Georgia - Less known beauty

Tripoto
1st Jan 2019
Day 1

Georgia! How many of you know that it is a country. As per my poll, people can only relate it to US state of Georgia. But, there is another Gerogia, a county in the eastern Europe or western Asia, you can say it's in Eurasia.

I and my wife decided to pay a visit to this amazing country in Jan 2019. It was peak winters at that time and we knew it would be harsh. But, we kind of love winters and it reflects a different kind of landscape.

Georgian Winters #georgia #gudauri #skiresort #tripotocommunity

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Indians can obtain visa in two methods :
1. E-Visa which you can get in a day but all the necessary scrutiny will be done at the immigration counter in Georgia and recent stats shows huge rejection.
2. Stamp visa through VFS, in which you go through scrutiny and almost all the time you get entry to the Gerogia.

I would recommend everyone to apply for georgian visa through VFS.

We took a Air Astana flight from New Delhi to Tbilisi via Almaty (Kazakhstan).

Almaty Airport #winters #airport #Kazakhstan #centralasia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We reached  Tbilisi at 9PM in the night and checked into our Airbnb Falcon Apartments near Rustaveli Avenue.

Tbilisi Nightscape #tbilisi #georgia #night

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Next morning, we set off to explore the city and get a feel of its culture. At first, it looked similar to any European city. But, observing closely I could find many similarities with Asian culture and cuisine.

It is a perfect mix of European and Asian culture. If you look at the georgian script, it appears to resemble the Dravidian scripts in India.

Tbilisi- near Rustavali St.

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Exploring the city on foot . . #tbilisi #georgia #underground #passage #walking

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Mt'k'vari river bridge . . #tbilisi #georgia #cityview

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro
Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We explored the church, historical monuments and tried out georgian cuisine which resembled a lot like indian and middle eastern. One of the cuisine which you must try is Khachapuri, available in different variant based on the inside filling.

Restaurant in Tbilisi . . . #tbilisi #georgia #tripotocommunity

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We spent the evening on the peace bridge and rike park and subsequently took a ropeway till Narikala Fortress. The view from top is quite splendid and we could watch the sun setting over the city. We stayed there until the whole city got lit up and the sight was just amazing.

Bridge of Peace #peacebridge #tbilisi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

View of Peace bridge from Rike Park . . #rikepark #tbilisi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Rike Park

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

View of Tbilisi city from top of Narikala Fortress . . . #cityview #tbilisi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Nightscape of Tbilisi . . . #tbilisi #cityview #tbilisi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

While returning we took the same route but the whole setup of the lanes looks completely different. We had our dinner in a local restaurant and then called it a day.

Peace bridge at night

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Streets of tbilisi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Taking a stroll in the night

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We had booked ourself a tour to Ananuri and Gudauri through World Sightseeing Tours for the next day!

Day 2

We got up early for our bus to catch at the freedom circle.

Morning hues

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Today's plan was to visit. the Gudauri Ski Resort and try out some winter sports.

First stop was the Castle complex of Ananuri which is 70km from Tbilisi. It is an ancient and magnificent complex of Church and Tower and has been a site of many battles.

Ananuri Castle Complex. #ananuri #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Fort walls of Ananuri

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Ananuri Fortress

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

On the way to Ananuri, you will pass by Zhinvali water reservoir. There is an old church built by King Tamar in 12th century which is underwater and when the water level decreases the church reappears. This church is considered to be one of the most mystical places in Georgia.

Zhinvali Water Reservoir

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

After exploring the fortress complex of Ananuri, we were on our way to Gudauri region. We reached the Ski resort by 10 and had roughly 3 hours to spend.

Our priorities were clear. We wanted to try the snow scooter and then go up the rope way to look at the view from top of the mountain.

Tying my luck with the Snow scooter

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Rope way in Gudauri Ski Resort . . #gudauri #skiresort

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

View from top #gudauri #kazbegi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Skiing at #Gudauri in #Georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

3 hours went in a flash and we had to leave for lunch with the group. We had our lunch on the way down at a restaurant by the mountains. We reached back to Tbilisi by evening and wanted to spend the evening at TV Tower looking over the city view from a different perspective.

View from Funicular top

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

TV Tower

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

TV Tower changing lights in every 10 seconds

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro
Day 3

Today's plan was a hectic one as we had to cover a lot of distance. We had planned to go to Rabati, Vardzia and Borjomi. We set off early and reached Rabati in the morning. The castle was huge and it had an old and a new section with different architecture. We went around and explored the different views of the castle.

Rabati Castle . . #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

View of the town from the Castle in #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

After an hour and so , we were on our way to Vardzia caves. The road leading to it was quite surreal. I was in love with that place.

Roads leading to #Vardzia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Breathtaking views of #vardzia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We reached Vardzia by noon and went straight to the caves.  Vardzia looked like it was taken directly from the pages of fictional tale of Lord of the Rings. It is a cave monastery built by the Georgian in the Caucasus for their Queen Tamar.

In the late 1100s, Georgia was resisting the onslaught of Mongol. That is why, Queen Tamar ordered the construction of this underground sanctuary in 1185 carving into the side of the Erusheli mountain. The sheer size of the monastery amazed me. Fortress extended 13 levels and had more than 6000 apartments including a throne room, large church and a bell tower. It was assumed that the only access to this place was via a secret tunnel who entrance was near the MtKvari river.

The history lover inside me wanted so badly to go those tunnels but it was not possible. Still I was glad because I get to see those caves in person.

Vardzia Caves #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Way to the Church and bell tower in Vardzia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Admiring the landscape, harsh winters yet so beautiful

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Closer looks at the #caves

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We went inside few of the caves and the church and roam around a bit exploring and clicking pictures. It was like a child's playground filled with stairs and ample space for a hide and seek game.

We returned down the mountain and stopped by the river to have a lunch, for which we had given order while going up. We finished our lunch and roamed around a bit looking at the marvelous structure just one more time before leaving for Borjomi.

Our restaurant by the river facing the Vardzia caves

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Vardzia caves , up there on the mountains

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

It was already late evening when we reached Borjomi. To all of my readers, Borjomi is a resort town in Georgia, well knows for it mineral water springs in the Central Park. Our guide took us straight inside the park and started explaining the history behind the park and the water spring.

Water in those springs is of volcanic origin, which by natural standard are 1500 years old. It rises to the surface from the depth of 8-10km, pushed up by natural gas pressure. Borjomi water doesn't cool down before it reaches the surface and come our warm getting enriched on its way up with a composition of 60 various minerals found in the rock layers of Caucasus Mountains. We refilled our bottles with the warm water coming from the spring and drank it. Our guide explained us the numerous health benefits of drinking this water.

We left Borjomi pretty soon as we were getting late and reached Tbilisi by nightfall.

The next day was rest day for us as we were traveling to Batumi by train. It is a five hour journey from Tbilisi which will take you through the countryside to the Black sea coast.

Day 4

Our train was at 7am in the morning and we reached station half an hour ago just to avoid any hassle. Pretty much looked like any european station. Train was right on time and we had a comfortable journey to Batumi.

We reached Batumi at 1Pm in the afternoon and took a taxi to reach our airbnb near the black sea coast. It was a small apartment with spectacular views of the Black sea.

View from the apartment

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Nightfall at Batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

One of the coziest places we have stayed till date #batumi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We roamed around the Luna Park in the evening and went out for dinner in a nearby restaurant recommended by our host.  We had grown fond of eating mushroom and trout in Georgia and it was like a staple diet for us.

Musical Water fountains in #batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Amazing McDonalds architecture #batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro
Day 5

For the first time in Georgia, we had not planned anything for the day. So we thought of going out on foot and explore the city.

It is lot more fun this way as you can stay at a place as long as you want and move according to your pace.

