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TRULY GEORGIA

GEORGIA | Friday, 2 October 2015 | Views [251]

GUDAURI

GUDAURI

FYI. A Eurasian country, situated in Eastern Europe and West Asia. An amazing destination to explore for people who are into nature and at the same time historic places and architectures.

We flew via flydubai from Dubai to Tbilisi which only took 3 hours and 30 min. Fare price is cheaper if you book the flights few months beforehand (around 900 AED roundtrip). We got our visa upon arrival (validity of the passport should be more than 6 months). It was just a quick queue in the airport.

We had difficulty in finding Georgian Lari in Dubai so we have to change it at their airport. We tried exchanging our Dirhams and they said only USD. Not sure if they accept Euro or British pounds, so be sure to have USD with you.

Despite the fact that Georgia is a non English speaking country, people are very friendly and is a safe place to visit especially when you are traveling alone.

FROM THE AIRPORT. You can either arrange beforehand with your hotel to pick you up (which is the most convenient), or get a cab outside the airport. Taxi drivers tend to give higher price to foreigners (which is not unusual). You can try to bargain. We paid 60 GEL to our hotel which is near the Marjanishvilli square.

TOURIST SPOTS. You have a lot of activity options to choose from, a road trip to Ananuri, Gudauri and Uplistsikhe to trail hiking to Gergeti. If you prefer to just unwind within Tbilisi or the nearby towns, then Gori, Jvari and Mksheta are good choices.

Trail hiking to Gergeti is the highlight of this travel. After 2.5 to 3 hours of hiking, the sight of Gergeti Fortress will take your breath away. If you prefer not to walk, then you can hire a car from the town below and only takes 30 minutes ride.

For the tour, we tried the hop on hop off bus for a day, which was a good idea. Aside from it is cheap, there was also an English speaking tour guide and we had visited a lot of places within the capital and its nearby towns.

For the tour going to further towns, we hired a private driver which we paid $150 for the whole day. (If you need one, you can pm me. I saved our driver's mobile number). He is a nice and very patient guy. You can certainly ask him to stop anytime to take some photos. He also ended up as our personal photographer.

FAVORITES. Here are my top pick: Gergeti Trinity Church , under Mount Kazbegi. The magnificent structure that was built in the 14th century and is surrounded by vastness of nature, standing alone on the steep of the mountain. Ananuri fortress, about about 45 minutes from Tbilisi, situated on the Aragvi River. I just love the ambiance of the surrounding. Standing there, it feels like you are inside a fairy tale book--a princess waiting for its prince. Sameba, the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. You can enjoy the view--overlooking the Elia neighborhood.

A MUST. It is advisable to choose a hotel which is a walking distance from the town center. Very convenient to find a cab, or ride the train as well as cafes and restaurants. Food is cheaper than I expected. You can have one meal for just 30-50 GEL. You better try their local dish: Katmis Satsivi (Chicken with walnut sauce). It is spicy but very tasty. Another must try is the Georgian wine. It is one of the best wines I have ever tasted. 

Last but not the least, try and learn some basic Georgian words, it will help you a lot and I can say that locals appreciate it.

Till next time! Madloba Georgia!

Tags: adventure, nature, travel, trekking, wanderlust

 

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