Trip to Georgia(Tbilisi)
Beautiful Country of Georgia.
Georgia is a beautiful country situated in the Caucasian region. It is located close to Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. A very beautiful, calm and serene place that can be visited throughout the year. We have different activities for winter and summer. We visited in winter which falls between the months of November to February. Winters are very cold and temperature falls below zero degree Celsius. So it is very essential to carry warm clothing including warmers, jackets, mufflers and if you have a child then all essential items including medication for the child.
The people of this country are very hospitable, honest, grounded and extremely helpful. Although language maybe a problem, some of them do speak English.
The generosity and hospitality of the country was experienced at the very beginning when we arrived at the airport, wine was provided to every individual after completing the formalities in the immigration. Since, we were arriving from Kuwait it was visa on arrival for us.
We stayed at Hotel Horizont, which was located 5 miles from Rustaveli Theatre and 6 miles from Tbilisi Opera and Ballet, which is the heart of the city and easily accessible to all places that we needed to visit. The hotel however, did not offer us food, hence it was quiet challenging to order food and going out for dinner so late seemed out of question. The staff however, were extremely helpful and we somehow managed to order a very cheesy pizza from an online food app.
We stayed for 4 days and began our first day by visiting Narikala Fortress, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Mother of Georgia and The Bridge of Peace Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. The feeling of visiting any holy place always gives me a sense of peace and calm. We felt as though we were meditating. All the churches and cathedrals here, had a story to tell and we were fascinated by the art and culture of the place which was so different and unique from what we experienced so far.
What was more interesting to hear is about their culture and tradition which they did not fail to follow over time. The Christians here do not follow the Roman calendar hence Christmas in Georgia is not celebrated on December 25th. It is celebrated on 7th of January every year because the Georgian Orthodox church use the old ‘Julian Calendar’ for their festivals. On Christmas day people go on a parade called ‘Alilo Parade’ on the street. Children love to take part in the parade as sweets are provided. Georgians dress themselves in their special clothes and costumes from the Christmas story for the parade. They also hold the Georgian flag and sing Christmas carols. Overall, if you are lucky enough to travel during this time it is completely different Christmas experience from the rest of the world. Definitely worth an experience!
The Traditional Georgian Christmas tree is called ‘Chichilaki’ which is way different from a regular Christmas tree seen in the rest of the world. This is made of dry wood like hazelnut or walnut branches. They decorate it with small fruits and sweets. It looks so pretty and we were told that as per tradition they burn the tree one day earlier to Georgian Orthodox Epiphany which falls on 19th of January.
Our next day's visit was very interesting again, we travelled to Gudauri a beautiful snow-capped hill station, where you can witness nature at its very best. Gudauri is located 120km from Tbilisi and it usually takes about 2 hours to reach from the capital. It is a destination spot for skiing, speed riding and paragliding or even if you just need to take pictures and enjoy the scenic beauty! The snow is so bright that we need sunglasses.
Some people take a cable car to go further ahead to ski from long distance all the way from above to go down. About 150km further ahead of Gudauri is Kazbegi which is at a much higher altitude offering the same winter sports and adventure. We spent a whole day in Gudauri and did not go to Kazbegi due to heavy snow and the roads were blocked and it was not safe. Overall a must visit place if you visit Georgia.
What more, we loved it so much we visited the place again the following day to spend more time in the snow.
Finally, the most important subject, the food of Georgia which is highly influenced by the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours. The Georgian food and wine is best noticeable through Supra which is a traditional feast featuring a range of assorted dishes accompanied with wine which usually lasts for several hours.
Some of the most popular Georgian delicacies are:
Khinkali: This is a popular dumpling made with variety of filling inside it like lamb, pork, beef, chicken and even vegetarian if requested. Lamb is usually a favourite for all as it is found in abundance in this place. However, we stuck with Chicken and vegetarian.
Khachapuri: This one is the most relished, yummy and satisfying food of Georgia. No meal in Georgia is complete without this and it is Georgian classic cheese and bread at its very best! This is prepared in many different ways with different layers, fillings and shapes. They also prepare it with eggs, potatoes and custom made options for fillings in some places.
Misvadi: This is a very juicy meat grill which is made of veal, lamb or pork. Once these juicy meats are grilled they remove them from skewers and shake it in a pot which has onions and pomegranate juice. This yummy delicacy is so full of flavour and all the flavour comes out of the caramelized onion and Pomegranate juice.
There are many other delicacies like Chaqauli, Kharcho with Gomi, Mixed Mushroom stew. They also have many Indian, Italian and Arabic restaurants. However, these are not easily accessible and we must be prepared to eat what is available on the go.
Shopping is an important aspect of any trip and we have lots of souvenirs that we can purchase. Souvenirs like fidget magnets, swords, mother of Georgia, bags and some wonderful pretty accessories for women and many more are available to purchase.
Along with these we should also ensure to buy some of Georgian edible souvenirs like wine, honey, chacha, churchkela and tea. You have to check if your country allows you to bring these back home.
You can visit, Old Tbilisi market, Tbilisi mall, Dry Bridge flea market, East point shopping to buy these souvenirs. However, we have to ensure and keep a whole evening free and stay prepared to walk a lot if we need an enjoyable shopping experience.We still had some places to visit which were missed out due to lack of time.
Nevertheless, I would like to conclude my wonderful travel experience article by mentioning that Georgia is a very beautiful, relaxing and not so expensive tourist spot to visit. We can have an amazing holiday with a touch of European experience in a fairly good price. This will definitely be a holiday to remember if we plan it well. Definitely one of our most memorable holidays we had so far.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Anitha Mohan