Georgia – a country with a very successful word of mouth marketing campaign… at least in Lithuania.
Every Lithuanian can tell you a few good things about Georgia but only some lucky ones have gone to check if this land of honey is for real. I haven’t had the pleasure to see it myself yet, but I already know that it is a country with the most welcoming people, wine and food there is to die for, and nature… ohhh mountains…
So as soon as Jurgita and Gediminas came back from their Georgia exploration trip I asked them to share their tips & tricks. And this is what they had to say…
In Georgia wine is offered more often than water, including a glass for breakfast on the house. Make sure no to refuse, this could be treated as an insult. When in country, be ready for Georgian hospitality, that will fill your adventurous soul with memorable experiences. And here are 3 things you must do during your trip:
1. Visit Mountains
Georgia is a country of mountains. Forget Batumi, there are nicer beaches and seaside towns in Europe. Our plan was to spend 4 days in Svaneti, flying there from Tbilisi with local airplane. Unlucky us, heavy rain changed the programme, our flight was cancelled. We decided to skip other alternative – a 10 hrs ride by marshrutka to Mestia, and ended up having a closer trip to Kazbegi mountain – 3 hours drive north from Tbilisi. Breath-taking scenery…
Arranging a car was super easy – we just stopped a taxi in Tbilisi and asked the driver to bring us to mountains next day. Short negotiation for a price and deal was done.
Asking your B&B owner for a ride is also a great option, though usually such offer comes even without asking and with additional sightseeing suggestions and glass of local wine (this is supposed to help you make a right decision).
2. Taste local food
Eating all-up can be tough challenge – portions are huge, dishes are heavy in sauces. Wine or local spirit drink ča-ča is definitely good for digestion. Food is rich in meat (lamb, beef especially), baked vegetables, pastries. Chachapuri with cheese is very filling for lunch, ‘ponchiki’ (cream-filled pastry) is great for afternoon dessert.
3. Visit Tbilisi
Tbilisi is a remarkable example how new is blending into old. The city is soaking in western culture, Dunkin’ Donuts being top trendy place for fashionistas and hipsters (despite the fact that quality service is still far away from the western standards). For sightseeing we took super fun free tour with Anna, who showed us nooks and crannies, shared so many stories, insightful comments and funny observations about Georgians.
*Btw, we believe free tours with locals are the best way to explore city! If you are interested, check free London Grafitti tour.
Religion plays an important role in local lives. Whenever a Georgian sees a church, he crosses himself three times. Even when driving a narrow mountain road. Anna told us, that young generation are also strictly into religion. She witnessed a group of young girls, dancing in an open-roof bus when driving around the city and promoting event. Suddenly, when seeing the church, all girls stopped dancing, crossed themselves, and then continued dancing like nothing happened.
Georgia is so vivid in colours, tastes, nature, sounds. Lured us so much that we are planning a comeback, hopefully this time rain will not stop us to go to Svaneti mountains.
- Free Tbilisi tour with Anna
- To eat in Tbilisi: g.Vino, Funicular – best ‘ponchiki’; cream-filled pastry; Machakhela – eat with locals.