After visiting Dolmabahçe Palace, Ali and I grabbed our bags from the hotel and headed to the airport for our 2.5 hour flight to Georgia.
2.5 hours to Georgia?! Wait Jen, I thought you were in Eurasia?
The Republic of Georgia is often confused with the State of Georgia. The country is located in the Caucasus Region and bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It was once part of the Soviet Union, but declared its independence shortly before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. While there is conflict with the Russian backed regions (towards the north) of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, I felt completely safe visiting this country.
We arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia on Wednesday afternoon and took a cab to Ali and her husband’s apartment. After settling in I had my first taste of Georgian food – so good!! The next morning Ali and went sightseeing around Tbilisi. A beautiful alleyway.
While the above picture captures some of the beauty of Tbilisi, there are areas in which you can see remnants of the Soviet era – decaying apartment blocks and buildings, closed and shuttered factories.
The counties of Russia and Georgia are politically and internationally strained. The above sign is pretty comical.
The Bridge of Peace was erected during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili. It was built to connect the old district to the new district. Former President Saakashvili built several modern / avant-garde buildings and sculptures around the city. While a beautiful piece of architecture (some locals refer to it as the maxi pad), I thought it looked too modern amongst all the older buildings.
The bridge fed into the park – which I thought was really nice and zen like.
Two more government buildings.
A majority of the Georgian people belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church. I believe Georgia has the second highest concentration of Eastern Orthodox churches. They are breathtaking to look at. In the above picture you can see the statue of “Mother Georgia” After exploring the “newer” buildings of Tbilisi, we headed to the old district.
We went into the building that use to house the Silk Trade – so cool!
This building is a Georgian bath (apparently Turkish baths are “better” but I did not experience either… so… I’ll never know).
Another pretty church.
An awesome Gap advertisement that was on the side of a building.
At night we took the funicular up the mountain and watched the sunset before eating dinner up on the mountaintop.
Next time: The end of the trip hiking in Georgia 🙂
Is Georgia what you expected?
Have you been to the other (State of) Georgia?