Now, after writing about how I was played by a cabbie, and some other details about food, transportation, language, etc., about Georgia now I will continue with a more subjective approach to this travel.
Neither I or John had any home-made plans for the trip and throughout the trip, even if we tried to plan ahead, we failed to stick to the plans in a magnificent way, ended up doing different spontaneous things.
I mean, sure, we kind of followed to the main plan, which sounded something like this:
- Meet John in Georgia;
- See places in Tbilisi;
- See some places outside Tbilisi;
- Go to Armenia;
- Meet people, drink, have fun;
- Get back to Romania.
And on my side of the plan, there was stated that I should take tons of pictures while on John’s side of the plan was to practice his language skills, which he kind of did. He talked in Russian, Turkish, French at a certain point in Armenia, and I also think he tried to learn some Georgian words and alphabet.
But basically, that was the whole plan. Every time we decided at about the last minute where to go and what to do, including our trip to Armenia. Just before buying tickets for the return train to Georgia we were still having some doubts if we should stay for the night or not in Yerevan.
Now, in a more chronological order of the events.
After my super fancy ride with the cab, that cost me a small Georgian fortune, I get dropped at The Freedom Square..unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures with this, even if it’s quite a landmark. But you can see it in this picture took from the top of some foothills.
From Freedom Square, you can see a street heading towards that tall glass building (I understood that that’s a hotel under construction). That’s Rustaveli Street.
The hostel booked by John, BHM Hostel, is on this street, at Rustaveli No. 14. This meant less than 5 minutes walking from Freedom Square, the metro, 10 minutes walking distance from a lot of nice places to see.
John got there first, he was quite comfortable already, in his barefoot, smoking a cigarette on the stairs with a new friend. I joined them and then had a coffee. I needed to wake up a bit, even if I had not so much sleep on my flight, there was no time to lose. A city was waiting to be explored.
I unpacked hastily, the hostel manager debriefed us in 5-10 minutes what’s to see in the city and what are his recommendations and we went out.
We both had some small maps, but we didn’t use them as much. We were walking randomly, on narrow streets, talking about the architecture, catching up, while we were hoping to arrive at the foothills of Tbilisi, where the Botanical Garden is located.
After checking the map a couple of times, and some wrong and right turns, we finally got there, not before visiting an abandoned construction site, where we took a bunch of pictures.
The weather was quite gray and windy, but still better than what we expected. John, at least, was expecting the weather to be way worse. He got to Georgia just after visiting many places covered in snow around Turkey.
By the time we reached the foothills top the wind got way worse and the funicular was not functioning because of the wind.
Regardless of the wind, we continued walking around on the foothills, we found a church, I don’t remember its name (there are so many churches anyway over there, maybe even more than in Romania), but we went inside and took some pictures.
From the top the view was awesome, but the wind was even worse now. We decide to go back to the city. We noticed some modern architecture pieces that we decided to visit next. Here you are able to see the whole city and the clouds made the whole landscape look even better.
There was also a big statue of a lady with a sword, somewhere in the back, which I have to admit that it looked quite funny from a certain angle, but no picture with that. Maybe John has one.
Our next objectives were the glass footbridge and the weird looking building to its left, which we found out that is a theatre or concert hall. This second building has only the outer shell completed while the interior was left just like that, only metal beams and concrete walls, for several years.
Between the footbridge and the theatre it’s the European Square, and cross the river you will find the public baths, (I found a nice blog post of somebody who tried them, she also wrote some historical facts she found out the baths in Tbilisi).
The highlight of the days was when John tried the door of the theatre and, surprisingly, it was open. Of course, we went inside. It was quite dark, some windows there were open as well and the strong wind was making constant noise. It was during the cold season, so the sun was at low height on the ski, but at that height, the lighting was awesome and it was the perfect moment to take some contre-jour pictures with John as subject and the metal structure as background.
I think we were there for 40 minutes or even more. John was walking up and down the metallic beams while I was as excited as him, but instead of jumping all over the place I was trying to find the perfect angle. It’s still very tough to decide which picture is best, but maybe time will tell.
After I saw that outside there were some workers walking around, I thought that maybe they were on a lunch break. I got worried, because I had this strong feeling that we weren’t allowed to be there, so I suggested that we should leave and find a place to eat something because we hadn’t anything to eat for several hours and we were both starving and freezing. It took us a while to decide where to go, but after passing the footbridge again we headed towards the hostel and we found a nice restaurant where I tried a mushroom soup and had to complete it with some fries.
After that, we just head to the hostel to rest, without a clear plan for the following day, but very excited by this awesome first day.
This was Day #1 of the trip. 5-6 more to go. Until my next post on this topic, probably next week, see other updates at the links below: