life through the lens
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links freestyle top fives




Location - Caucasus, Europe; Capital - Tbilisi; Population - 4 million; Currency - Lari MORE GEORGIA

I took a nightmare youth taxi driver from the Armenia border to Tbilisi, only to get stopped by the police halfway due to his erratic driving. On to Tbilisi! Another buzzing capital city with plenty to do in and around - October 2019.


georgianote1The new 5 Lari note










georgia1Welcome to Georgia! Or Sakartvelo as the locals call their country. Crossing the border from Bagratashen in Armenia to Sadakhlo


georgia2After two emergency stops and wild overtaking on blind corners by my driver, I seized the opportunity to offload at Marneuli, not realising he'd been stopped by police for horrendous driving. I got a bite to eat and carried on by marshrutka..


georgia3My first sight of Tbilisi was coming up from Tavisuplebis Moedani Metro station, where a statue of St George and the dragon replaced one of Lenin















georgia100Take the cable car from Rike Park up to Mother Georgia on the hilltop - Tbilisi














georgia93Standing above Rike Park is the Presidential Palace, with the tubular concert hall in the park itself - Tbilisi


georgia101Take in the scenery on the way up, including the Peace Bridge, opened in 2010, crossing the Mtkvari River - Tbilisi


georgia128Mother Georgia, or Kartlis Deda, stands 20m tall - Tbilisi
















georgia104From the hillside it's easier to spot the distant snow-peaked mountains - Tbilisi















georgia112Souvenir stalls line the path from the upper cable car station to Mother Georgia, plus there's a terraced cafe with superb views - Tbilisi


georgia124Heating up traditional coffee in hot sand - Tbilisi


georgia120 The Peace Bridge, Mtkvari River, concert hall and Presidential Palace - Tbilisi














georgia115 Perched over the river is Metekhi Church, above which is the Holy Trinity Cathedral - Tbilisi














georgia135And the Holy Trinity Cathedral really stands out at night - Tbilisi


georgia116In the bottom right are the walls of Narikala Fortress, opposite many precarious looking cliff-side houses - Tbilisi


The fortress was originally built in the 4th century then expanded (and of course, destroyed) over the centuries - Tbilisi














georgia146 Inisde Narikala Fortress is St Nicholas' Church - Tbilisi
















georgia159At the bottom of the hill, below Narikala, are domed steam vents belonging to several bathhouses that use the city's natural thermal sulphur water - Tbilisi


georgia170Below the bathhouses is a small, cliff-edged canyon leading to a little waterfall - Tbilisi


georgia166More very precarious buildings. Don't think I'll be investing in these properties.. - Tbilisi















georgia169 Buskers and a couple of souvenir stalls line the short waterfall trail - Tbilisi















georgia163This very Persian-looking mosque is actually a luxury bathhouse, spa and (I think) restaurant - Tbilisi


georgia174A mannequin observes life below, if that's possible - Tbilisi


georgia54Narikala Fortress overlooks the Old Town, and Mother Georgia can just be made out on the very right - Tbilisi














georgia55The fortress walls of Narikala with St Nicholas' Church in the centre - Tbilisi















georgia9A lengthy souvenir shop that occupies most of the area beneath Meidan Square. Georgia is one of the world's oldest wine regions and you'll come across lots and lots of local wines for sale, as well as brandy - Tbilisi


georgia8The traditional method of making wine in Georgia uses clay jars. Put the grapes in, bury it and wait, then hey presto Georgian wine! Sure there's more to it than that. By the way, the guys behind the wine shop's model car are helping an old guy with a bloodied nose, pouring water to clean him up. He seemed a bit worse for wear, but maybe not linked to wine.. - Tbilisi


georgia10Bringing a touch of glamour to a run down area of the Old Town - Tbilisi














georgia11Much of the Old Town has been renovated but there's plenty of decay to be found in the backstreets - Tbilisi














