Episode #15 Gigi in Georgia

Episode #15 Gigi in Georgia

November 13, 2018 0 By Gigi Green

Not in Kansas  Georgia anymore

Hi! My name is Gigi Green and this is my travel podcast about… well. If you have listened to any other episode of this podcast, you’ve heard me say that it’s about Russia AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT 🙂 Well, the moment has come when it’s not just about Russia anymore))) But about our southern neighbors. Georgia. The country, not the state, of course.

Ah… Sorry, people, I’m not in Georgia anymore, I’m home in Saratov.

That was just a piece I recorded while I was there in the end of August and the beginning of September. I wanted to record the whole episode but I haven’t written anything resembling a script so… after several tries I decided fuck that. I’d better do it my usual way, with a script, at home in my beloved studio a.k.a. walk-in closet.

Warning! Also surprise! This episode contains explicit language.


And I’m sorry I haven’t posted an episode in a while. I’ve been very busy and it was hard to sit down and write an episode amid… everything. I’ll try to be better about it. But I think my initial idea of posting an episode every week was unrealistic. At least at this stage. Maybe, every two weeks? I’m kinda scared to promise anything. So… maybe just subscribe and check for new episodes manually, because algorithms are a bitch. Or you can find me on instagram @greennily or @journeyswithgigipodcast. I’ll make a post and maybe a story about every new episode

Where to find Georgia?

So, Georgia is one of our many southern neighbors. Where is it precisely? Open Google maps (any other map will do too, of course) and find Mediterranean sea, that’s the one between Eurasia and Africa. A bit to the north-east is the Black sea. The country between the Mediterranean sea and the Black sea is Turkey. And if you look at its Black sea coast, the first border to the north-east is with Georgia.

Georgia also has borders with Armenia in the south, Azerbaijan in the south-east and with Russia in the north. And that set of neighbours is what has determined all Georgian problems historically, I’d say.

A bot of history

Georgia is a very old country. If you are interested in archaeology, you should totally read up on it. It just might be as good as the neighboring parts of Asia Minor.

Or maybe even better, because the first early Georgian state is  the kingdom of Colchis. It existed from the 6th till the 1st century BC. And historians are almost sure that it’s the place that features in Greek mythology. It’s where Jason and Argonauts went to get the Golden Fleece.

And where they met the most fascinating (to me) Greek mythological character – Medea. The archetypal woman scorned. And yeah, hell hath no fury like that lady.

Of course, as any early state it didn’t emerge as a whole complete country out of thin air within its present borders. Its different parts were separate kingdoms. It was first united under the Bagrationi dynasty in the 8th and 9th century.

That was one of the oldest Christian dynasties in the world till the 19th century. Which kinda hints that Georgia is a Christian country. And that was not an easy thing to be in that region historically.

The only other Christian country on their side of the Caucasus mountains is Armenia. Turkey and Azerbaijan are Muslim. And even nations that are technically Russian citizens now who live close to the border are partially Muslim.

Tzaritsa Tamara

Georgia got to have its Golden age from 9th till 12th century. If you like kick-ass women in history, by the way, read about Tzaritsa that’s Queen Tamara the Great. That lady was sooo cool!

She was the first woman to rule Georgia in her own right. And she got herself a divorce! In the 12th century! I mean, remember what a mess Henry VIII had made of it? Not this lady though!

Her first husband was prince Yuri of Rus (so, a guy from what later became Russia). She was forced to marry him by her aristocratic advisers. And he was a dick and an alcoholic.

She tried to make things work for two years. But finally, she had enough, divorced him and kicked him out of the country! And very soon married her childhood friend.

Yuri, whom Georgians called Georgiy, by the way. So, George. George was offended and staged a coup to win the country from her with the help of some Greek guys from Constantinople.

But she kicked his ass out of the country again. This time for good. And lived happily ever after and is like the most famous Georgian ruler. At least, in Russia. Who’s da boss? Unfortunately she couldn’t live forever.

