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Amanda left from the Amman airport at midnight but my flight wasn’t until 7:30am so after a terrible night’s sleep at the airport and a long day of flights to Tbilisi, I was pretty haggard when I arrived.   I was using AirBnB to stay in a house and the son from the family came to pick me up.  He seemed quiet but nice.  While we were driving, I started to get a feeling that everything was very different from what I had seen so far, but it wasn’t until we arrived to the house that I fully realized that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.  The house was through a stone tunnel in the side of a street that contained a mix of ancient walls and soviet era houses.  Once throughout the tunnel, I saw a large courtyard surrounded by a decrepit looking three-storey building.  I learned later that it is the Georgian style for several families (or one extended family) to share a big complex like this.  I climbed up a set of stairs on the outside and went in a side door, then climbed two sets of steep stairs to a hidden door that lead to an attic.  He slowly opened the hatch and I climbed through…and the room was super modern and great! He brought me a katchapuri (the Georgian national dish. sort of like a french bread quesadilla) and wine. Butthen I didn’t see him again for two days!

I walked into town to try to pick up a guide book since I had none and I was overwhelmed with the complete strangeness of everything I saw.  The written language, though ancient and beautiful, is completely unrelated to any other language.   It was also a bit weird that the country was non-touristy enough and I looked similar enough to the locals that nobody immediately took me for tourist.  Then when they would speak to me in Georgian and I couldn’t reply back, I got a lot of strange looks.  I poked my head in a few restaurants and everything I saw on every menu seemed to be a slight variation on the katchuprui ( I learned later that private homes are the way to go for meals).  And although they were cheap and delicious, I knew I would need more than fried cheese and bread during my stay in Georgia.  So I bought a box of hazelnuts(?) and a banana at a market for dinner and went back to relax and work on photos in the room.

The next day I took way through the Old Town and went to visit the tour guide/friend that Robyn had recommended to me in Abu Dhabi.  We had a nice chat and I felt relived to finally find someone that spoke English that could be figure some things out.  We agreed that he would work out a plan for where I could go and then I would take him out to dinner later with the cash that Robyn had given me.  So in the meantime I did the Lonely Planet walking tour through the Old Town, saw some cool old photos at a museum and some beautiful ancient churches.  Then we met up for a great dinner at a traditional Georgian place and had salad, homemade wine, eggplants with nut paste, plum sauce and some sort of delicious meat.

The next morning, I woke up early, had another katchapuri (this time with egg!) at little underground cafe and then went to meet Tem.   I was upset to see that for some reason he had raised our agreed upon price by $100, cut two days off the itinerary, got another tour guide to take his place and pretty much totally changed our plan from the previous day.  It got pretty heated and the new guide (Beka, who turned out to be totally awesome) was a bit uncomfortable. I was about to walk out but in the end I figured that since I was already checked out and had no idea where to go or what to do next, it was still the best option I had.  So I went for it.

  • Old Town Tbilisi
  • Metekhi Church Tbilisi
  • Inside Georgian Church
  • Worshipper at Georgian Church
  • KGB
  • Tbilisi Bridge of Peace
  • Tbilisi: Under Construction
  • My Guesthouse in Tbilisi

Posted: July 26, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe


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