georgia15Colourful churchkhela waiting to be eaten. They're made of walnuts (or any other nuts) encased in dried grape juice, though other fruits are often used - Tbilisi


georgia16Khote Afkhazi St is the main road through the Old Town, full of restaurants, souvenir and wine shops - Tbilisi


georgia249Khinkali are Georgian dumplings filled with minced meat, though I'm sure there's now a huge variety to cater for all tastes. Unfortunately I'm allergic to them! Ditto with khachapuri - Tbilisi













georgia18Street art in the form of "Alien's khinkali" - Tbilisi















georgia22This little lad is Tamada, or the Toastmaster - Tbilisi


georgia26I'm loving the colours of this carpet shop in the Old Town. Ask for a particular type/s and they'll unroll them outside for a closer look - Tbilisi


georgia32A cheese and wine festival was getting under way at the weekend, with stalls setting up outside - Tbilisi














georgia33 He's excited about something - Tbilisi















georgia35The Clock Tower has a wonderfully ramshackle appearance about it, and deliberately so - Tbilisi


georgia47This is a very lively pedestrian street in the Old Town, parallel to the river, stacked end-to-end with bar-restaurants - Tbilisi


georgia52A toilet notice I didn't quite understand - Tbilisi















georgia53 There's some cool statues dotted around the capital - Tbilisi















georgia61Good value 30-45min boat cruises are offered along the Mtkvari River between Baratashvili Bridge and a few hundred metres after the Metekhi Bridge - Tbilisi


georgia77King Vakhtang Gorgasali stands (or rather, sits on a horse) over the river outside Metekhi Church - Tbilisi


georgiaoldnoteThe king is featured on an old Georgian note


georgia73Crossing the Peace Bridge linking the Old Town with Rike Park and the cable car - Tbilisi















georgia76Scenery from the Peace Bridge. Top right is Mother Georgia, while Narikala Fortress is central on the hilltop - Tbilisi














georgia178A cute instruction on this car's petrol cap - Tbilisi


georgia187This map,'Georgia: Occupation Continues', is in the Museum of Georgia, highlighting two occupied regions of Georgia. On the left, in red, is the region of Abkhazia, while the smaller one is South Ossetia. Both are nominally independent but in reality Russia controls both. I hoped to visit Abkhazia but tensions between Georgia and Russia closed the 'border' near Zugdidi for a few months. The western border with Sochi in Russia is usually open - Tbilisi


georgia192The Parliament Building is close to the museum. It was the location of the April 9 tragedy in a 1989 anti-Soviet march, and the 2003 Rose Revolution - Tbilisi














georgia191A commemoration to rally participants killed by Soviet troops in 1956 - Tbilisi














georgia195The very steep funicular ride to Mtatsminda Park - Tbilisi


georgia213Mt Mtatsminda and the park look down on Mother Georgia - Tbilisi


georgia207A different angle on the view of Tbilisi. The cathedral is top left with Mtkvari River running through the middle














georgia215The TV Tower and restaurant on Mt Mtatsminda - Tbilisi















georgia218The Holy Trinity Cathedral is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church and was only consecrated in 2004 - Tbilisi


georgia224There's a clear view of Mt Mtatsminda and the TV Tower from the cathedral - Tbilisi


georgia236There's an excellent series of street art on Baratashvili Bridge - Tbilisi















georgia241A smiling mandrill welcomes you to the pedestrian section of the bridge - Tbilisi















georgia246Futuristic sci-fi murals - Tbilisi



georgia242In addition to the street art on Baratashvili Bridge, a series of photos highlighting political issues around the world was also on display in October 2019. Plus there was a DJ playing music to empty tables and chairs. All a bonus I wasn't expecting, so check it out - Tbilisi


georgia251Waiting for the train to Batumi on the Black Sea coast - Tbilisi

















Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - Main resource for Central Asia but also has a bit on Georgia - Official Georgian tourism - More on Georgia - Buy Georgian train tickets


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.


world beers