The most convenient way to travel around Georgia is to rent a car. The main roads are good, just the style of driving can be stressful… Georgian drivers are impatient and overtake in any situation. Be prepared to be overtaken when you are overtaking some other car, and keep calm when you are overtaken from the right side as well 🙂 (if you are wondering now, the traffic is right-hand drive in Georgia). If you want to visit mountains, it’s better to rent a 4×4 car.
I traveled over 1000 km to see this place and when I arrived it was midnight, the moon was shining and wolfes were howling around. Pure magic. I had to find my guest house, which was around 2 minutes from the cave city.
It’s not Petra but also the ancient city built in a rock. It was built in around XIII century to protect people from the Mongol attacks. Nowadays, when we come with the main road, we see a huge rock with carved caves in it, but it looked different back then. The main road was on the top of the mountain and the caves were hidden from the plain sight. Later on, there was an earthquake which destroyed half of the city.
How it looked I can’t really imagine because there are 13 floors and I’m not sure if it was that deep into the ground like mines. Also I’m wondering if they had a daylight or spectacular view on the valley in some places. I should have asked some guide but I was too excited and those questions popped up later. If you know something more, please write in the comments or DM me.
Close to Vardzia there is also a similar (older) place but not that popular or spectacular, called Vanis Kvavebi.
It is also a cave town but way older than Vardzia, from the Bronze Era – around XII/XIII century BC! There are wine presses so I think that Georgia really has a right to say that they invented wine and has the oldest tradition in making it 😉 It was a very important town in the past and also shelter from the foreign intrusion, literally means both “the lord’s fortress” and “the king’s heaven”.
Martvili and Okatse canyon
Beautiful canyons that you can admire walking on the suspended bridges, some of them are see-through!
Is a unique limestone monolith. On the top lives a monk who rebuilt the tiny church from around 7th century. Unfortunately it is not possible to visit him, but you can enjoy the magic vibe on the ground.
The old Soviet town where time has stopped in 1954 😉 You can admire the image of Lenin and Stalin and take a scary ride in the sketchy, rusty cable car. I don’t recommend doing this though!
Tibilisi and Kutaisi
If you take a flight to Georgia, you will arrive to one of those cities but I can’t tell anything fascinating about them. Just cities. I’m a bigger fan of nature and I spent my time in the restaurants eating delicious food.
When I was about to leave the city, my beloved asked me to check the navigation. He wanted to turn right but I suddenly shouted “no! Go left!”, so he broke traffic rules and turned as I said. We drove in to the very crowded area, it was really messy on the street, there was also police and we heard shooting… I’m naive and at first I was telling to myself “no, it must be a firework”, and we also realised that it’s a wrong way. We should have turned right like He was trying to… So this way, with my navigation skill, I led us into the center of the protest, which we were told about later and saw in the news that it escalated and got aggressive. We escaped on time but my beloved still gives me the look and I’m making a puppy face 😉
It is a subject for another post as there’s a few different mountain regions which are beautiful and not crowded like in many European places.
There’s many more nice place and the whole west coast with famous Batumi and the Black Sea. Where to go depends on your preferences and time, but I don’t think you can go wrong in Georgia 🙂
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