And soon Georgia got the same Mongol invasion Russia got. I talked about it in the episodes 11 and 8 when I talked about the history of Moscow. Which I will finish eventually! And then came Timurid empire, and then Ottoman empire (that’s Turks) and Iranians. And they basically struggled to stay a separate country until they just couldn’t take constant warfare anymore and decided to ask Russia for protection in the 18th century.

Georgia and Russia

Now, if you read something that was written by western (European/North American) historians, I’ll bet you an episode about the topic of your choice, that it’ll say that Georgia was annexed by Russia. Which means it was added by appropriation, usually by force or without permission.

Annexing everything that moves is kinda the reputation we get from Western historians (and I think that’s hypocritical at best). The truth of the matter is, as usual, way more complicated.

Georgia approached Russian Empire first. Because they were the ones who needed protection from Muslim countries. And approaching the strongest Christian country in the region made total sense. Especially, since both countries practice the same or a very close type of Christianity – Orthodox.

For Russia the Caucasus region had been a source of problems for centuries. Because Russians couldn’t always find a way to co-exist with the natives. Let’s put it that way.

I’m guessing they were at the same time happy and unhappy about protecting Georgia from the Turks – the Ottoman empire. On the one hand, that’s a great region and Russia have always liked its sea ports since we don’t have that many (if you consider the total territory of the country). On the other hand, dear gawd, they would have to go and fight Georgian enemies to actually keep peace. And Russia did have to fight Turks a lot in the 19th century.

So their talks with Georgia about protection took a while. And whatever version you read about that part, even the Russian one, Russian empire doesn’t look good. Really not good. Like our politicians behaved… like a bunch of douchebags. Especially towards Georgian tzar.

But the truth is Georgia needed Russia more than Russia needed Georgia. So when in the end Georgia was made a part of the empire, Georgians were protesting against Russian methods, not about becoming a part of the empire or whatever you wanna call it.

It’s complicated

I guess, what I really wanna say is, we have complicated relationship with a lot of our neighbors. Because we have long and complicated history together. And unless you know it really well and really understand how our corner of the world works, don’t be quick to judge.

It’s very easy to make a big bad wolf out of Russia. Cause it isn’t precisely… gentle. And never has been. But there’s more to it than news and tv-shows show you.

If you’re thinking what on earth am I talking about… um… sorry. Been watching the Late show with Stephen Colbert a lot lately. I like him, but the way he talks about my country makes me really scared. Where does humor end and fear-mongering start?

Georgia after the end of the Russian Empire

Anyway, Georgia was a part of Russian Empire till its end in 1917. And then it became a part of the Soviet Union.

Fun fact: Did you know that Stalin, the most famous and probably most powerful and bloodiest Soviet dictator, was actually Georgian? His real name was Joseph Dzhugashvili and he’s from a small town called Gori. I told you it’s complicated!

Georgia got its independence in 1991, after the Soviet Union disintegrated. And immediately they had problems with Russia over the territories close to our border. Namely, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That is so freaking controversial, I’m kinda scared to talk about it.

Because to The United Nations, for example, it looks like Russia annexing lands from poor little Georgia. It probably looks kinda the same to Georgia (without the little part).

To Russians it often looks something like this: oh, fuck. Here we go again. We look like bad guys, even though they – people of Abkhazia and Ossetia asked to join us.

Because they haven’t really been a part of Georgia for a long time. They were a part of the Soviet Union, which gave them more autonomy. The majority of them are not ethnically Georgians. And with South Ossetia it’s especially awkward cause North Ossetia is a republic inside Russian Federation. And you do realise, that’s the same ethnicity in the name of the region.

Those regions didn’t want to be a part of Georgia, they wanted to be a part of Russian Federation. For a lot of the same reasons that Georgia joined Russia a century and a half before that. And Georgia refused and there was conflict… And it didn’t end well. 

