Thursday, 2 July 2015

Stationary in Tbilisi

Well after realising my Azerbaijan visa is not valid until monday the 6th I have a chance to explore Tbilisi a bit more. I have been glad for the opportunity because I'm sure I would have left here thinking there was nothing to see.

While large parts of this city are made up of wide fast flowing  chaotic roads populated by everything from new Mercedes to lowered and loud Japanese racers to clapped out Russian jalopies all in a daily wacky race, there is much more.

It's freedom square where a golden statue of St George celebrates Georgian independence and the older part of town with tree lined cobbled shady streets occupied with a plethora of small shops selling everything from wines and silver to local food products and tourist souvenirs. Cafes provide local food and a place to sit away from the days heat.

There is also a very modern out of town shopping centre that would not look out of place anywhere in affluent Europe with cars on display in the main foyer.

The recent flood appears to have closed a few roads which may to some extent explain my experience of the busy roads but a lot of clean up work is in progress.

Georgia has had a troubled past while only a few years ago Russia threatened invasion again. But modern Georgian people seem incredibly friendly and there is a sense of good times.

Out in the countryside I passed through there seems to be lots of people stood by the roadside. . I don't know how long they've been waiting for that bus, but some of them have grown old waiting.

My next destination may provide more of the culture shock as I move from Georgia's mostly European feel to a country with a  well publicised corruption problem. But I hope like most places I have passed through that the fear of getting there is worse that the actual experience of being there.
We shall see

I'm the meantime I'm going to indulge my curiosity and spend the weekend enjoying Tbilisi old town still trying to not giggle when I say thank you in Georgian which is pronounced "mad lover" . . .  little things! 

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