I’m sitting by the beach, this is about as far south as I can go in Transnistria. Looking out across the lake I can see Ukraine, the town of Gradeny. It’s a sunny day so the beach is full of people, playing with the slide, splashing about on pedalos, or just sunbathing on the sand.

beach

I’ve noticed here that children actually use the playgrounds. That might sound odd but in my experience post-soviet settlements always have empty swing sets and roundabouts and stuff near housing blocks, and until now I’d not really seen families making use of them.

Sitting here you can’t see the power plant, it’s quite well hidden on the path up here too. There is a very slight burnt smell in the town, but I can’t tell if that’s the plant or just an out of control barbeque. There’s also an elaborate network of pipes running into town, they’re so large that you need to cross them over little bridges. Gas pipes maybe, but where’s the gas coming from or going to?

sideways statue man

I tried to buy a postcard here, I figured this was most likely the place where I could get one. I asked in a stall and the shop lady walked me all the way to the post office, where they sold only postcards of Tiraspol and none of Dnestrovsk. So now I have a pack of Tiraspol postcards.

town_emblem

On my way out here I passed the ‘1st May’ factory and took a photo of it. A soldier immediately appeared and shouted at me to delete it. I didn’t think it was a military complex? The train tracks coming out of it lead straight into the Kvint factory across the road. Unless they’re making weaponised brandy…

I finished sewing up the hole in my trousers this morning, it seems to be holding firm. I’ll be more careful when sliding down rough concrete slopes on my bum in future.

On the way back the bus driver smokes, he sees his mate cycling down the road and pulls over to chat with him. A few minutes later he puts on the radio and starts signing along.

I’m not clear on the ticketing policy here, I bought a ticket from the stop on the way in and on the way out, but the driver never asked for them. On another ride yesterday the driver didn’t accept cash, only tickets. The rules seem to change with each journey, it doesn’t bother me too much though because it’s never expensive.