Day 2- Discovering Tbilisi
The breakfast was splendid! I had tasty cottage cheese made with local honey, scrabbled eggs, sausages, and toast. I really appreciated just how much our hosts were doing to ensure that we had a comfortable stay. We decided to start our excursion with the “Tbilisi Funicular” which takes you to the city’s highest point. It is very cheap, (something like 5 euros per person) and accessible to visitors. Once at the top, I could not help but be in awe of the beautiful view, if you’re a nature lover, this is the place for you, unfortunately, there’s not much else to do. There’s a theme park for kids close by, but it is nothing to die for if I’m being honest. Later we headed to the lower part of the city where Metekhi “St. Virgin Church” is located. This is a thousand-year-old monument, one of the most iconic ones, commissioned by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the city’s founder. The church is about 1,000 years old and has survived through centuries of invasions and constant wars. Although the church is quite small, the inside is beautiful and can fill one with a feeling of calmness and inner peace.
We wanted to take the cable which leads from one side of the river to the other in order to reach the top of the fortress. Unfortunately, it was closed due to maintenance work and instead, we walked over to the “New Bridge” a very modern bridge leading to the other river bank. Once at the fortress, we climbed the walls which went to the top, we had probably the best city panorama and we climbed on the fortress walls, so we could imagine ourselves like back in those days, shooting arrows and enemies at sight) the panorama was quite unusual: on one side, nature, with the botanical garden and on the other side, a modern city. Quite a paradox)
We walked further on top of the rocky mount where we could contemplate “Kartlis Deda” or “Lady Georgia”: a 20-meter-high metallic statue holding a sword. It was erected in 1958 for the city’s 1500 year birthday! Magnificent and fierce! She’s holding a sword against the potential invaders. We wanted to come back to the botanical garden to see the big waterfall we missed yesterday, but this time we would paraglide! We would glide from “Narikala Fortress” to the middle of the Botanical Garden for about 10 euros per person. It’s only 25-30 second glide but it’s quite fun) We soon after found the giant waterfall where all the “Just Married” couples were taking pictures in front of it and we walked down to the sulfuric baths, where we found one for about 7.5 euros for 2 for an hour. The sulfuric water has the ability to slow down your aging process, when you get inside the hot bath it smells of eggs, that’s the sulfur smell but it’s quite pleasant and after your skin is like that of a baby’s) I recommend it! We found a place to eat a typical “хачапури по аджарский”, I must admit, Georgian cuisine is quite tasty but really fat, that’s why people are a little “pudgy” we finally had a last walk in the old city, visiting a few cathedrals and we went back to our hotel. Good grief!