A place which has recently opened it’s arms to tourism, still not a very famously visited corner of the world, although it’s a very popular place to visit among people living in Dubai, because of the short flight distance, cheaper, and the variety it offers as per year round season. Snow lovers can enjoy skiing and other activities in winters, and people like me who like warm weather can enjoy lakes, waterfalls, mountains and breeze in the summers.
Georgia is a small, beautiful, peaceful, low key, simple country, which is very new to outside world but doing a good job at making itself attractive to outsiders, well, it has means to sell itself – Beautiful nature, wines & economical among many, but food guys … , the worst I’ve ever had. I’ll elaborate on the negatives later. In short majority of my trip I stayed hungry (& still calm for a change) or survived on fruits & ice creams, because of which my stomach shrunk (which is the good news).
Anyways, as usual, I’ll start with the most important part of the trip, and that is
TRIP COST / EXPENSES 🤑💵💰
I took a package of 3N 4 D from Dubai to Tbilisi (new capital of Georgia) which costed me 2500 AED, including my travel, airport transfers, hotel, sight seeing, ticket/ entry cost to visit any place and breakfast.
I spent nothing on visa, for Indian Passport holders : visa is on arrival and for free… STARS twinkling in my eyes 😀
I took 1000 AED for side expenses, like lunch, dinner, evening commute, shopping (strictly stayed out of it) and also refrained from spending on anything that’s not necessary (like buying sovereigns for the world), it saves a lot of money. Implementing above good habits of saving money I came back with 620 AED. Technically, I spent far less than I could’ve spent staying in Dubai for these 5 days of Eid holidays.
Take US Dollars as currency, but (there’s a twist), Georgia only accepts payments in their national currency (Georgian Lira), so exchange like 250-300 dollars on airport (the rates at airport are same as anywhere in the city) and that’ll suffice you for 4 days. That way you’ll save money on exchanging the left over dollars at the end of trip to your home currency.
FOOD & CULTURE
I’ve given the snippet of the food above already, but as I promised to elaborate, I’ll…
So I’ll start with introducing you to the Georgian heritage food : Khachapuri, which looks like this
I’ll give you a very personal honest opinion on it. To me, it tastes bad. The bread part is descent.
So what is it? It’s a bread, hollow from middle, filled with cheese (I know what you’re thinking, but no guys it’s not like that) and raw egg on top, before eating you mix that raw egg into the semi liquid weird tasting cheese together and eat with the bread around it. Simplest recipe to disaster. No, It doesn’t taste like cheese pizza or sandwich.
Then these guys eat KHINKALI (Georgian dumplings)
The meat inside the dumplings tastes so weird, like I haven’t faced problems with food in China, I somehow get enough to fill my tummy without being grossed out, but these 4 days, I swear to god, I’ve literally ordered and experimented with a lot of food and wasted money, because I couldn’t eat anything.
Now I’ll tell you why I couldn’t have eaten anything else, because Georgia doesn’t have any fast food joints, no Mc Donalds, no Starbucks, no burger king, no pizza, no Italian, Russian, American, nothing. Luckily there was Indian food in the hotel restaurant, so I could eat a little for dinner.
There are multiple fruit vendors on the roads, so I survived on fruits. I would highly recommend carrying cup noodles, etc
Georgia is an Orthodox Christian country (only during the day time), so pretty much all the rules one can think of are followed of being an orthodox christian, but Night Life doesn’t appear to be Orthodox in any way possible.
- There’re Casinos by line, advertising casinos everywhere,
- Strip Clubs (I’ve only seen so many in line in Thailand)
The busiest street of Tbilisi (Shardeni Street) which is the most happening street in terms of restaurants, shopping & parties is a different sight in the night. There’s one part of it which is all restaurants, shopping, and then there’re streets under which have Strip Clubs, Pink Lights, Bars all in line, and that’s where you see the different sight of the crowd.
Economically it’s a growing country into the sector of Tourism at least, I personally know a lot of people investing here in properties.
The crime rate is really really low here (as per stats), but still you’ll always see police around. Taxi’s are really cheap, in $5 you can come from one end of the city to another.
Language is a problem. Very few people know and speak English. Not very friendly. People are good looking in general.
The city looks very stark in it’s appearance, like suddenly there has been a boom of modern architecture, but majority of the city appears to be rustic, old, few in colorful painted colors.
It seems as in there has been no infrastructural development for a long time and now it looks like they have jumped eras.
As explaining every day in detail here wouldn’t add much value.
Day 1 : Landed in Tbilisi (current capital of Georgia), and directly went to Mtskheta (older capital of Georgia) and now a UNESCO site, it’s a 20km drive and gives a very country side feel. Road trip was scenic and calming accompanied by very pleasant weather.
Went around the town a little bit and came back to Tbilisi.
Day 2 : Went around the city of Tbilisi, seeing the Mother of Georgia, Waterfall, another some famous church (in which I was hardly interested) and churches are unavoidable as it’s a christian and religious country.
My attire for Day 2 is a loose oversize t-shirt, paired with bright earrings and a belt to give it a little structure,
For the shoes I wore comfortable memory foam colorful Sketchers shoes
Well, the day went by pretty much sipping wine and walking around in the streets.
Day 3: My favorite day of the entire trip. Took a trip to Gadauri & Kazbegi, be ready for some breathtaking pictures of the mountains and rivers, the greenery and a lot of peace.
the attire for this day was a bright Neon Lemon Green color t-shirt, with a loose baggy fir pair of denim and white presentable pair of slippers. It was cold so also carried a Leather jacket.
Going further Up… to Kazbegi, and it gets more beautiful and cold…
By the end of tonight I was super tired, but still went to Shardeni street to look out for some food that would fill my stomach, and stumbled upon other side of the city that I’ve spoken about above, also it was the last night in the city so pushed myself to experience the so famous heard about street.
So here comes an end to my simple, short & sweet vacation. It’s a place full of natural beauty which you can feel a lot, and maybe words will never be enough to describe, or maybe it’s time for me to update my vocab… 😀
anyway, hope you enjoyed reading.