delightful day.


  • 23 Aug 2016 12:32 PM | Anonymous member

    We ended the tour's home hosting experience with a breakfast back at the site of our dinner last evening.  Some of our group had stayed there overnight, the rest of us were at their daughter's home a short distance away.  Our accommodations were very nice but we missed the personal interaction of our FF experiences.  A short walk from our host's house we watched brandy being distilled and large wool rugs being washed and enjoyed chatting with a retired woman who happily showed us family pictures.  She said all her neighbors would probably be jealous that she got to talk to us! Other stops included a visit a woodcarver, a lovely and serene nunnery and a small peasant's museum, all worthwhile.  Our trip from Maramures to Sighisoara thru the Carpathian Mountains, four hours and fifty eight minutes according to google maps, may have taken us a bit longer but the beautiful scenery and  expertise of our great driver made up for it.  late in the afternoon we had the opportunity to visit a home with two gypsy sisters.  One was in her mid twenties, twice divorced with two children.  The other was 14 years old, been forced to quit school after fifth grade and was engaged and didn't seem at all eager for her arranged marriage.  They were willing to answer any of our  questions about their lives and were very open about the limitations their traditions put on their lives.  We ended the day in a beautiful midevil walled city in a hotel once visited by Prince Charles.  We keep pretty fancy company!



  • 23 Aug 2016 12:32 PM | Anonymous member

    We ended the tour's home hosting experience with a breakfast back at the site of our dinner last evening.  Some of our group had stayed there overnight, the rest of us were at their daughter's home a short distance away.  Our accommodations were very nice but we missed the personal interaction of our FF experiences.  A short walk from our host's house we watched brandy being distilled and large wool rugs being washed and enjoyed chatting with a retired woman who happily showed us family pictures.  She said all her neighbors would probably be jealous that she got to talk to us! Other stops included a visit a woodcarver, a lovely and serene nunnery and a small peasant's museum, all worthwhile.  Our trip from Maramures to Sighisoara thru the Carpathian Mountains, four hours and fifty eight minutes according to google maps, may have taken us a bit longer but the beautiful scenery and  expertise of our great driver made up for it.  late in the afternoon we had the opportunity to visit a home with two gypsy sisters.  One was in her mid twenties, twice divorced with two children.  The other was 14 years old, been forced to quit school after fifth grade and was engaged and didn't seem at all eager for her arranged marriage.  They were willing to answer any of our  questions about their lives and were very open about the limitations their traditions put on their lives.  We ended the day in a beautiful midevil walled city in a hotel once visited by Prince Charles.  We keep pretty fancy company!



  • 22 Aug 2016 1:23 PM | Anonymous member

    After attending a wonderful rock concert the evening before we left Cluj Napoca and drove four hours to Surdesti where the oldest tallest wooden church in the world is located. This church is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. We were all impressed by the structure and the adjoining Cemetary. 

    We than continued on to Sighet, Rominia to tour the Anti Communist Memorial. This was a very sobering experience for all of us to realize what had happened to the country and the people of Romania after World War II ended and the rest of the world allowed Russia to take over the country. 

    This was followed  by a more enjoyable experience, the Merry Cemetary, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.  Here is were the wooden crosses carry a funny epitaph about the person's life or what their profession was during their life. A very unique Cemetary I must say. 

    We than continued on to the world's tallest wooden church which is currently under construction.  At this location we were within a stones throw of the Ukrainian  border  and our guide told us Ukraine wifi popped up on his iPhone.   Very expensive to say the least. 

    Our final destination for the day was a home hosted dinner and a Maramurees folklore music and dance show. After sampling the Romanian homemade brandy(blueberry flavor the best) we all participated in the locale folk dancing before dinner.  After a wonderful dinner and more brandy we all retired for the evening at this Romanian "Bed and Breakfest" and look forward to another day of adventure in this wonderful country. 


  • 20 Aug 2016 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our group began ou official tour in Plaza of the Revoluion (1989) and stopped again at the Palace of the Parliament which is the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. We made our way out of Bucharest via the scenic Olt River Gorge stopping at the Cozia Monastery which was beautiful. Lunch was a quick bite at a stop along the river and we drove to the charming Saxon town of Sibiu. During our walking tour we saw the Great and Lesser squares in Old Town, the surrounding defense walls and towers and many merchant houses featuring the 'sleepy eye' dormers. We toured the Bruckenthal Museum which was the second museum to open in all of Europe. There was a car rally going on in the Great Square by the hotel and we enjoyed looking at all the cars.  We were on our own for dinner and Helen F and I enjoyed people watching while eating our meal followed by a delicious gelato. 

  • 19 Aug 2016 4:15 AM | Anonymous member

    Today was the first day that our group of eleven have all been together.  We formally start our tour tomorrow, but today we gather at 9:30 to travel to the Ethnographic Village to visit 300 historic buildings from 17-19 century that have been saved, dismantled, and reconstructed on this site.  Very interesting.

    For a complete blog, please visit http://worrallwind.blogspot.com.


  • 18 Aug 2016 12:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Thursday, August 18.  Our group has arrived in Budapest by a variety of routes and airlines, but somehow we all found our way to Hotel Berthelot.  After a nice buffet breakfast, we decided to tour the Old Town part of Bucharest by taking the Metro to the Old Town and then walking back.  Along the way we encountered a man staging a one -man protest against the local hospital, so apparently freedom of speech is alive and well in Romania.  The Metro was easy to navigate, and soon took us to the Old Town.  The variety of architecture is striking.  There is no one style, but you can find old buildings in Georgian, Romanesque, French Colonial, even half-timbered, alongside ultra modern buildings interspersed with the ugly utilitarian concrete block buildings of the communist era, and there are also many that were obviously formerly grand but are now abandoned and in a state of decay.    We looked around a historic hotel, Hanu-Lui Manuc and an Eastern Orthodox church of Saint Anthony, built in 1559 but restored after a fire in 1847.  It is typical of the Wallachian 16th century churches, with alternating colors of brick and a remarkable stone portal added in 1715.  We laughed at the creative names of bars, restaurants, and stores in the historic bordello street:  Bordello Bar:  Sometimes Love Is Worth Paying For.  Nightclub:  Aren't We All Sinners?    The Stavropolis Monastery, built on 1724, has an ornate sanctuary, but I most liked the lovely colonnaded courtyard with vines and fountains.  We went to the Museum of the History of Romania, with its treasury of ancient gold.   We had lunch in a very historic restaurant in the old town, and several of us ordered the Senior Meal -- mine was three plump sausages, potato wedges and beer-- for about $2.75.  great!

    ---Helen Flach

  • 17 Aug 2016 12:50 AM | Anonymous member

    Greetings from Bucharest where we arrived by plane from Timisoara this morning. Looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces later today! Lynn and George, August 17, 2016

© Friendship Force of Sacramento
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software