Now they are not officially recognised by most of the world. Stuck in a limbo, which is never good for the people who live in a country.

Even more complicated

And Russian-Georgian relationship on the government level is still tense. In my humble opinion, Russian government is being more mean to Georgians than the other way around. Russians don’t need a visa to enter Georgia. But Georgians need one to enter Russia.

And that fact made me so freaking ashamed when I was in Georgia. I wanted to apologise to everybody. I mean it’s just not fair.

But Georgians are amazing about the whole thing. They are incredibly warm and hospitable. And a lot of them do understand the fact that often escapes people when we watch the news.

All that shit I’ve just told you about, it’s between countries and governments. Not necessarily between people. And they probably have as little say in the politics of their country, as we do. So, Georgians are amazing.

And that’s the end of my little bit of Georgian History.

Basic facts about Georgia

But I think you should have a bit more info: about 3 million 700 thousand people live in Georgia on almost 70 000 square kilometers. It has the Caucasus mountains in the north, so there are a lot of amazing landscapes there. And in the west and south there’s a sea coast.

Georgia is warmer than neighbouring parts of Russia, because it’s shielded from northern winds by the Caucasus. So for us it’s a decidedly southern country.

National language is Georgian, but most people are bilingual at least. Older generations often speak Georgian and Russian. Young people are more likely to speak Georgian and English. A lot of people in touristy places speak all three.

Georgian language has its own alphabet. It’s nothing like Latin or Cyrillic. I’d say it’s closer to Arabic than to anything else. But I’m just speculating. In any case, it’s pretty. 

The language is also nothing like English or Russian.

Oh! Important thing! The name of the country in Georgian is, of course, not Georgia. Nor is it anything like the Russian name for the country – Грузия/Gruzia. It’s Sakartvelo.

The capital of the country is Tbilisi. I’ll talk about it later.

Their timezone is UTC+4 (which is my timezone too. Another reason I enjoyed Georgia). And their money is called lari. As I’m writing this 1 lari costs about 40 cents or 33-35 euro cents.

How did I get there?

All right. Now about my trip

I went with my mom’s friends, who brought along a bunch of their friends. So there were 11 of us in three cars. It took 26 hours to get from my city, Saratov, to the Georgian town that’s closest to the border.

That number is so high, because we spent about 4 hours at the border because you have to through both Russian and Georgian customs. 4 hours still felt weird, ‘cause it was the middle of the night. But not unusual, we were told.

However, on our way home, we spent like 10 minutes at the Georgian customs and maybe half an hour at the Russian. And that was late afternoon. So… that makes little sense.

The road itself is magnificent though and I’d go to Georgia by car again just to see it. I’ve posted pics from there on instagram.


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Georgian Military road

I mean not the whole road from Saratov, but Georgian Military road. It starts in Russia in the city of Vladikavkaz, that’s in republic of North Ossetia I’ve mentioned before, and goes straight to Tbilisi.

The border itself is in the place called the Darial gorge – Дарьяльское ущелье/Darialskoye ushelie. And that gorge is just magnificent! In the language of people living nearby that way is called The road through the Sky gorge.

I mean, honestly! You could name a fantasy novel like that! Or anime! But it suits it! It’s the most beautiful road I’ve seen in my life (though, to be fair, I’m not an expert)

Georgian Military road is superhistoric and was described by ancient Greeks (the original travel bloggers). But the modern version was built by Russians in the 19th century, because we were the ones who needed it, once Georgia became a part of the Empire.

Russian Military Ministry started the works, that’s why it’s Georgian MILITARY road.

As I said, Russian don’t need a visa to enter Georgia. People from the European Union don’t need a Georgian visa too. But if you are from some other country, you’ll have to check.


So, early Tuesday morning in the end of August we arrived in… the town closest to the border.

I stumbled upon the name because there’s like 3 names for it. The original name of the settlement is Stepantzminda after a Georgian orthodox Christian Saint called Stepan. Which is Stephen. He built a hermitage in those parts.

