Georgia
Saburtalo

Here you’ll find travel reports about Saburtalo. Discover travel destinations in Georgia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day66

    Vibrant Tbilisi

    November 3, 2017 in Georgia

    Entering Tbilisi had been quite a challenge for us as the traffic became just crazy with 6 lanes in one direction used by 8 cars, and us on our bikes far-right. But, with great self-confidence, we made our way and enjoyed to pass any jammed car.

    Our first stop was the bicycle monument and we were wondering which sense it makes in Tbilisi because we didn't see any other cyclist and the only other people stopping by were tourists jumping off the sightseeing buses, taking pictures and jumping back on the bus. We also saw lots of new cycle racks nobody uses, but at least there is one bicycle lane in one of the streets. Beka later told us that Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia, is a cycling fan.

    During our time in the city, we realized that almost everybody wants to drive a car, although modern buses and cable cars are going everywhere - the air quality says hello. On the other hand, we found the city to be remarkably clean and groomed, with nice green parks and gardens - despite there is a lot of construction work going on at the moment.

    We stayed at Beka's place for 4 nights. He is a great host, a real sportsman and chances are not too bad that we meet up again in Iran, the destination for his next cycling trip.
    Speaking of Iran, after two visits to the Iranian embassy in Tbilisi, we finally got our visas from the helpful staff! In the meantime we used our days in Tbilisi very well to explore the city by foot, bus and cable car and found it definitely worth to discover the surrounding hills and as the weather was pretty good from there we obtained beautiful views over the city. Back in the valley, the old town distributed a special flair while we were tripping over broken pathways, inhaling the smell of bed eggs near the historical sulphur baths and watching the bustle.

    Cheers from Oguz in Azerbaijan! :-)
    Silke & Hauke
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  • Day119

    Tiflis

    September 18, 2017 in Georgia

    Angekommen in Georgien, der letzten Station unserer Reise. Tiflis macht einen sehr schönen Eindruck und auch unsere Wohnung ist toll.
    Die ersten lokalen Spezialitäten durften wir auch schon verkosten...

  • Day86

    Wir haben jetzt Fahrräder. Vorhin gekauft. Beim Gebrauchthöker auf 'nem staubigen Parkplatz.

    Ob das 'ne gute Idee ist? Erster Eindruck: Fährt sich super und ist deutsche Markenware. Muss also was taugen. Etwas über Budget. Egal.

    Acht Kilometer später: Zweiter Eindruck. Flos Vorderrad hat eine leichte Acht. Daher auch das Schleifen der Bremse. Bei näherer Betrachtung ist außerdem ein falscher Bremsbelag in die Aufnahme der edlen Magura-Hydraulik-Bremse gefrickelt worden. Wie in aller Welt kann man.....?! Egal, morgen neuen Belag kaufen und Speichen nachziehen. Oh: eine fehlt. Und die Hinterradfelge hat beachtliche Risse. Oh. Und wenn man den vorderen Mantel vom Staub befreit sind da mehr Risse als Profil. Oh.

    Egal. Wie Babs sagte: "Das ist das beste Rad, das ich je besessen habe." Na also: alles eine Frage der Perspektive.

    Also: morgen noch ein paar Details erledigen, dann geht es auf 1600m und dann bergab nach Baku ans kaspische Meer. Drückt uns die Daumen. :)

    Updates folgen.

    Update 1: Wir haben einen netten Fahrradladen mit jungen, motivierten Mechanikern gefunden. :) Flo hat eine neue gebrauchte Hinterradfelge, ein zentriertes Vorderrad mit neuem Mantel und neue Bremsbeläge. Werkzeuge sind auch gekauft, morgen geht's los :)
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  • Day80

    Tbilisi - Geheimtipp

    May 8 in Georgia

    Tiflis ist ein Highlight. Die Stadt hat einfach Charme. Bei manchem Gebäude mag man sich fragen wieso die Schwerkraft hier nicht siegt, aber es erfreut, dass dem nicht so ist.

