GEORGIA TOUR :About the Caucasian country
When we booked our package tour for Georgia, I wasn’t so aware of or heard about the places in Georgia. Hence I did my research and read a lot about the country, the places to visit and if our itinerary includes those places or not. Also read few small tips, Georgian food, read about the places covered in the trip, INDIAN Restaurants in Georgia, their location, reviews, and prices.
Also since according to the itinerary, the plan was to reach hotel early in the evening on few days, I made my own plan to visit places nearby.
This read up was very informative and gave a small preview of the places.
We left for Georgia, Tbilisi. On reaching the airport, the residents of the Gulf, only those who have the Identity card which we in Bahrain call CPR are given On ARRIVAL VISA for free. Not sure about the duration we can stay as the stamping didn’t have that information. Even after showing our valid CPR cards, they did check some stuff on the passport and only then they stamped our Passport. It is a simple stamping and no empty pages required for the visa in your passport.
After the stamping, we collected our baggage, exchanged some USD to GEL GEORGIAN LARI in the shop that gave the best rate of all the exchange shops in the airport. Then we rode in our COACH and went to the city tour right away.
Our Guide for the entire tour from arrival to departure was Mrs.Shalome.
She was a very sweet lady and she gave us soo much information not just about the places we visited, but also about the Georgian culture, food, political parties, family feuds, buildings, religion, family values, etc.
Some of the facts which she gave:
Tbilisi is the current capital of Georgia. Initially it was Kutaisi.
Later the capital was Matsketa.
Tbilisi Means hot water
There are Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Georgia.
The churches, mosques can be seen next to each other. It’s a secular country. There are half million Muslims .Population of the country is 5 million, in Tbilisi alone its 2 million.
Petrol cost around 1 $ per litre.It is imported from Azerbaijan.
Stalin was born in Georgia.
There are more than 220 political parties in Georgia. Georgia beats INDIA in this. :)
Cheapest house in Georgia costs 50000$.
Medicine education in Georgia cost 3000$.Many Indians are studying Medicine in Georgia. We personally met a girl from a small town from our state in India, who was studying MBBS in Georgia (3rd year) and also doing part time job as waitress in an Indian Restaurant.
There is a mix of Europeans and Asians. Georgia was previously in Soviet Union. But now it is independent country. They have good relations with Azerbaijan, Armenia. They don’t have very good relations with Russia.
King Vakhtang Gorgasali built Tbilisi .His height was 2m 40 cm.His statue is at the Meteki Church in Tbilisi. His grave is at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta.
River Mtkvari runs throughout Tbilisi.
Gamarjoba means hello in Georgian.
Crime rate in Georgia is very less.
My observances of the country:
Old Grandmas work overnight in restaurants, shops. They sit all night in the shops on the road, all alone. No security needed.
Grandmas are also seen selling fruits, vegetables, food stuffs on the road even in the outskirts of the city, where the road is not soo commercial.
All the houses have their own small garden with apple, pomegranate, kaka fruit, orange, pear trees and grape vines. The houses and buildings are all old model. They all look similar with house built on the raised platform. Probably they have basement. The houses surrounded with trees, garden. They have cock, hen, pigs, and dogs, even cows, horses. An old model BMW parked in front of the house.
Most of the shops/restaurants are all in the basement.
Not everyone knows English. We communicated in sign language and using calculator to tell the prices.
There are soo many statues everywhere in Georgia. All Parks have a huge statue. The roads sometimes, have small statues all made of iron.