Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eastern part of Georgia

Our tourguide and driver picked uscup at 9.30 in the morning and we drove towards the eastern part. The landscape was shifting from mountains to wide open fields and in the background, the mighty Caucasus mountains covered in snow! After a short while we stopped at a small house to see how they made traditional Georgian bread Tonispuri n a round, cylinder shaped oven called Tonis with coal in the bottom and the bread attached to the sides. The bread was still warm and so delicious. We also tried the liquor, chacha, made of grapes and very strong. After this, we drove towards the old monastery Bodbe where the remains of St. Nino is buried. St. Nino is one of the most well known symbols for Georgian christianity. Our tourcontinued to Sighnaghi, the city of love. A very pittoresque city with narrow streets located on top of a hill and with an amazing view over the valley where the Silk Road once passed through. It is one of the smallest cities in Georgia with only 2146 inhabitants. The city is surrounded by a wall reminding of the Great Wall of China (only the way it looks, definetely not the size)! After a stroll around town, we headed towards the summer mansion of Alexander Chavchavadze. Chavchavadze was born in St.Petersburg by Georgian parents and his father was the ambassador in St.Petersburg. He was greatly inspired by the cultural traditions in Europe and built the oldest and largest winery in Georgia where he mixed European and Georgian wine making traditions. We tried six different wines, two white and four red and they were all very good. You can easily notice the specific taste and smell of the traditionally Georgian wines, being more "earthy". After a guided tour through the mansion, where some original items were still preserved, we drove back to Tbilisi via Telavi and gorgeous mountains, still covered with snow. Alexander Chavchavadzes younger daughter Nino married the famous Russian play writer Gribojedov but he died only a few years after their marriage and is now buried in Tbilisi.
After a wholeday without any proper lunch, we were starving and decided to walk down Chavchavadze street and to a well known Georgian restaurant where we enjoyed khinkali, large dumplings filled with meat, vegetables, cheese Or potatoes. They remind a bit of the Russian pelmeni but much larger and with different spices. We had the cottage cheese nadughi, wrapped in something reminding of thin filo dough. After that we had potatoes and fried pork but only managed to finish half. It was so delicious and i am truly in love with the Georgian food!!! We had a quick stop at small bar for a beer before walking back to the apartment.

View from Sighnaghi- the city of love



1 comment:

  1. Sounds so exciting and exotic! I really enjoy reading about your trip, and your blogging has made me reconsider a lot of my earlier assumptions regarding Georgia.