Wednesday, August 17

“Welcome to Transnistria … and Hala Madrid!”




Airport Chisinau it is small, modern and exemplary cleanliness. Access to Molodavia it’s simple. Passport, COVID-19 vaccination and only if you have very bad luck they ask you the reason for the trip. Not even that to me. TO Abraham Romero (The World), yes. The consequence is the question of whether he has tickets to the match. It’s a prank. Past that process in just a couple of minutes

In short, we collect the suitcases, we get a Moldovan phone card to avoid the bleeding of universal rates and we rent the car. Another management without problems, beyond that there is no GPS. “There is no problem, the road leaves from here and it is straight ahead,” says the boy from the agency. The same as when we asked for


tells us that he has been to France, Germany or Italy, but never in that hot zone of


. He gives us all the documentation of the car, including a passport card of the vehicle to cross the internal border. After trying to open the trunk of a car that was not, and make the driver come out to see what happened, ours arrives. A big new Fiat. The “you will see that tartanta” also remains in vain of the false myths that are mounted before this type of trip. Until


, our destination, marks the road just over 50 kilometers. That is the maximum speed allowed on a bumpy road and with constant warnings of radar, fixed and section controls. After a


phone navigator and realize in time that it was best to return to the route we were taking if we do not want to spend the night between craters, the interior border appears before us. Without loss, it is just over half an hour from Chisinau airport. The first filter is the




. Three agents talk, smoke and don’t even make us stop. Suddenly, an explosion of light changes the landscape. The letters are no longer in the Latin alphabet and are in Cyrillic. We change Romanian for Russian. We are greeted by a huge shield, identical to those of former Soviet republics. A few meters later, the stop. From a dark sentry box, only a young voice comes out but we do not see the face, the universal word sounds


. We deliver all three. The third is that of Chema Rey, a BRAND photographer. In addition, we give the paper that allows you to enter the car and the vehicle registration. He asks us for a stay and a hotel. Ready.

We are inside. Or we think so. Two meters further we are stopped by another agent. He only speaks Russian and he doesn’t seem very friendly. He asks us for the documentation and barely looks at it. He demands with gestures that we open the trunk, something that is not as easy as you might think. He points to the suitcases and says something. We do not understand him until he gestures for us to park the car and accompany him to a booth. First moment somewhat tense. We left the car open and a window down. It’s cold, but nothing exaggerated. On the way we tell him that we are journalists and that we come to the game. His face relaxes. He takes us into the booth, says something to an agent sitting on the other side of the counter. We only understand the word football at the end. With a military haircut, another young agent asks us for our passports. We give them to you, along with the Sheriff’s invitation in which it is remembered and emphasized that the Spanish press enters the


to cover a football game we should not make political information. Two passports are back fast with permission to spend a week in the territory. Mine, being the driver’s, takes longer. You have to pay four euros to enter the car. It is stipulated. We deliver European currency, without problem. During the duration of the control, just under a quarter of an hour, the border control agent only asked us two questions. It is serious, very much, and the scene is reminiscent of those in the Cold War movies. When he returns all my documentation to me, he raises his head, a smile is drawn on his face. “Welcome to Transnistria … And hala Madrid!”. The atmosphere relaxes, we say goodbye with laughter and


. Outside, the other agent waves to us, the permission for us to enter now with all the laws in Transnistria.

Suddenly the road is no longer bumpy and much brighter. A tank is displayed as a monument upon entering Bender. Barely 10 minutes later we let


at your hotel; in another five we are in ours. In the distance are the lights of the Sheriff’s Stadium. The entry to the country that does not exist has been much easier than what we live in the Euro in England. Of travel, legends and exaggerations.

This content is exclusive for registered users

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.