We reserved the whole day to see the famous Tbilisi City. You will soon realize that Tbilisi is a small place, and you can roam around just by feet.
We decided to start our tour from Rustaveli Metro, it is just a few stops away from Tsereteli Metro. Going in the direction to Freedom Square (which is to the right side as you exit from the Metro), our first goal is to find a good restaurant for breakfast. We have seen lines of stores, and by luck, we happened to pass by a Pandora store…
Aaaannnndddd…. You know what happens after .. lol
We decided to have our breakfast at Shkhara and have a try on their version of Khinkhali and pork barbecue. I love the ambience of the place. They have this retro type kind of restaurant with walls covered with unique pictures, paintings and decors with a touch of Georgian culture.
What we realized from our stay here, is that most restaurants take their time in serving food. Might be because they cook it only once you ordered. We waited 45 minutes before we were able to eat. But the food is worth the wait.
Walking along Rustaveli Anenue, walk across the left side as most of the tourist spots are here. To be honest, I am not sure which is which. All I know is that we were able to pass through the Tbilisi Opera, National Museum, Theater and some other establishments. We have our map and we just assumed that we are taking the right ones to what we assumed it is. Lol
Along the avenue, you can find a store named Georgian Gifts, where you could buy good souvenirs to bring back home.
One of my favorite stop here is the Kashveti church which has a very cool ceiling art.
“Legend has it the prominent 6th century monk David of Gareja of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers was accused by a woman of making her a pregnant in Tbilisi. David prophesied his denial would be proved when she gave birth to a stone. She did, and the place received the name of “kashveti.” – Wikipedia
Upon reaching Freedom Square, we walked along the left most cobbled street where we ended up in Old Tbilisi.
Old Tbilisi was a letdown for me. I was expecting it to be a heritage type of town. Given the town was full of old houses and architectures, it seems like the beauty of the old city is bit by bit replaced by the crowd and business all over the place. Old houses were turned to restaurants and stores, and some into hotels.
Even with this picture, I was still able to appreciate the place. The colorful wooden houses, the old gates and doors, stairs and vine-covered walls, you can still feel the beauty of old Europe.
At the top of Old Tbilisi is another Samikitno restaurant with “I ❤ Tbilisi Sign” – that we just can’t help but take a picture with.
Across the street is another church, but we skipped this and went to fall in line for the cable to take us up to Narikala Fortress. The cable car will take you up near the Fortress.
Going on your right, you could have a picture with the Majestic 20m Mother of Georgia statue. Facing the see, she holds a glass of wine on her left hand, to welcome visitors and a sword on the right for enemies.
Going down left from cable drop off, you will reach the entrance of Narikala. Narikala is an ancient fortress that sits at the hill of Tbilisi. A church is inside it surrounded by walls. You could have a great view of the city from here as well.
In the fortress, there are some climbs you have to do, and I left Kenneth all alone to enjoy his climb.
Going down, we returned to Old Tbilisi for lunch. But before that, we passed the Sulfur baths and walked some more and ended up seeing this falls. They even have a bridge with love locks like Paris 😀
We tried going as well to their Fruit and Veg market, but it’s a typical one,nothing to see, so we left immediately. Afterwards, we decided to stop at Marjanishvili Metro Station to look for lunch (yes, we weren;t able toeat at Old Tbilisi). Sadly, we couldn’t find a good one and ended up eating at another Samikitno branch there.
Following the directions Shoti gave us, we searched for the Wine Gallery for wine tasting. It’s not in the main road, so we have to enter some streets to reach it. Here’s the business card we got from them with instruction how to get there (or you could just call Shoti to take you there 😀 )
(sorry, I can’t orient it right :()
Reminder: The store has 2 floors. The upper one has the expensive wines. Go downstairs for the homemade wines where you could buy wines for as low as 30 AED (8 USD). You could have free tastes of their wines as well. They have red and white, ranging from sweet to dry. I loved the sweet red wine 😀
After buying our wines, we went home for a while to drop our purchases and rest for a while. For dinner, we went back to Freedom Square to Veliaminov – a pub type of restaurant we found. We tried their Khinkhali but didn’t enjoy it. Good thing, Kenneth enjoy his beer ..lol
It was our last night, but definitely satisfied to what we have seen. We have remaining hours next day before our flight 😀
On our last day, we said goodbye to Pirkria with a promise to come back again. She called a taxi for us to take us to Holy Trinity Church first. For 4 lari, she was able to book us a Taxi that will pick us up at our place.
Holy Trinity Church, or more known as Sameba Church is one of the largest religious buildings in the world. It is estimated to accommodate 10 churches inside.
Inside the church, there are some relics including a very old version of the Bible.
From Sameba, we took a taxi to Samikitno in Freedom Square for our last lunch here. It was nice to have our first and last meal at the same place. And just like before, Shoti picked us up from here to take us back to the airport.
Georgia is a very satisfying experience. It felt like I could stay there forever and build my life there. It feels like home and I would really really love to come back – maybe in winter time? 😀