At some point he saved the locals when he told them about the coming avalanche. After they moved their homes to a safer place they named it after him.

In 18th century the local ruler was a guy called Kazibeg Chopikashvili. His son Gabriel was a Russian ally during the whole becoming-the-part-of-Russian-empire stage. So he got knighted and received a rank of major in the Russian army. After which he decided to change his last name from Chopikashvili to Kazbegi, after his father.

I’m guessing because Georgian names are not easy to pronounce for Russians.

The village under his control was also referred to as Kazbegi and soon even the most gorgeous mountain in the area Mkinvartsveri became known as Kazbegi.

In 2006 the town reverted to the original name but it… um… hasn’t stuck yet. Since, I guess, Kazbegi is kinda easier to pronounce for a lot of folks. So people call it by two names.

The river Terek or Tergi starts in Russia and goes through the town. If my map is right, the part called Kazbegi is across the river from the mountain that has the same name. The houses that are below the mountain are in Gergeti. But it doesn’t mean much in real life, because it’s a small town. You can go from one end to the other in an hour probably.

I’ve spend two days there, but I wish could stay there for a week. There isn’t much to do, to be honest. But it’s in the valley, it’s surrounded by mountain ridges, it’s extremely peaceful and beautiful.

Mount Kazbegi/Kazbek

I think I could’ve spent half a day just sitting somewhere and watching Mount Kazbegi.

It’s the third highest mountain in Georgia, it’s 5033 metres. Its Georgian name – Mkinvartsveri means the Glacier peak, and there is a glacier there. Its top is white and you can’t mistake it because it’s the highest mountain in the area.

It’s a dormant volcano, and it’s very popular with climbers.

In fact it’s the reason 7 people out of 11 in our group went to Georgia. They wanted to climb Mount Kazbegi or Kazbek, as we call it in Russian.

And spoiler alert – they did it! They’ve reached the summit, even though there was a snowstorm and everything. So, they are very cool people, and I’m very proud of them!


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The original plan for me was to go up with them to the first stop for the night. Buuuut on the first day we climbed to 2200 metres as a test. And I realised, I won’t make it this time. (Which just adds another reason to go to Georgia again for me).

My city is about 200 metres above sea level. And the highest mountain I’ve climbed was in Kislovodsk from episode #4 and it’s slightly more that 900 metres.

This fact, along with the sleepless night in the car and the fact that I came from my vipassana retreat not so long ago (I talked about it in the episode #12), all that added up to me getting really dizzy on my way up. Like the world was literally spinning around me several times during my climb.

Which is not at all fun when you are walking a narrow path along the sheer drop.

So, I climbed to 2200 metres above sea level, was extremely proud of myself and decided that I’d had enough heights for this trip, thank you very much!

Holy Trinity church in Gergeti

Why did I climb at all? Well, I’m stubborn like that. Also I wasn’t about to miss an epic view.

And most importantly, there, at 2200 metres above sea level (I’m gonna just keep repeating that cause I feel so cool having climbed them! Lol) is a 14th century church. It’s called Tsvinda Sameba – Holy Trinity church. It’s functioning, there’s a main church building where you go to light a candle. And a bell tower. And some living quarters below.

Imagine a church made out of stone blocks, no plaster or anything. With only stone decorations, on top of a mountain, that’s just one among a whole mountain ridge. It’s stark but it looks perfect for where it stands.

You can get a ride in the car there, by the way, but where’s the fun in that? Said she, who was cursing internally all the way up))


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Lucky day to visit

It just happened that we were there on a religious holiday – Цвинда Мариам/Tsvinda MariamProtection of Virgin Mary. It’s a feast in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. It celebrates the protection afforded the faithful through the help of the Virgin Mary. Not sure precisely how that works. Like she speaks for you with God, I guess.

