The city of Tbilisi is located in Georgia at 41.7167° North Latitude and 44.7833° East Longitude. It is about 300 kilometers away from Georgia’s western border and about 140 kilometers away from the Georgian-Azerbaijani border in the east. One can travel from the northernmost to the southernmost point of Georgia in one day. Regardless Georgia’s geographical compactness, it took about 300 hours for me to reach Tbilisi after the landing at Kutaisi International Airport. The reason of this discrepancy is a great detour, made by two Lithuanian travelers.
Since the very beginning of our journey we met many good people: Mancho, Georgian driver who took us even before we raised our hands to hitchhike from Kutaisi to Zugdidi, drove his two new friends to the local market, showing us the town at the same time. Despite the fact that we started our trip in the beginning of September, the weather was hot and heavy in Zugdidi. Therefore our plan to reach Mestia became even more tempting.
So we made it. It is not easy to raise your thumbs under the burning Zugdidi sun, but it seems that Georgia is not that kind of country where you will be left on the road. The driver who picked us up by his small cargo car was very kind to stop at every nice spot on the way, letting us take some pictures:
There are many things to do in Mestia, and the trip plan depends on one’s personal taste. Since we are used to sleep in a tent, our nights in Mestia went under the open sky. We went on a hike to the Chaladi glacier, where baby bear welcomed us together with border officers.
On our way back we met a nice Georgian couple – they not only drove us back to Mestia, but also offered us to join them and go to the top of the mountain, where two lakes can be found:
From Mestia we decided to go down to Zugdidi, this time by marshrutka, and reach Martvili, located in Samegerelo region, and surrounded by rivers and waterfalls. It’s also the place where we learned about Georgian hospitality in a hard way: if you receive an offer to come and share some food or drinks with your Georgian friends, regardless of your wishes, you go.
But to swim in a river is not enough for two travelers from one of the Baltic states – we headed out to the sea. Kobuleti was chosen as our first sea-stop, and this town showed us how to trust each other (especially during the storm, while trying to keep the tent on the ground), and how to eat khinkali.
Kobuleti with all its cows walking on the sea shore was also not enough for us, so we reached Batumi. The thing is that we were still thirsty for the sea, rather than gloss and glory, therefore Sarpi became our third stop.
During our long trip around the northern and western parts of Georgia we were traveling by walk, by marshrutkas, and by different cars we stopped. As a reward, we came back to Batumi to take the night-train to Tbilisi.
Only then we reached it, the place where I’m going to stay until the end of the year. But that is another story about my internship at „Caucasian House“, studies at Tbilisi State University and many other projects.