After the unexpected welcome on the roads of Georgia and the heat of the capital Tbilisi it is time to give our undivided attention to several interesting places in the countryside of Georgia. They deserve some of our time.
There are several things up ahead which make our stay in Georgia unforgettable.
Gori, known as the birth city of Stalin
This city carries the atmosphere of the Soviet Union and something more… The fun thing about these places is that you expect them to look the last decades have passed them by, And some things meet your expectations. The buildings and the city center honestly look socialist, but the life there has never stopped and the children playfully dip in the fountain only steps away from the museum of Stalin.
This city is most likely supported by the tourists, who would like to know more about Stalin and his deeds, especially his train carriage which is stationed next to the museum. To enter it you have to pay an additional fee, but for me this carriage is the most memorable part of our visit. After we read the letters between Stalin and people X, Y, Z (I don’t want to offend them by not remembering their names correctly) we had to move on with our walk along the main pedestrian street. It had two lanes on both sides. The fountain was a good alternative in the heat, but it was full of children and we had no choice but to enter in the first welcoming restaurant. Despite our expectations, the food was good and the prices were affordable. The atmosphere reminded us of the yesterday’s brawl but there was no sign of violence. Completely satisfied, we headed for the place we had parked our car, thanks to a helpful Georgian.
Is there anything better than taking a dip in the fountain?
In contrast, we are about to tell you about the Uplistsikhe Cave Town. Apart from being an interesting phenomenon it is also comparatively hard to find.
The root of our problem was our inability to find the right exit from Gori. Even when we got lost in a sleepy village we didn’t see a trace of the famous Georgian stereotype of scary people. Nobody ate us in the dark, especially because it was day and the food there is a thousand times better tasting than us. Helpful people in the middle of the village gave us directions on our dumb map how to take the correct turns.
The rock formations were worth the climb. When we reached nearly the highest point, where a small church is situated, we laid ourselves out on the rocks just like the small lizards around us.
The old capital Mtskheta is a preserved small town with cobblestone streets and a big church, which is full of history.
The nearby river is known to raise its lever and sometimes it is suitable for a boat trip. For an old capital Mtskheta attracts lots of attention. They were even shooting a film in front of the city gate. The architecture and the feel of antiquity are well-preserved. Even some new houses were built in the same style.
We ate something delicious on a stick – nuts, covered with something sweet with fruity taste, the whole dessert had an elongated form. it was a small snack before the long breakfast and hazelnuts with blueberry coating. It turned out that those treats can be found in Etara in Bulgaria.
Georgia has a plan of its own
We tried to follow our own plan, but at some points it didn’t work out. The weather changed our plans drastically in Tbilisi. The reality of the roads dissuaded us from visiting the sea resorts. The lack of options for night stay was also a factor. However, the mountain town Borjomi was introduced into the plan with flying colors and offered us a lungful of mountain air. Our attempts to shorten the journey by omitting places like the local version of Jurassic Park near Kutaisi, turned out to be fruitless. Not only were we chased by a storm, but the dirt roads tried to kill out rented Opel. If you encounter a road which looks shorter on the map and has a suspicious color, avoid it! However, if we had followed our own advice we would’ve missed one of the most genuine views in the country.
Georgia showed us the need to be flexible and how naïve it is to build unrealistic expectations about a place beforehand. The town which was a bit too much for us was Kutaisi. Our last evening was there. We weren’t charmed by the hotel or the service, nor by the difficulty we had with finding it. Yes, we were spoiled by the million-dollar view we had in Tbilisi and the new apartment in Borjomi and the mountain air and the feast that was our dinner. We ended up in a humble restaurant in the company of several meats and lemonades in Kutaisi next to the women’s market. It was a gloomy place, even scary after dark. Some of the palms on the streets were misleading. It is a still developing town and it is not for not for the fainthearted. Pay Kutaisi a visit, if you have more time in the country.
Which are your favorite places in Georgia? Tell us about them and we promise to visit again this wonderful country and tell you of the things we experience!
This article was brought to you in English by Marta Petrova.
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