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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 41.6941, 44.8337
Tbilisi, it somehow has a magic ring to it, somehow more exotic than it will prove to be in reality. My new guide was there promptly this morning, nice bright young lady who trained as psychologist but makes more money as a tour guide. So I have her and a driver all week. Turns out she is from Abkhazia, though Georgian, and is more sympathetic to my going to Russia that way. She is going to make enquiries about the position on the various border crossings for me.
We walked a lot generally to viewpoints looking over parts of the city and to churches of Georgian, Armenian and Jewish persuasion. Georgian churches much more decorated than Armenian with frescoes, an iconostasis (? right word) somehow like Russian Orthodox, lots of icons, lots of people kissing everything in sight including the walls. I got told of at one for taking photos, very different from Armenia where a quick snap of the Catholicos as he passed by inside the church was quite acceptable. The guide was good on history, especially the number of times the city has been destroyed by one invader or another, persians, byzantines, mongols, Arabs, soviets. After a walk down the main street pointing out all the landmarks, 5 star hotels, projects waiting for sakashvally (the President) to get started on them, theatres -lots of theatres in Tbilisi it seems - ministry of this and that and the other she left me at National Museum (beautiful gold and silver work from as far back as 4000bc and an exhibition on the Soviet occupation of Georgia).
Then I went to sit under cover for a late lunch (at an Irish bar as became apparent) because it started spitting with rain and then did the old cats and dogs trick for an hour., But all the restaurants have wifi so it's easy to fill an hour Final fling of the day was a trip to the baths, as in hammam, for a soak in hot sulphury water said to cure all kinds of ills and a bashing, soaping and scrubbing by the masseur.
So that's it, my day in Tbilisi, tomorrow we are off up the Georgian Military Highway to the high Caucusus, bet there's no Internet up there. No pics with this post, sorry
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