    Zwischen Bergen gelegen begeistert Tiflis - neben verfallenenen Gassen - mit pittoresken Fußgängerzonen, Sowjetarchitektur, modernen Glasbauten, freundlichen Menschen und günstigen Preisen.... Richtig gut!

    Wir meinen: Tiflis ist der neue Geheimtipp. Und die Wandermöglichkeiten in Georgien vermutlich auch. Flo stöbert daher schon die ganze Zeit durch Immobilienportale. In dieser Hinsicht allem Anschein nach auch ein Geheimtipp.Read more

  • Day2

    Georgian Cuisine Masterclass

    April 29 in Georgia

    Instead of taking the funicular down the mountain, we drive all the way to the town towards our last stop of the day: a restaurant where we will learn how to prepare the mainstay dishes of the Georgian cuisine.
    We are welcomed outside the restaurant with a folkloric dance performed by a two talented dancers wearing traditional costumes.
    Once inside the restaurant, my travel mates get to try some locally produced wine and seem to be positively impressed.
    It's now time for some hands-on activities: after wearing an apron, a cooking hat and some gloves, we start preparing two local specialties by following the instructions of our hosts: the world-renowned Kachapuri (a delicious cheese-filled focaccia that I actually tried in a Georgian restaurant in Munich a couple of years ago) and Khinkali (meat-filled dumplings very similar to the Chinese dim sum). The best part of the experience is that we actually get to eat what we have prepared...
    Everybody seems to be enjoying this experience! I just hope our hosts will never realised that Kachapuri got renamed "Katzen-Pulli" (i.e. cat sweater) by our German travel mates... 😂😂😂

    By the time we get out of the restaurant it's already 6pm and in an hour we have dinner with the Internations members of Tbilisi!
    For today we are done with sightseeing (and, hopefully, with walking too!).
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  • Day7

    Martvili Canyon

    May 4 in Georgia

    Last wake-up in Mestia. 🙁
    A long day lies ahead of us as we have to be in Kutaisi by tonight. I will definitely miss these mountains...
    Departure is set at 8.30am and this time I am really the last one to show up in the breakfast hall, but I still make it to the bus in time. We are probably getting used to these long transfers: after a couple of toilet and coffee stops we are already at the Martvili Canyon, a hot rocky valley not far away from the town of Inchkhuri. Even if it feels like we have just left Mestia, it's actually 3.30pm!

    Knowing we wouldn't be able to stop at a restaurant, this morning we packed some food for a picnic. Luckily the weather is again amazing but the heat is terrible and finding a spot in the shade that hasn't already been used by local cows as an open-air toilet is not an easy task.
    Quickly consumed our lunch (we are by now obsessed with the motto of our guide "if it's possible, you may want to hurry up a little bit"), we walk further down the valley until we reach the entrance of the canyon itself. After wearing a life vest, we split into small groups and get on the pier, where some inflatables are waiting for us.
    I get on the second boat together with Jitka, Ralf, Tina and Colin. It looks like only the two passengers in the first row get to paddle, so I can simply sit back and relax enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.
    The canyon is truly breathtaking: a narrow creek with shallow super transparent green water carves its way in a 20- to 40-meter deep gorge. Like other places we visited during this trip, it looks unreal... The boat trip doesn't last long (the canyon stretches for 2,5 km but only the first part is accessible) and we have time for a quick walk in the bush where we get more stunning views of the gorge ans discover some more chasms and waterfalls.

    After a quick walk around we start heading back to the bus: it's not a long way until the parking lot, but the heat is almost unbearable and we have to stop at some strategically-located stands selling pomegranate juice. These people really do know how to do business...
    When we are finally back on the bus, we realise that our vehicle has turned into a furnace after lying for over an hour in the sun. Our funny mute bus driver decides to solve the situation by making everybody get off the bus and turn both the AC and the stereo on, so that the whole valley echoes with the tune of "Despacito". No need to say that some of my travel mates (not the German ones, obviously) can't resist the temptation to start dancing surrounded by enthusiastic locals that reward them for the entertainment with free chocolate. What an experience!!! 😂
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  • Day7

