So, the World Medical Association are gathered in Tbilisi and my fellow chair at the BMA and I have seats on the WMA Council.
It was actually quite difficult to get here, and certainly beyond me by train:-( I had wanted to fly Georgian Airways directly but my colleague had checked the TripAdvisor reviews which basically said fly with anyone else and I was originally booked via Istanbul with Turkish airways but unfortunately in y maiden name, and they wouldn’t change it to Ewing on my passports! So I duly flew Qatar to Doha and then on to here.
I was excited by my first glances of Georgia through the plane window – the most extraordinary hills carved by ancient streams from meting glaciers (kids – I know, the only useful thing I learned from school was geography;-)
The airport forecourt included photographers, I think tourist brochure rather than secret police, but perhaps the police were well disguised! I had met a NZ representative on the plane and together we negotiated a fixed price taxi ride, through the multiple expensive offers to our hotel. The taxi drivers would have preferred Euros, they were disappointed as the guidance we had received said we must use Georgian Lari to stay within the law.
Joc (my NZ GP companion) and I decided to take up the ‘free’ shuttle at 2pm into the old town. We were joined by two Berliners. The taxi driver provided by the hotel shouted at us as we got out the cab, so we paid twice; clearly this was a recurring theme. There were many people hustling us with maps, offers of tours, boasts of the best English etc
We had forgotten that in order to enter the Greek orthodox churches we’d need headscarves, so my black cotton champagne bag (thank you kids) went on my head as a make-do scarf. There are no photos.
After a look around King Vakhtang Gorgasali’s statue (the founder of Tbilisi in the 5th century) it was time to eat.
There was a vegetarian choice of sorts, as a national speciality include cheese pie Khachapuri.
The egg arrived freshly cracked form its shell and the waiter kindly showed me with my fork how to mach the raw egg into the hot cheese, to cook the egg. If you do get the opportunity, choose small (as pictured); the giant one must surely be for a table to share (as there are also medium and large).
After being hassled for where to eat, and our enjoyable meal looking over the square, I had teh intersting experience of trying to get smaller denomination notes and the cafe were clearly disappointed that we were paying in Lari and not Euros (or US$). My German friends were then charged tourist prices (£2.50 in Lari) for a glass each of freshly squeezed pomegranate – danke.
We walked uphill back to the hotel through beautiful crumbling streets, Turkish influence buildings with glass sided balconies.
Then there was time to enjoy a quick dip in the outdoor pool – what a treat for October
3 thoughts on “Tbilisi, Georgia”
Looks like an interesting place. My friend Michael was there with Explore when war broke out. They were repatriated with haste. Have fun and I hope you find some better food. Lesley
Enjoyed the piece about an unusual city in Europe interesting.
Interesting piece about an unusual City in East Europe found it intriguing thank you