Summer is about getting ourselves into new adventures, forget about our daily routine and discover new places.
Every year I’ve had the fortune to travel and know different cultures; this year one of my destinations was Tbilisi, Georgia. A totally unique and different place to anywhere I have ever been before. I have to admit I have never heard of this place before, so the excitement I felt was beyond words.
Since the airplane started aligning at the final approach I was being stunned by the beauty and contrast I could see of this country just by the view from my window. A green landscape and a long river crossing; on the other side, many set of apartments and structures that directly transported me to the years of the USSR and the Communist bloc.
On our way to the hotel, this city didn’t stopped making me more and more curious of its history, architecture and famous spots on the downtown part. By the time we were ready I was more than excited for starting to discover this little – known but beautiful city. As our stay here was a quick layover, we definitely wanted to make the most of our time.
Starting our day walking through Shota Rustaveli Avenue till we arrived to the Republic Square. As it was past sunset time night was starting to come, but who said Tbilisi can’t still be beautiful even at night?
We couldn’t have had a better welcome to Georgia than with a big and delicious dinner of typical Georgian dishes: a cucumber and tomato salad, a plate to share different type of meats, cheese bread (khachapuri), and of course, a cup of local wine. After that, a walk through the Georgian streets and an amazing view of the Narikala Fortress all lighten up was definitely an amazing way to end the day.
The next morning, the REAL Tbilisi adventure started. All was about getting lost on their streets, visiting churches and admiring the contrast of cultures that filled up the city. What makes Tbilisi so special is the combination of art, culture and architecture: you can observe strong influences from the Byzantine Empire, European/ Russian neoclassical styles, and Middle Eastern styles. On the other hand, you can get to see some extremely modern architecture like the famous “Bridge of Peace”, a bow- shaped pedestrian bridge over the Kura River that was designed to connect the Old Tbilisi with the new district.
One of the best views I had from Downtown Tbilisi was from the Narikala Fortress, an ancient fortress that dates from the IV century. Even though there are not too many accesses to the fortress, the view you get from the city is worthwhile and breathtaking.
Morning passed so fast that in a blink of an eye we noticed it was time to go back to the hotel… BUT you can’t just leave Tbilisi without having a goodbye the proper way: eating. Food, food, food… Georgian gastronomy really got my heart and I’m sure that any other visitor would totally agree that you just can’t be in Georgia and not being tempted by those meat plates and cheese breads.
Tbilisi got me and even though it was a really quick visit, I would totally go back to finish knowing and discovering all the streets and places I missed. It’s amazing how a country like this, very few known between travelers, has so much to offer and amaze us.
And this, fellow travellers and readers, are the reasons of why Tbilisi should be on your travel bucket list. Hoping that you will get lost and fall for this city the same way I did.