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Discovering Georgia

June 19, 2016

 

Georgia was not very lucky with me as a visitor. 

I came here directly from Armenia, which I fell in love with and didn't want to leave, so Georgia would inevitably be compared and had to compete with it in all areas. It's like breaking up with a boyfriend who you still in love with and start seeing new one, but thinking and missing the ex-one and always comparing their appearance and every their action. 

So, I arrived in Georgia, while badly in love with Armenia. But I still try to be objective. 

I arrived on the night train, as I didn't want to lose day time, which can be spent on sightseeing. The train left from Yerevan at 9.30 pm and arrived to Tbilisi at 7.50 am. There is a train every two days and it costs from 20 to 30 USD depending on a seat.  Apparently, this is not the most popular type of transport, as my train had only three cars. The interior of the train made me feel like I've gone 20-25 years in the past. But this even has some romance. 

You can also go from Yerevan to Tbilisi (and back, of course) by minibus. They are in great demand, goes on several times a day, the ticket costs about 15 USD and the time on the road is 5-7 hours depending on traffic and customs. 

Georgia is hard to call the cheap country for vacation. Of course, this is still not Europe, but already not South-East Asia, where I spent more than a year. Even in comparison with neighboring Armenia prices here (food, alcohol, taxi, accommodation) are 1,5-2 times higher (Armenian prices are in the previous post). Even the price of tickets from Moscow to Tbilisi are 20-25% higher than to Yerevan. 

So, it was organizational issues. Now, about the emotions...

As a big fan of wine, I couldn't wait to arrive in Georgia to try out there as much as I could. Of course, I had just a little. Despite the fact that there is a very popular semi-dry and semi-sweet wines, which was not of my interest, the range of dry wines (which interest me much) is great too. Red and white, young and old... overall, I can't even recommend anything in particular because nothing of what I tasted disappointed me. BUT! This is only about wines that I bought in the store or ordered in the restaurant by whole bottles, which were opened in front of me. I've noticed very unpleasant thing when ordering in restaurants wine by the glass. Several times the wine they brought me was really impossible to drink. It was either a completely different wine, like a cheap draught, or highly diluted, and once I was given the wine, very much tainted with ethanol(!!!) So here's my advice to travelers: all bottles must be opened in front of you!

What I'm definitely willing to sell my soul to the devil for, it's Georgian food. For all those kharcho, khinkali and khachapuri. I was very distressed about the size of my stomach when I felt unable to put in another batch. And Georgian spices and cheese... And it does not matter whether I was at a fancy restaurant or a roadside eatery. One tip, valid at all times and in all countries: avoid places where the tour guides are trying to drag you. They do it because they get a commission for this. But good restaurants don't need to pay someone to attract customers. 

While writing this post, I wanted Georgian wine so badly... Now having a glass :)

In Georgia I was told a legend about how the Georgians got their land. When God handed out land to different nations, the Georgians celebrated something and was late. God has no more land to give them. When Georgians showed up, they told him: "God, we were late because we've been drinking to your health". God liked that and decided to give to Georgians the piece of land he has kept for himself. Yes, Georgia has it all: sea, mountains, rivers, fertile soil. There's plenty to do for travelers, explorers, gourmets and layabouts. There are magnificent landscapes and places with strong energy. I've managed to see a little in five days. I should come back, maybe.

Cheers!

 

#Georgia #trip #travel #discover

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SPECTER photography

 

Inna Nikitina