But it’s a religious holiday that Russian Orthodox church celebrates as well as Georgians. In Georgia it’s a public holiday, apparently.

There were sooo many Georgian people climbing to that church with us! A lot of them with babies. And they did it sooo easily. I felt like… a sloth. Well, I guess, they are used to the heights.

They said it was the main religious holiday of the year in that church. Even though it’s dedicated to Holy Trinity. So we were very lucky to be there on that day.

Although the place is popular with tourists, and there were a lot of tourists in Kazbegi when we were there. Also hikers stop there on their way to the Mount Kazbek.

Btw, Georgian Churches have a more strict dress code than Russian. You can’t wear shorts and a hat, if you are a man. And if you are a woman, well… there are more rules, as usual. It’s skirts only, but not mini skirts, no bare shoulders and we actually have to cover our heads where guys have to take their caps off. Don’t worry, if you don’t have any of that. People there are used to tourists, There’s a box with wrap skirts and head scarves near the entrance.

Georgian food and other stuff in Stepantzminda

What else is there to see? Well, the town itself is small but lovely. Surrounded by stunning mountains. There’s another church. Also there is supposed to be a local history museum. But it clearly wasn’t working when I was there.

Plus there are tons of cafes. Which you definitely have to visit, because Georgian cuisine is amazing. It’s spicy but not mind blowing.

And every place has menus in English, as well as Georgian and Russian.

My favourite thing is actually a type of streetfood called lobiani. Red beans are cooked with spices, mashed to make a puree and baked into a very long kinda stretched flat bread. If you get it hot from the open fire oven it’s incredibly tasty.

It costs around 2-2.5 lari and it’s enough for 3 people probably. Because its very filling.

And actually I liked the one I bought in Kazbegi more than I liked the one from Tbilisi.

There’s a pretty famous hotel called  Rooms. Which has a great view of Kazbek mountain from the terrace, but you have to climb to get to it, so I thought, meh. I’ll save it for some other time.

A secret place

Cause there’s a much cooler place there. And I’m kinda on the fence whether to tell you about it or not… I don’t want it to become a super touristy spot. But… at the same time, it so gorgeous, you should see it!

It’s a mineral water pool. Where water comes straight from under the ground, and you can fill your water bottle and see that it’s carbonated, it has bubbles. It flows into a stone swimming pool, which is not deep but cold. Because the water comes out cold from under the ground.

It’s completely free because there’s nothing there, just water and the pool.

I took a dip several times. and it felt amazing. Also the view of the mountain valley is just magnificent.

I don’t have any normal adjectives for Georgian views in general, but that place! Ah!

You can’t see it from the road. Because it’s hidden by bushes. But it’s 20-25 minute walk from the town on the side where Mount Kazbek is and away from the Russian border towards Tbilisi the capital.

On the (Georgian Military) road again

After a couple of days there, we (that’s the 4 of us that didn’t go up Mount Kazbegi) went on the road again, the very same Georgian Military road, to get to the capital I’ve just mentioned.

The road, as I’ve said before, is amazing. It is a tourist attraction in and of itself. But there’s a lot of sights along the way. Super-old churches in small villages, mineral water just flowing down the mountain side. A couple of small waterfalls and stunningly blue water reservoir.

You also go over the Cross pass, that’s the name, not the shape. It’s close to the Gudauri ski resort and it’s 2379 metres. So… my ear drums felt that one.

And of course, there’s a ton of cafes along the way.

The one place where you definitely should stop at is Russian-Georgian 200 years of friendship monument. It’s a huge… weirdly shaped concrete structure. Sort of a cylinder but it’s not complete. There’s an interesting mural inside.

It stands on the cliff and the view of the Devil’s valley below is just incredible. And you can take the best pictures there. Just… mind the sheer drop  below.

A cooler place

Very close to Tbilisi is the old Georgian capital Мцхета/Mtskheta. I didn’t get a chance to see that place properly. But it’s historic, quiet and lovely. So, it’s on my list for next time.

