DISCOVERING GEORGIA

The idea of exploring an snowy place is a big hit especially if you’re living in a desert country for years. I’m sure lot of us want to see not only a snow in ice rink but a real snow. When I got the opportunity to join a group of friends who will visit Georgia for 4 days then I automatically said yes to them. At first, I thought Georgia is part of America so we need to obtain a visa but then it’s Georgia in Europe or some say part of Eurasia where Filipinos can stay for some days without any visa.

There’s a sale on Fly Dubai that time so one of my friend booked our ticket online. We also try to book our hotel online but we got a better deal when we had a conversation with Giorgi thru email. Giorgi is our tour guide in Georgia¬† (mobile: +995 577 479947 and email: Giorgi.orjonikidze@yahoo.com)and he even help us to get an accommodation at a discounted price along with complete itinerary package. All we have to do is pack our things, fly to Georgia and he’ll meet us in Tbilisi Airport where a snowy adventure awaits us.

Around 3:15am when our plane landed in Tbilisi. After queuing in immigration, exchanging our dollar to Georgian Lari, we meet Achu, Georgi’s assistant who will bring us to our apartment, I really felt I was not in Dubai anymore when we step outside the airport and brrrrr…….it’s cold. ‘Ang Lameegggg‘, is what I heard from my group as we start walking in the parking lot. Most of our winter clothes are packed inside our bag so battling the cold air is the first challenge we encounter that day.

Our time were consumed with excitement so the urge of having breakfast super early in the morning come first in our list. Good thing Giorgi knows where to eat when we almost think that no restaurant is yet open that time.

24 hrs open…

After we dropped all bags in our apartment, take some rest, freshen up ourselves, put on right thermal clothes, we’re ready to go our official first day trip. We thought the tourist bus is big for 5 of us but eventually it was loaded with other group also. No worries as we are all Filipinos and all came from UAE.

Hello Mr. Sun in Georgia

Top of our priority why we visit Georgia is to see snow so that’s what we really expect on our first day, Unbeknownst to us, Georgi had other pre-arrange plan before our snowy moment.

9:00am Jvari Monastery

We quickly follow Giorgi when we saw the monastery nestled on top of the hill. As we walk along, we felt the breeze of cold air. Some of us believe it is a quick stop so they left their bonnet and gloves in the bus. Oh boy, the place is elevated so the is much colder as expected but it didn’t bother us because we’re more excited to see what’s inside this old place.

Jvari Monastery

Jvari Monastery means Temple of the ‘Holy Cross’ built in 6th century and listed as UNESCO Heritage site.

Jvari Monastery facade

The exterior wall is simply an evident of how this Monastery survived the challenges in the past decades.

Take a look on what we saw inside….

If the Jvari Monastery is already magnificent in our eyes, then we look at the surrounding and greeted us with a breathtaking panorama of Mstkheta where the river Aragvi from Caucasus meet the river Mtkvari from Turkey.

old Mtskheta

10:05am Zhinvali Reservoir

As we go on our trip, we got the opportunity to see the Zhinvali Reservoir which is important for the water supply in Tbilisi.

 

Oh, the snow blended on the water, bridge and mountain on the other side.

10:45am Ananuri Fortress

Not far from Zhinvali Reservoir is a castle built in 17th century which is Ananuri Fortress.

Road to Ananuri

We don’t want to miss the chance of exploring the viewpoint in the castle.

 

11:45am Lunch time

After an hour spent in Ananuri, we hop on our bus to proceed to our next destination but Georgi decided to have lunch first so that we’re all ‘busog‘ as we travel to ski resort.

Not only the food and wine we enjoy here but also the view in front of the restaurant.

And it’s time for our skiing adventure. This is on the way to Gudauri where we pass the zigzag road of the mountain with snow-capped on both side.

Our first snow experience on my next post….

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