So last week was my blog birthday!
But before that, I went to Georgia!
To be more specific.
For those of you just catching up, here’s what I’ve been doing:
It has a long magnificent history, fascinating culture, and a gastronomy that you have just got to try!
And the prices?
I went to the Caucasus and I was pretty impressed!
Because of its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and its closeness to the historically lucrative Silk Road, Tbilisi has been attacked and conquered by more nations than you can even imagine such as Russia, Ancient Rome, Iran and Turkey.
All of which you can see absorbed in the mix of medieval, neoclassical, Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modern Art structures reflected in architecture all around the city!
With a multi-cultural, ethnic and religious mix of population of just 1.5 million people, Tbilisi is a city to look out for in the future.
Most people have never heard of it.
But it isn’t.
It’s in Georgia.
A country in the Caucasus.
A country from the former USSR.
Where to start!
I have a million places that I could highly recommend but since I don’t want to bore you and I want you to see things for yourself, here’s five (5) places you absolutely have to visit!
One of the first places I was introduced to was the rather intriguing and quite lovely higgledy-piggledy Gabriadze Clock Tower!
The clock tower has a rather interesting history as it was created by Rezo Gabriadze a famous screenwriter, film and stage director, painter, sculptor and puppeteer.
It is this puppet theater that not only supports the clock tower that happens to be a leaning one, but is also covered by strange and wonderful objects, pictures, writings, walled tiles and stained glass fragments that evoke an Alice in Wonderland-ish type of fairy tale.
Not only that, but the tower has two clocks which happen to be both the largest and the smallest clock in Tbilisi!
At 12 o’clock, an angel pops out of the window from the top of the tower and strikes the bell with a hammer!
Kaleidoscope House is the only house in Tbilisi that is decorated completely and utterly with stained glass window fragments!
This historical building dates back to the 19th century and is one of the city’s main attraction, being that the stained-glass windows are decorated with exquisite carvings and ornaments and have been preserved for over a 100 years!
It was lucky that my visit was in September and there was only one Instagram photography crew in front of me, ‘cos I’m thinking that during the peak summer months, the queue would probably stretch to the edge of the road!
And while you’re there, don’t just take your photograph and run off, take the time to browse through the art gallery upstairs but please be respectful of the neighbourhood, as people actually live and work there!
Tbilisi was no different, but distinctly better, as there was a waterfall!
Yes, a waterfall, right in the middle of the city!
The Leghvtakhevi Waterfall is not something you expect while going out for a stroll in the middle of the city, but it’s right there.
You simply can’t miss it ‘cos not only is the Abanotubani or the Bath Quarter packed with Oriental-styled dome-shaped bath houses, timeless architecture and a picturesque setting, but you’ll smell the rawness of the sulphur as you get much closer to the water!
And indeed, Istanbul is but a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes, flight away!
I mean, OMG!
The best thing about historical towns and cities is that you can simply wander around and explore.
Why not explore the architecture of a variety of secret doors and entrance halls?
See how the staircase gives you a feeling of gliding and “sweeping” across the floor?
And even though the paint has peeled off, the floorboards are creaky and the bricks are crumbling, this century old hotel is charming.
In fact, one or two local families still live on the top floor!
Is it any wonder that once again, a photo-shoot was taking place as we entered!
We weren’t in any hurry so watched and hung around as I know how these things go, and you want to get the best light possible!
So much so, that I actually have an annual museum membership card which I use as often as I can!
I particularly like Open Air Museums and museums that create a Living History, as they tend to have the land mass necessary for you to really get your teeth into how local people used to live, and don’t mind if you touch and poke things!
So it was hardly surprising that I specifically requested that the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnology be added to my itinerary!
It didn’t disappoint.
I got to learn and reflect over the 4,000+ year history of Tbilisi, folk architecture, craftwork and traditions, as well as utilise my historical inner child!
I even got to watch a play that was put on just for me.
Even though the young girl reciting the family saga was extremely difficult to understand, the 60+ year old actress who took on the roles of all the characters, was impressively, as clear as day!
I really had a good time.
And you will too.
If you’re interested in finding out what else you can do in Tbilisi, click here!
In fact, I went there as a guest of the city of Tbilisi.
I was there for five (5) days in September getting to grips with the fact that I was in the historical city with links to the history of the Silk Road, trade, and a diverse mix of fascinating architecture coupled, with absolutely beautiful weather, and really interesting food!
Georgia was awesome!
I took the train instead!
I was in Istanbul for just a couple of hours.
It’s been years since I’ve been to Turkey, but this was not the time!
Not only that, but I stayed at the historical and yet lovely boutique Museum Hotel Orbelani!
But don’t take my word for it.
p.s If you’re booking hotels, houses and apartments, use this link to save 20% or more, between 5th January and 31st March 2021!
If you’re not in Berlin, I really don’t know what to say!
Watch this space!
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So what are you waiting for?
Thanks a million!
See you in Berlin.
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