Our host lady from Stepantsminda said it would be a great idea to stay there, not in Tbilisi itself. Because it’s cooler. Literally less hot, I mean. And in August and the beginning of September that’s important.

But you’d need to use public transport to get to the center of Tbilisi. So we decided against it and we walked everywhere. In the oppressive heat.

But that wasn’t really a new experience for me, because it’s pretty much the same weather in Saratov in summer.

What to see in Tbilisi? Well, that depends on your interests, of course. And there’s too much stuff to see to fit into one episode.

My favourite places in Tbilisi

I’ll tell you about places I think are a must. Some of them are famous tourist attractions, others less so. But, you know, my podcast – my places)))

  1. Flea-market on the Dry bridge

If you want souvenirs other than magnets, that’s the place to go. You can find all kinds of stuff here. Books, jewelry, paintings, traditional knives and horns, old badges, coins, medals, probably, stamps, clothes, scarves. You name it.

Important thing: bargaining is normal and expected in any Georgian market. So if you like it, knock yourself out, if you don’t, you should still do it. Don’t spoil sellers fun.

  1. Dezertirka

And while we are on the subject of markets, the central market in Tbilisi as called Dezertirka or Dezerter Bazaar. It’s close to the train station. And it’s the place where you can buy fruit, cheese, homemade wine, spices and whatever else you need. And it will be cheaper than in more touristy market places.

A note about the wine – bottled wine it cheaper in Stepantzminda/Kazbegi. And in Tbilisi the best prices for wine I saw in Carefoor, a huge walmart type of shop in Tbilisi mall. That’s a bit far from the centre of the city, but if you are driving that way or, like me, are buying it to bring home, that might save you some lari.

Homemade wine is cheaper to buy at that Dezerter Bazaar.

Georgia is very famous for its wine among countries that are close to it. Including Russia obviously. But I’m not an expert and hardly ever drink at all (Georgian wine is actually something I’ve made an exception for), so… i don’t have much to say.

If you like the wine though, there’s a whole wine region to check out in Georgia, and tones of wine tours and everything.

  1. Fabrica

If you like hipster places there’s a project called Fabrica. It used to be a sewing factory, but now there are cafes, bars, artist studios and shops, a co-working space and a hostel. Plus an open space courtyard with graffiti and art object. A really interesting place if you like that sort of thing.

  1. Park Mtatzminda.

I couldn’t not mention a park. I love parks! I’ve been to 5 of them in Tbilisi. I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely the best, I need more data on that. But it’s on top of the mountain and there’s a ferris wheel with a gorgeous view.

5.Ethnographic museum

Next place is open-air Ethnographic museum. So, almost a park. But with traditional Georgian houses from all regions. Houses are very interesting be themselves, but it’s way better with a guide. But a guide there would be a museum worker, so it costs 40 lari, if I remember correctly. Plus 5 lari entrance fee.

I was there alone, and I decided that’s too much for a personal tour. But I did some eavesdropping on other people’s tours and it was fascinating. Next time I’m totally taking the tour.

About reaching that place – you can get very close using cable car from Vakis park to Kus ba. Then you can also check Turtle lake nearby. Or take a taxi. Getting there on foot takes time and effort.

  1. Narikala fortress

Next one you are not likely to miss but I will mention it anyway because I liked it a lot. It’s one of the most popular touristy places in old Tbilisi – Narikala fortress. It’s ancient, it was built somewhere around 4th century. Which makes the fact that you can enter for free and climb walls there even more amazing. It’s wonderful during the day but also totally worth going in the evening because the view on the city full of lights is stunning.

Plus Botanical gardens are next too and Kartlis Deda – Mother Georgia monument is close by.

A small kinda obvious lifehack: you can get to it by cable car from Rike park. But don’t use it the to get down, just walk and you’ll be in the centre of the old city again.

