Blogs from Tbilisi District, Georgia, Asia

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Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 25th 2023

Day 19 Tblisi, Georgia: 20C / 21C Art Day. Favourites: Niniko Morbedadze & Pirosmani. Walking the glass floor..... Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, Rustavelli Street. Philanthropists, George (Gia) Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardnadze started collecting art in 1990s. They seem to have been / are pretty loaded and have attempted to keep relatively inexpensive Georgian art from the Soviet era together in one collection rather than being shipped abroad. On a massive scale. The building itself, with a stair-and-escalator heart of glass started construction in 2013, building opened 2018. It’s an impressive building and it houses a huge collection over two large floors. Walking on glass floors is a curious sensation. So big is the collection, with each artist comprehensively represented, it becomes a bit overwhelming. There is a good balance of female and male a... read more
Mestia

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 24th 2023

Day 18 Tblisi, Georgia. Art Nouveau, Flea Market and Sports Fest In Santiago, Chile, we took our first ever ride on an open-topped tourist bus. It felt like a bit of a sell out, we don’t normally sign up for guided tours. But it gave us a new insight to areas of the city we had not explored and turned out to be a good idea. In Tblisi there are two red bus firms touting for trade. The buses are nearly identical, they share the same route and stops but are different operations. Unknowingly, we opt for one that says ‘Worldwide Sightseeing’ and are told to wait for the next bus to arrive. We don’t understand why the one saying ‘Georgia Sightseeing’ can’t be used, it’s nigh ready to depart. We gradually work out the system ... read more
Stern Building
Flea Market Temptation
Sportfest

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 23rd 2023

Day 17 Georgia, Tblisi. Wedding Anniversary in the Botanical Gardens and Beyond Old Tblisi Five Rooms, our hôtel, is in area on the east bank of Tblisi, just beside the presidential palace with its modern glass dome. Today we set off on foot to reserve our marshrutka back to Yerevan in five days time. There has been some renovation of the buildings here like the posher 3 star hotel 50m away, where we eat breakfast, there Quarter is yet to be extensively ‘done’. The very nature of elaborate balcony structures in wood is that they warp and rot when gutters fail and water gets to them. So there are many tumble-down examples. There are few tourists in the back streets as we negotiate our way to the bus base. Rather, the area is thronging with Tblisi ... read more
Crumbling Georgian Grandeur
Botanical Garden Waterfall
Art Nouveau influences

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 23rd 2023

Yesterday was our 11th wedding anniversary so we had a fusion style meal at the Blue Fox....because they serve good wine and good food and have a great courtyard with a graceful olive tree, Today we decided to spare our feet somewhat and travel by hop on hop off sightseeing bus from Freedom Square. That was a good decision because we saw a much wider area of Tbilisi than before, opening our eyes to the boulevards and bridges we had not seen on our walking paths. We went the whole way round once, and then went on again to get off on a different area further along the East bank, an area with tree lined boulevards and roundabouts and architecture from late Victorian and turn of the 20 century times...some Art Nouveau mixed with oriental palanquins ... read more
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Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 22nd 2023

Day 16 Tblisi. Loud Men, Men Sitting Around, Women Grafting.... It’s all very lovely, Tiblisi. Even in the midst of the traffic with a helmet-less guy roaring by on a Harley Davison with decibels beyond the reach of normal human kind. As always, we walk plenty, taking in the changes for we were here in 2016. The sun is up, we’ve eaten Eggs Benedict on toasted brioche in the Blue Fox, and all is good. There’s a wedding on the main boulevard, Rushtavi Street. Kahveti St George Church. Car horns are blaring, with all the young women dressed up in satin almost matching the bride’s beauty and attention to detail. Meanwhile the young men hang about outside the church slugging from zimboom with their bellies out of ill fitting shirts and suits with skinny jackets. We ... read more
Wedding Horns
Tsereteli Sculpture: Charl
Spinach and Nut delight

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 22nd 2023

The 5 rooms hotel is on the east side of the river, is up an unlikely side road across a couple of cobbled yards and is basically an old house that has been converted into rooms. Very comfortable with tiny balcony where we can sit and observe renovations around us. We crossed to the west side and had an amazing breakfast at the Blue Fox, a courtyard restaurant with a very graceful,olive tree in the middle. My breakfast was 2 poached eggs on granary toast with labneh and dukkah. Absolutely delicious. We spent the day exploring old haunts and new, walking through April 9th Park which commemorates the killing of peaceful protestors in 1989. Today, the following day it is our wedding anniversary. 11 years. We checked out our return bus time and place and then ... read more
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Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 21st 2023

Day 15 Tblisi Georgia. We survive a five hour marshrutka minibus ride and visit old memories. The Cascade Hotel Yerevan is spot-on, we reserve a further two nights for our return from Georgia before our flight back to Paris. A woman driver booked by the hotel takes us to the marshrutka bus station sited below the Genocide Museum. We’re more than an hour early for our reservation but there is a seven seater ready to go with our final two places filling the bus. So the adventure to Tblisi begins. A middle aged Chinese HR manager shares our back seat. In front is a retired Canadian/Armenian couple, an Armenian old guy, and by the 35 year old driver and a 73 year old American from Seattle. Our pilot drives at 100km per hour whenever possible, even ... read more
Freedom Bridge
Blue Fox Bar
Khachapuri p, cheese boat

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 21st 2023

So we have returned to Tbilisi, after 7 years, though it seems much less. We came winding up and down the mountains of Armenia in a marshrutka -minivan- with 7 passengers on board and a scary driver. The company was interesting. I sat next to a woman from China, Beijing to be exact. She was happy to chat away for an hour or more about her life and travels and green things in general. She said she had a degree in Chinese literature and an MA in Psychology and used to work in Human Resources in Unilever and Siemens. She loves travelling and could tell me stories from parts of the world I hadn't visited...Tibet she said was very beautiful but had a strange funeral custom. She showed me a picture of what looked like a ... read more
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Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 20th 2023

Day 14 Armenia. Back in Yerevan: Goin’ Lada Loco.... Reflections Upon Armenian Machinas Big and Small. Saryan Armenian Master, and Carmen the Opera. As we travel south in the hire car we’re passing reinforced concrete carcasses of the industrial past. Irena, host at Iris BnB, related a story of lower wages and living conditions in post war Alaverdi after the closing of the copper mine and smelting plant. A classic conundrum: the closing of a terrible polluter of the rivers and air means as a result massive unemployment figures in that region which remain high, and many younger people moving away to the south and abroad. And It’s likely that each of these towns that we pass through, with their closed factories and foundries, has a similar level of poverty and a lack of prospects. Despite ... read more
Petrol wealth
Derelict Industry
Saryan

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District July 28th 2023

I arrived at Tbilisi, Georgia really early in morning and managed to get to my hostel. It was a bit difficult to wake up my hostel owner at 430AM, but eventually it all worked out. After resting a few hours, I headed out and explored the city, including Freedom Square, seeing the Sameba Cathedral and the painted stairs near the State Academy of Arts. However, my first day was marred by an awful experience at Rustavel Avenue. While I was walking back to my hostel, 3 girls (aged about 18-22) jumped at me and started begging. Two were literally on my face and a third sat on the road at my feet. I immediately checked my pocket (it was zipped) and realised she had stolen my wallet. I told them to return my wallet, of course ... read more
Sameba Cathedral
Opera House
Painted Stairs




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