HomeGeorgiaTbilisi Discovery: Independence Day

Feeling fresh and rested, I left the hotel around 10 after a delicious breakfast that included khinkali, Georgia’s famous stuffed dumpling.

I took the jammed metro  to Rustaveli boulevard, ground-zero for the Independence Day festivities.Food! Balloons! Clowns! Folk-dancing!

macaroons

balloons

clown

girls

Down Rustaveli to Liberty Square

Down Rustaveli to Liberty Square

street-seller

The best shows were on the folkdancing stages which attracted large crowds.

folkdancer

The demands of tourism eventually pulled me towards  the Old Town for a look at the famous sights. First up was the  famously goofy clock tower.

clock-tower

 

The cafes and boutiques lent the pedestrian streets a cosmopolitan flavor and I loved the particularly Georgian architecture that features lacy wood balconies.

tbilisi-street

tbilisi-architecture

The central part of the Old Town was delightfully restored but wandering just a few streets away revealed a much poorer environment of crumbling buildings and cracked pavements.

One of the major highlights was the Anchiskhati Basilica where a wedding was in progress with men dressed in traditional Georgian costume. Boots! Swords!

IMG_20160527_000344

And this fashionable guest dressed in a female version of Georgian dress.

wedding-guest

  After strolling Shevli street I meandered over to Peace Bridge, one of Georgia’s celebrated ventures into modern design.

peace-bridge

From there, I was close to the cable car that glided up to Narikala Fortress.

narikala

and a wonderful view over Tbilisi.

tbilisi-view

I walked down the hill  to Envoy hostel in order  to book a wine tour tomorrow. Relaxing over mint tea, I thought about all the Moroccan-style cafes dotting central Tbilisi.  Must be a thing.

tbilisi-cafe

For dinner, I wandered the side streets around Rustaveli and wound up at  Veliaminov because it was crowded with locals. Good choice! I ordered way too much food again, including a very nice little baked trout and of course, katchapuri.

katchapuri

I love the simplicity of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions topped with cilantro and finely chopped walnuts. Why do I have to leave the EU to get a decent tomato?

salad

Coming back on Rustaveli, I stopped to watch more folkdancing. Men in bushy hats were leaping and twirling like dervishes in an incredibly athletic show.

Coming back on the metro was a nightmare. I was squished so tight I could hardly breathe. No more. Taxis are cheap enough. Did I make a mistake with Hotel Delisi? Walking back  on a poorly lit street with lumpy and uneven pavement, I tripped and went sprawling, leaving me with a nasty bruise on my leg but nothing more.

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