Georgia – Meandering Rivers, Magnificent Mountains and Great Cities

by

1 Rioni_river_-_Georgia_(Europe)Georgia is characterized by magnificent mountain ranges, lakes, meandering rivers, hot springs, stunning valleys, gorges and the Black Sea on its west. This beautiful country lies in South Caucasus, sharing borders with Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Georgia is divided into the regions of Kartli, Rioni, Kakheti, South-western Georgia, North-western Georgia and Samtskhe-Javakheti.
The lush Kakheti region offers miles of vineyards, monasteries and warm seaside towns such as Batumi. Kakheti is one of the main regions where wine is produced in Georgia. Many archaeologists believe Georgia is the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and Neolithic wine production. The ancient traditional Georgian winemaking method involved using clay jars. You will find some of the best wines in Georgia. Popular white wines from this area include Tbilisuri, rkatsiteli and Tsinandali. Red wines that may be a welcomed drink at the dining table include Kindzmarauli, Khvanchkara, Mukuzani and Saperavi.
Tbilisi – The Capital of Georgia
Kartli region is home to the cultural and economic center of Georgia. Tbilisi was founded in the fifth century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. It is now the largest city in the country. The city lies in the center of eastern Georgia on the banks of the Mtkvari River between the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range.

The City of Tbilisi

The City of Tbilisi

If you have a free evening in the city, definitely visit the Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater, 26 Shavteli Street and phone: +995 32 2 986 590. Rezo Gabriadze offers a spectacular environment and outstanding puppets. The third floor exhibits modern dolls and puppets and most of them are for sale. You can also visit the Animated Puppet Museum housing a unique collection of various cinema puppets. The museum is located at 23 Amagleba Street, contact number: +995 32 2 995 788.
Old Tbilisi is a wonderful place to wander around with its charming shops, winding streets, balconies and ancient churches. Chardini Street houses a number of art galleries and you can find eye-catching modern art in Sioni Street. Ensure to visit the suburbs Betelmi for breathtaking vistas of the Narikala Fortress and Solaki to explore the sulphur baths, churches and mosques. On the south side of the Metekhi Bridge lies the district Abanotubani which is home to several sulphur baths. Remember to bring your own sandals and towel.
Narikala Fortress

Narikala Fortress

The climb up to the Narikala Fortress is pretty steep, but it is very rewarding. The Botanical gardens and the Upper Betelmi Churches are located next to the fortress. The effort will reward you with the most amazing views of the city below. The Botanical Garden has a great collection of plants and a beautiful waterfall.
Explore Turtle Lake situated in the hilly outskirts of the city. You will love the cocktails, snack bars and restaurants overlooking the lake. While you are in close proximity, you can also visit Lake Lisi for a swim or for a pleasant walk.
Some of the main tourist attractions in Tbilisi include the Georgian National Museum, the Sameba Cathedral, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theater, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater and the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Anchiskhati Church, Church of Metekhi, Sioni Cathedral and the Narikala Fortress are the most important landmarks in the city.
The Janashia Museum, 3 Rustaveli Avenue, is home to many Caucasian and Georgian artefacts of ethnography and archaeology. The museum houses jewellery dating back to the fifth century BC, Georgian coins, medieval coins and material from the Bronze Age. You can also visit the G. Chitaia Ethnographical Open Air Museum at Tortoise’s Pond Lane for exhibitions of craft and household devices. The Numismatic Museum at G. Leonidze Street houses coins of Georgian kings and Turkey.
Explore Other Great Places in Georgia
Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi

Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi

The City of Kutaisi, surrounded by deciduous forests, is located along the banks of the Rioni River. The city is the oldest in Transcaucasia and home to the famous Bagrati Cathedral and the Gelati Monastery. The Motsameta Church is one of the well-known churches in Kutaisi. The Geguti Palace in Kutaisi was once the residence of Georgian monarchs. Ensure to also visit the Sataplia cave and observe footprints of dinosaurs.
In the heart of the High Caucasus lies the famous and beautiful Pankisi Gorge. Challenge one of the hiking trails and explore old fortifications, churches and turrets throughout the valley. A bus takes about three to four hours to travel from Tbilisi to the gorge.
Another major tourist attraction is the Stalin Museum in Gori. In 1878, Josef Dzhugshvili, known as Josef Stalin, was born here and is the only place where his statue can be found. The city is home to a fortress overlooking the mountains.
Gori Fortress

Gori Fortress

The landscapes get more beautiful if you travel north from Tbilisi towards the border with Russia. Explore the Khada Valley and Gudauri in close proximity to Russia. You can enjoy a magnificent view of Mount Kazbeg from the small town of Kazbegi. There are great hiking trails towards Tsminda Sameba, the Georgian church, where you can experience amazing views across the mountain ranges.
Georgian Cuisine
Restaurants and Cafes are widely available in Georgia and fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant in the markets. Georgian food typically involves garlic, walnut, vinegar, herbs, red pepper and other spices. Walnuts are usually used in desserts and to thicken sauces and soups.
Khinkhali

Khinkhali

The Georgian dumpling, Khinkhali, is a popular dish. The dumplings are filled with mushrooms, potatoes or meat. The vegetable paste topped with seeds, Pkhali, is delicious. A Kababi is meat grilled on a skewer and often wrapped in flat bread. The Georgian bread filled with cheese, called Kachapuri, is absolutely delicious. Kachapuri consists of layers of bread and melted cheese.
Visa Requirements for Georgia
Visitors to Georgia must obtain a visa from one of the Georgian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 3 months.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: