Georgia. One word, but so many memories. A fascinating, surprising, and a real treasure to discover. Not, in this article, we will not talk about one of the American states. Georgia is a small country in the Caucasus mountains, south of Russia, north of Armenia and Turkey, and has a border with Azerbaijan on the East. Surrounded by mountains it’s an extremely astonishing place that not a lot of people heard of.
Georgia 101 Basics.
Most don’t need a visa to enter Georgia, but it’s always better to check the information before starting your journey. Mexicans, for example, are able to enter Georgia without one for one full year. The same rule applies to all EU citizens.
Don't look at the size of that small country and judge - there're still a lot of places to go and see, even in the capital - Tbilisi! But I want to warn you if you're not used to hiking, walks in the capital’s center could be tiring, especially if you want to take a closer look at Kartlis Deda (Mother Georgia) or enjoy the sight of the whole city from the Narikala fortress. But don't worry - all main attractions are easily accessible with a cable car, which is also a great experience
The official language is Georgian, which has its own unique writing system, but the country is actively encouraging English in itself, so a lot of tourist places will be open for you without any trouble. Also, if you know Russian you could be understood by a large number of Georgians since this nation used to be one of the Soviet Republics.
Some useful basic words in Georgian:
გამარჯობა - Gamarjoba (ga-mar-jo-ba) / Hello
მადლობა - Madloba (mad-lo-ba) / Thank You
არაფრის -Arapris (ara-pris) / You are Welcome
კი Ki (ki) - yes
არა Ara (ara) — No
უკაცრავად - Ukatsravad (u-kats-ra-vad) / Excuse Me
თუ შეიძლება - Tu Sheidzleba (tu she-id-zle-ba) / Please
ვერ გავიგე - Ver Gavige (ver ga-vi-ge) / I Don’t Understand
ნახვამდის - Nakhvamdis (na-khvam-dis) / Goodbye
Georgia 102 Exploring Tbilisi
Tbilisi is divided into two parts by the Kura river, the biggest river of the Caucasus region! One of the main attractions of this city are the beautiful bridges of Love and Peace. Both of them are art pieces and keep lots of interesting stories behind them.
Of course, they also have many cultural buildings like the Holy Trinity Cathedral or the above-mentioned Narikala fortress, yet Tbilisi is a place for modern architecture as well. The Peace Bridge with its bright lights will become your favorite bridge, take a look at the House of Justice which has the form of... well yes, a mushroom. Other buildings like the Rike Concert Hall has the shape of two big tubes. But if that's not enough, all the city is filled with street-art pieces made by different artists in the underground passes.
Also, there are real waterfalls right in the city! All you need to do is go to the huge Botanical garden, which you could explore for hours and still don't get bored, if you're a nature-lover. I got lost in their bamboo forest and then, somehow, found myself in a different part of the garden. Moreover, there's also a zip-line, starting from the Fortress, which will guide you right into the middle of the garden.
If you want to see the capital of Georgia from a high place - there's a lot of ways for it, mountains are everywhere. But, one of the best views, in my opinion, could saw from Mtacminda - theme park, one of the highest points of the city. Especially, you will see the most fascinating view, if you will get on the ferris wheel in this park
Georgia 103 Food and Drinks
The food here speaks a lot about culture. Georgians are very hospitable people and love to invite family and friends over for a feast or Supra. Supra comes from the Georgian word for a tablecloth, which is a very old and extravagant tradition that stands in the center of Georgian social life. Supra is a way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and many more, during this the table is always full of traditional food and local or homemade wine.
Throughout former Soviet countries, Georgia is particularly famous for its cuisine and wine. Even though it’s very easy to get lost in the names of dishes, you should definitely try them.
Here are some of the most popular dishes:
Khinkali - Georgian soup dumplings, typically stuffed with meat and spices. You can judge a good khinkali, by how many folds it has: Tradition dictates that the good one should have not less than 20.
Kharcho - heavily spiced with khmeli suneli (a Georgian five-spice blend), and cilantro chicken or beef soup.
Lobio - a bean soup made with coriander, walnuts, garlic, and onion
Khachapuri - the easiest explanation for this dish would be the Georgian Cheese Bread.
Khachapuri Adjahruli - canoe-shaped pastries filled with enormous amounts of melted Georgian traditional cheese - Suluguni, topped with a raw egg.
Churchkhela - an extremely bright-colored popular sweet snack that you can see everywhere on the street, made of mixed nuts, grape must, and flour.
Badrijani nigvizit - fried eggplant rolls with walnut and garlic filling
Personally I recommend you to try Churchkhela with walnuts, also remember Khinkali must be eaten with your hands holding it by their "bump" (yes, it's really called that).
The Beautiful Memory of Georgia
All in all, Georgia it's a place full of beautiful people, amazing culture, and astonishing natural landscapes. What else you need for a good trip but that? When you're ready to discover the mighty Caucasus, Georgia is the best way to start. This country, definitely, will not disappoint you.
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