About cable cars: you need a card to use it. But there are cable cars and funicular railway. And you need two different cards to enter each of them. So, you would pay money for the ride plus money for the card. And you get to keep the card. One of those cards is also subway/underground car. So at least that’s something. And you can use one of the cards to go on the ferris wheel in Mtatsminda park.

Lifehack is this: if there are more than one of you, you can buy just one card and give a salesperson enough money to put onto the card for everyone in your group. It saves you about 5 lari per person. Also don’t forget to carry those cards with you while you’re in Tbilisi. God know, where else they might come in useful.

  1. Tbilisi sea

Is not actually a sea. It’s another water reservoir. It’s not as big as the one you might see, if you drive to or from Tbilisi by my favourite Georgian Military road.

But also incredibly blue from afar. And the water is very clear. And… and that was the main attraction for me – you can swim there. Ask locals about the right side of the reservoir and if you don’t have a car, you’d have to get a taxi there, I guess.

But swimming there was amazing! The water was warm, the view amazing and precisely what you need if you go there in summer.

We haven’t found the proper beach though I was told it exists. So we were swimming by the rocks and in our flip-flops, because there might be sharp stones at the bottom. So, bring something like that with you.

  1. It’s not a place. It’s more of a route.

I’ve made a bit of a mistake while exploring, which actually let me see some amazing views. I walked from Mtatsminda park to the Turtle lake. And then to the Ethnographic museum, and from there to Vake park. I also had to walk home because I couldn’t find any public transport that would get me where I needed to be.

So in the end I was very tired. But if you like hiking and are tired of the big city (Tbilisi can feel hectic), you could repeat at least a part of my mistake and walk on top of the pretty flat mountains and look at this amazing place from above.

(I’ll leave screenshots of my route under the links)

A couple of notes before I finish

But while there a lot of guides and tours in Tbilisi. And they tell interesting stories, the best part of my trip was just walking in the old city, enjoying narrow winding streets and taking pictures of all the lovely balconies and street cafes and… just breathing that place in.

I think you realise now that I liked Georgia a lot. There’s a  couple things I’d like to tell you about, before I wrap up.

Like Russia, Georgia is neither Europe, nor Asia. So there’s a very interesting mix of traditions there. Also it’s a country of contrasts and Tbilisi is a city of contrasts. You can see a super modern building nest to a wooden shack. And a Porsche parked next to it. You can see cows walking the streets in Stepantzminda next to some hipster cafe.

Georgian people are amazing hosts, but it’s a patriarchal country. If you are a woman, be careful, you will very likely get hit on. All the Georgian men I’ve met were fine with taking no for an answer. And I personally know a girl who went there all by herself, and went out at night and came back perfectly fine. But you know… Just be careful, as always.

Anyway, it’s a wonderful place to visit. And I haven’t been to a lot of it. So I definitely want to go again. Which I think, you might take as a good sign.

And now it’s time for the segment:

How do you say it in… Georgian?

Unfortunately, I don’t really speak Georgian. Except for one word. But it’s a n important one: hello – Gamardjoba.

And that’s all for now! If you like the show, please, rate it and leave a review however and wherever you listen, cause apparently it’s very helpful! And you know, it’ll just make me happy!

Till next time


Gigi, from Russia with love for Georgia


History of Georgia (country)

National theatre production of Medea

Joseph Stalin

Queen Tamar of Georgia

South Ossetia


Name of Georgia (country)

Georgian language

Darial Gorge

Mount Kazbek

Fabrika Tbilisi

The route from Mtatzminda park to The open-air ethnographic museum

The whole route

<img src=”https://b.radikal.ru/b40/1811/d3/e47c32791cb8.png” />

Section 1

Section 1 close up (it’s all walking uphill at this point, btw)

Here is where I did not follow this route (because the path looked too narrow) and went down to the Turtle lake

After the lake I rejoined the route again

The last 2 screenshots are actually the road I’ve taken from the museum. The views were lovely too but it’s long walk down