20 february Tblisi (GEORGIA)

[Stefy]: "After a hot cup of tea and two baclava, we go for a walk in the historical center not far from Jvaris Mama Church and the one of Norasheni. The old town is very pretty, a maze of narrow streets characterize this ancient area that the locals call Maidan or Kala.

InGorgasalis square, we meet two guys from couchsurfing Pappu, from India and her Sinhalese boyfriend. We spend a few hours with them, we chat about India, travels, about their medical studies in Tbilisi and the difficulties of living abroad.

We go all together to the Metekhi Church, where, by chance, we witness an Orthodox ceremony; the priest makes the sign of the cross on the foreheads of the faithfuls while they kiss the cuff of his shirt."

Tbilisi is an amazing city, though some glimpses, typically Soviet, remind me of the old Latvia, many others are specific to a city that slowly tries to open up to Europe and the West.

It’s been 25 years so far that Georgia has gained independence from "Mother Russia" and that not so much since it has managed to get rid of that anarchy it had to face soon after that.

21 february Tblisi (GEORGIA)

Mtskheta is home to some of the oldest churches in the country and represents the spiritual heart ever since Christianity became the state religion in the '300.

At the confluence of the rivers Mtvari and Aragvi, Mtskheta has been also the first Georgian capital.

The atmosphere is very solemn and we try to show our utmost respect even when, shortly after, in the majestic Cathedral of Sveti-Tskhoveli, an Orthodox monk by a long white beard, blessing the faithfuls, completely waters us with a big plume soaked water...

after this holy shower we continue until the Church of Antioki dedicated to St. Nino, much loved by Georgians.

We return to Tbilisi and we stroll around the flea market, we see old big Russian women with gold teeth that sell old dishes or used pots or the gas rings and tired-looking men, from melancholy face and neglected showing old stamps Soviet or military ranks of the red Army.

In the center, just get in one of the thousand alleys to meet the old Tbilisi of the Soviet era. Decaying houses have not yet been renovated, old wooden balconies seem on the verge of falling off your head, often an ancient orthodox church appears.

22 february Tblisi (GEORGIA)

[Stefy]: "We reach the hill by cable railway, the ticket costs one Lari, here we are in the Narikala fortress from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

Just to the right there  is one of the most characteristic symbols of the capital: the Kartlis Deda statue, about 20 meters high and all aluminum. It is a perfect metaphor of the Georgian character, in one hand holding a cup of wine (hospitality) and in the other a sword (to fight the enemies).

Sameba Cathedral, the largest in the Caucasus, it's majestic and overlooks the entire city!

Desertirebis market. I love markets, they are always alive and you can understand a lot of the culture of a place wandering around it."

Aimlessly through the stalls selling a pile of potatoes or carrots or some little kiwi, these old men and women, warmed by a small wood-burning stoves,  were so tender... it seemed to take a step back in time but just two stops on the old Soviet metro station, with very long escalators, at high speed  take you into the depths of the Earth and you change completely area: Rustaveli.

 

Wide clean streets, shops of all Western brands, expensive cars, well-dressed people ... we follow for a while the walking route proposed by our Lonely Planet to the beautiful Freedom Square...

 

Blog countersfree countersLocations of visitors to this page

(1) - (2)