When we decided to spend a couple of days in Georgia, we got the information that our plane will lend and get off to and from Kutaisi…. Well, let say that it was already a piece of adventure! This city was totally unknown from us even if Kutaisi is the 2nd largest city in Georgia (almost 200 000 unhabitants).
From my side, it was the perfect illustration that Georgia is totally unknown seen from France, and out of the mainstream tourism.
To be short, WE LOVED IT!!
Hidden treasures on earth
Even if our stay in this city was not too long, I think it is important to us to talk about our experience. We have been touched by this city for many reasons:
1. The city and the surroundings have a lot of architectural treasures. Mixed from Europe and Asia, Kutaisi region (Imereti) has the specificity to welcome many orthodox churches and some of them are even on the UNESCO Heritage. In the summer time, the season is suitable for weddings and we had chance to assist very nice ceremonies, very powerful.
The Bagrati cathedral (10th - 11th centuries) and Gelati monastery (between the 12th and 17th centuries) represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia. They have been put on the list of UNESCO heritage in danger
2. « Palaty » restaurant was a very nice surprise. Beautiful place, nice atmosphere, great wine list (we definitely understood that the story about oenotourism in Georgia is a serious affair and worth to follow for the future), a musical atmosphere (I even sang a Joe Dassin's song (famous French singer) at the end of the evening with a Georgian that was playing piano – for sure, Ela will never forget it )
3. As we decided to visit Okatse canyon, we took the bus (it was Sunday) and visit a bit the countryside of Kutaisi. We arrived in a small village where a lot of people were for the Sunday vegetables market. Really nice scene especially when you have to take a second bus full of this people going back home.
On the way back, due to Sunday obviously reasons, there was not too much bus and we decided to hitchhike. Bingo, a bus full of young Georgians going back home from a Sunday excursion with their language school (they were learning English, uff, great) stopped for us. They were going back to the city center. We started to talk to them. They were very curious to meet us and practice english. They were also singing very loud in the bus… a way for us to get closer to Georgian music. Then, as they started to like us, they invited us to join them for a picnic lunch.
Actually, they were not going straight to Kutaisi but they had the plan to have a lunch before going home. Well, we signed straight away and were so happy to share with them Barbecue, Kadchapouri, Watermelon, etc.. We spent a beautiful moment, full of curiosity, full of open mindedness… We both love to travel for meeting new people, facing new culture.