    Kutaisi

    May 4 in Georgia

    After this unplanned dance break we get back on the bus and this time Silvio sits next to me. Talking definitely helps to kill time and, before I even realise it, we are already in Kutaisi. We are kindly given an hour to check in at the reception and have a shower before we go out again to explore the town. As I'm sharing the room (and the bathroom) with Lola, it takes us slightly longer and we get to the lobby two minutes later than the agreed time... Just to find out that the others have already left!
    Luckily a group of 30 Germans strolling in the streets of an old Georgian town doesn't go unnoticed and we quickly catch up with our travel mates.
    Kutaisi used to be the capital of Georgia before Tbilisi and still has many monumental buildings, alternated with ruined abandoned houses. This contrast between modernity, luxury and poverty is what I personally find most striking about Georgian cities.

    At 8.30pm we are so hungry that we are not listening to our poor guide anymore and he has no other choice than giving us some advice for some good restaurants. I go with a small group to what seems to be a very typical local restaurant and we are quickly joined by most of our travel mates. Judging by the number of guests, food must be quite good here, but I cannot say the same about the service: they bring us a the drinks and a Adjaruli Khachapuri (a sort of ship-shaped open Khachapuri filled with cheese, melted butter and one egg)... and nothing else!!! After an hour we desperately ask one of the waitresses if we will still have to wait for long and we realise they had no idea we ordered something else...
    We end up spending over two hours in the restaurant sharing our dishes as they all arrive at different times. After dinner most of our group goes dancing, but Lola, Jitka and I get back to the hotel: tomorrow we will have a very long day as we will travel during the night flying back to Munich.
    Not to mention that I obviously still have to pack all my stuff into the only small carry-on trolley I brought with me...
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  • Day8

    Borjomi

    May 5 in Georgia

    Last wake-up in Georgia. At least for the this year, I guess...
    Some people were so brave to get up at 7am to go to a local market, while I just manage to take my bags to the bus and get to the breakfast hall 5 minutes before departure.
    Tonight we have to be back in Tbilisi and our holiday is unfortunately over, but we will first stop in Borjomi for a couple of hours. This town not far away from Tbilisi is world-renowned for the production of mineral water. Our driver seems to be a bit crazier than usual and starts overtaking on bends with cars coming in the opposite direction... I will never get used to Georgian driving! On the way to Borjami we also see an amazing fortress: the Surami Castle.

    A friend back in Munich put me in touch with two very good friends of his that are living in Tbilisi. And one of them - Mishka - happens to work at the water plant in Borjomi! We decide to meet at noon at the entrance of the Borjomi gardens, so I have the time to stroll a bit in the park and taste its famous mineral water from a hot natural spring. I must admit the taste is not exactly exciting...
    Mishka picks me up right in time before we are hit by a crazy storm and it starts pouring with rain. After a short drive into the valley, we decide to stop at a traditional restaurant where we order a crazy amount if food, including am intresting walnut-filled trout, grilled beef, fried cheese and the inevitable Khachapuri. Since we are obviously not able to eat everything up, we ask the waitress to wrap the remaining Khachapuri up: now anything can happen, but with my Khachapuri doggy bag on my side I will feel safe.
    I think I underestimated Georgian hospitality because there is no way I can convince Mishka to let me pay for at least half of the total bill, nor to avoid that he buys me sweets and magnets in the streets.
    We get back to my bus right in time to leave. I hope they would have waited for me if I had arrived one minute later...
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  • Day1

    Tiflis 1.

    October 28, 2017 in Georgia

    Start in Ddorf 19.45. ( LOTHAR HAT MICH MIT DEM ZUG GEBRACHT). In Warschau Umstieg problemlos. Ankunft in Tiblisi pünktlich2.05. (Unsere Zeit 4.05) Mit Bustaxe zum Hostel. 5.45 Licht aus. Schlaf zu kurz. 11.00 Frühstück. Andere getroffen. 14.00 Stadtführung. Hinterher Therme .

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Saburtalo

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