We started off walking by the seafront promenade enjoying the breeze from the Black Sea and then found a quiet spot on the beach to chill.

Chilling at the beach #blacksea #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Our quiet little spot on the beach #batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Manisha enjoying the breeze in her hairs and soaking up the sun #sunkissed #beachlove

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Promenade #blacksea #batumi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

After spending an hour on beach, we decided to move on and went along the beach and came up to the amazing Batumi Shota State university building.  We roamed around the park near the university before making a headway into the city lanes and finding a place for the lunch.

University

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Red cabin by the beach

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Post lunch, we went to see the Dolphinarium but to our bad luck, it was closed on that day. So, with dismay we sat near the Nurigeli Lake and tried to cheer ourselves for the other adventures yet to come through the rest of the day.

Nurigeli Lake

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

By the lake

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Next we decided to go back to the promenade and walk along the beach. We came across many amazing establishment and most of them were closed as it was off season.  Finally reaching up to the pier which gave us an amazing view of the  sea and the skyline of the city.

Statue of Love on the Batumi Beach

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Batumi Pier

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Skyline of Batumi from the Pier

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Walked along the seafront and finally reached the Miracle park which housed the Lighthouse, Ferris Wheel and many amazing structures.

Miracle Park #batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Batumi iconic buildings

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Batumi Beach

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

It was already evening and we wanted to look at the city view. What best way to look at it other than top of the ferris wheel!

Harbor

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

#cityview

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Also, stored within the Miracle park was the statue of Ali and Nino. It is a statue of two figures, representing a Muslim boy Ali and a georgian princess Nino from a famous novel by Azerbaijani author Kurban. The tragic love story ends with Ali and Nino separated by the invasion of Soviet Russia.

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

The love statue begins to move every day at 7 P.M, merging for a short embrace, before leaving each other behind. We were lucky to witness the movement. We were at the right place at the right time.

It was already evening and we were starving. So we quickly made our way into the city and walked across the Batumi Boulevard looking at the stunning display of the water fountain show on the way.

Batumi Boulevard #batumi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Finally reached Grill Town near the Rustaveli Avenue. The ambience was perfect and food was super tasty.

Grill Town

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

After a generous dinner, we headed back to our apartment to pack and get ready for tomorrow morning train back to Tbilisi.

Day 6

We near almost at the end of the tour of Georgia and wanted to do some souvenir and wine shopping. We reached Tbilisi around noon and went to our airbnb situated near the Funicular.

Airbnb in Tbilisi

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We had got a tip from a friend for a underground cellar for doing the wine shopping. So we went straight to the cellar and bought a rose and a red wine. Just a fyi, many theories suggest the first origination of wine is in these georgian lands. So we were quite psyched to have got some wine back to India from there.

Wine cellar #tbilisi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Wine everywhere ! #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

While returning we crossed a few old buildings of tbilisi which were quite colorful.

Old buildings

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Tbilisi ♥️

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We enjoyed the evening at our place and looked at the sunset from the rooftop.

Evening view of the TV tower from the airbnb

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Evening talks on the rooftops

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro
Day 7

Today was the last day in Georgia and we still had few places to see in Tbilisi but not much time. Woke up early to see the sunrise from the roof.

Lazy Mornings #tbilisi #georgia

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Sunrise ????

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

We set off after having our breakfast and went towards the rike park, straight up till Holy Trinity Cathedral.

This is a magnificent piece of Gerogian architecture, quite the jewel of the city.
It glows in the night and acts as a center master piece in the nightscape.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

This is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the third largest eastern  orthodox cathedral of the whole world.

Majestic structure

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

Inside the complex of Holy Trinity cathedral

Photo of Georgia - Less known beauty by Sushil Patro

It was already noon and we had a flight to catch in the evening. Finally rushed into our airbnb and packed our things and set on our return journey to the airport.

We were following the same flight route hack to India via Almaty through Air Astana.

That's all folks!

Until the next adventure.....

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