Friday, March 31, 2017

The wineries you'll never suspect - In Georgia with the Wandering Writer

And with that I mean the beautiful country in the Caucasus region, the connection between Asia and Europe, the pearl (at least that was from my point of view) of the Black Sea.
We reached the capital Tbilisi in a spring day. The weather was fair, most of the time, so our wanderings could go on undisturbed for the entire length of our holiday.
Tbilisi, being the capital is also the biggest and most populated city, and reflects the economical and political situation of the country fairly well.
It is a country divided between big poverty and richness; in the eyes of the beholder, it seems like the middle class is very slim, then respect the poor, which represent the majority, and the rich, who are the obvious minority.
Since 2003, with the Rose Revolution Georgia is aiming for joining the NATO, mostly I do believe as a way to prevent any possible attack from Russia, which has obviously opposed the process. However, in 2011 Georgia was designed as an aspirant country.
This small political introduction about Georgia was necessary to understand the lifestyle and the country you might want to visit one day.
As I wrote at the beginning the city has a clear divide, between poor and rich, old and modern, which seems to coexist in harmony with each other, as they belong to each other like the limbs of a single body.

Georgia is clearly a country that wants to move on towards Europe and this will is clearly expressed through the architectural styles that characterize the new buildings in the city.
It almost seems as they want to burn the bridges with a difficult past and relaunch not only its own economy, but rewrite its own history; a better one.
Therefore, you might not be surprised to find modern building surrounded by old fashioned architectonic styles, which I hope they will not tear apart, as they are incredibly beautiful and represent anyway an important cultural heritage of the country.
The best way to explore the city and to see this change between old and new, is to have a ride with the cable car to the Sololaki hill.
During this trip you will be amazed by the beauty of the view to the city, and prepare your cameras to take great pictures.

And be prepared also to admire the blending between old and new in a harmony of forms that will make you understand a lot about the clear direction the country is willing to take.
The Sololaki hill, represent one of the best spots to have a walk in the nature and to observe the fantastic view of the city, and in springtime its charm is enhanced by the many blossoming trees, and the peace of the place,

 and perhaps the most important monument of all: the Kartlis Deda, or the monument to the mother Georgia.
This is a very important monument for the Georgian and symbolizes the spirit of the country, holding a cup of wine for those who come as friends and a sword to defend the city from those who come as enemies.
It is a powerful message in its silent and majestic form and gives the sense of calm and peace, yet warning calmly about the willingness of the country to fight by any means whoever or whatever could undermine their independence.

For sure you heard about the wine culture in Italy, France, Spain, and definitely, with the mild climate you might think that also in Georgia, someone is producing wine, but when you go to a restaurant you are perhaps expecting something that is not as refined as the wine from  the main world producers.
You couldn't be more wrong!
The wine in Georgia is a real experience that will make you fall in love at the first sip with a blend of sweet spices, full bodied wine that will entice, excite you and make you sad, knowing that in your country you might not be able to find any of this nectar of the Gods.
The cuisine is another spot on, from the small restaurants to the finer ones, you will never be disappointed. Honest traditional cooking is what you can expect and the care for the customer service is something you really will enjoy.
To give an example, we went to a small restaurant to have a dinner, you know, one of those small places where you might not be able to get more than a beer with your meal. Nevertheless, we asked if they had some red wine, as in the list there wasn't any mention.
The waiter, thought about it for a second "of course, we have it," he replied.
He went to the desk exchanged a couple of words with a younger waiter and we saw him disappearing out of the restaurant.
After a few minutes he reappeared with a couple of bottles of red wine, probably purchased from the shop behind the corner, and guess what, after that our two glasses of wine arrived.
This is something that, at least in my country will never happen, and can't fail to please.
Among old and new, the architecture of Tbilisi has also very curious buildings that are really made to attract your attention, like this crazy clock tower, which it seems coming  directly from Alice in Wonderland, and you could expect to see the White Rabbit coming out of it, in a hurry, jumping around.
Describing Tbilisi in a single blog, or even by words, it is really something difficult, as nothing ever can replace the experience of being there in this vibrant city.
I wish I could give you all the feelings I had as visiting a country that remained in my heart for many different reasons, one of which being the calm and the easy-paced lifestyle that characterize the city. That relaxed pace that makes you reconsider whether it would be wiser to enjoy more life, rather than run every day more and more to produce more than yesterday, being more effective, faster or committed than the others.

For posterity to judge, in the meanwhile, enjoy your life, live it at the fullest and if you can, visit Georgia.

1 comment:

  1. Georgia on my mind... No US GE :-) Pedestrians, be aware of a traffic and a lack of safety paths. Good food, special claypot matured wine, intersting place to go. Tbilisi has the best cow brains (at least to my taste) on the planet with cream and butter ever! (restaurant by the bridge I can't remember the name, but I'll found it for you if interested!!)


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