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  • Writer's pictureKatarina Zlatkovic

Georgia

Updated: May 20, 2023



This trip was totally unexpected.


The original plan was to visit Zanzibar, get a great tan, explore the jungles, eat fresh sea food and do snorkeling in the turquoise colored sea.


We booked the flights with Fly Dubai and were searching for a hotel, just when the news were announcing some Covid19 related issues in Zanzibar.

Being scared of getting stuck was something we didn’t want, and we aimed for this holiday to be worry-free.


I’ve been craving for a winter holiday for SO LONG, since I am living in Dubai, I haven’t seen snow in almost 5 years, and that is a big deal for me.


As soon as I saw one of my friends photo on Facebook skiing in Georgia and showed it to my boyfriend, we called Fly Dubai straight away and changed our flights.

I will never regret that decision.


Georgia is a country where one can experience nature at its finest, food that warms your soul, wine so well crafted you’ll remember the taste for a long time and people who seem hard on the outside but actually very friendly and kind on the inside.

Let’s go through this journey together!


DAY 1

Arriving in Tbilisi was as well, unpredictable. We were supposed to head off to Rooms Hotels Kazbegi, instead we had to spend the night in the same hotel in Georgian capital because the road to Kazbegi was blocked due to the insane amount of snow.

The hotel staff was kind enough to keep us updated frequently about the road situation.

After checking in around 5 pm, we discovered that the curfew in Georgia starts from 9 pm until 5 am so we rushed to have a dinner and try wine that everyone is obsessed with.

We discovered a few very hipster and fancy restaurant and bars, where we tried Khachapuri for the first time. Oh my God!



I mean, please look at the photo and tell me if you agree with me, that thing looks and tastes phenomenal. After getting stuffed with the most comfort food and few glasses of red wine, we already loved Georgia.



Tip: As soon as you land, download the app called Bolt, it is kind of an Uber app, very affordable rides, very punctual and easy.

Most of the places are accepting card payments, however, pulling off let’s say 100 Georgian Lari (around 30 USD) wouldn’t hurt to have in your wallet. Just in case.


DAY 2



One funny thing we learned is that in Georgia, everything opens quite late including breakfast places and coffee shops, the earliest you can get in is 10 am.


But very, very few places. We heard of Fabrika and went an hour earlier for it was a beautiful day and we could roam around the town before 10 am.

Fabrika is a hostel that once used to be a sewing factory and now is multi-functional urban space that is so worth visiting.



Just after we had breakfast, hotel called to say the roads are open and we can go to Kazbegi.

We booked Bolt and the driver Nikoloz (who is also a tour guide) was showing us most beautiful sceneries of nature along the way.



It took us 3 hours to get to Kazbegi and before we knew it, we were surrounded with the glorious mountains and snow.

Upon arriving to Rooms Hotel, we were welcomed in such a warm way, not to mention how impressed I was with the hotel’s cozy lounge, room with a view that takes your breath away and the extraordinary food and wine.


We spend our first night there enjoying the pool and sauna, resting in the lounge while dining and absorbing the peaceful nature around us.



DAY 3

On the day 3 it was mandatory by law to re-do the PCR test so hotel assisted us with it. The hospital in Kazbegi did a pretty good job and the testing went smooth and quick.

The driver who took us to the hospital asked if we want to come up to see the Trinity Church which we accepted without a doubt.

I have never seen this much snow in my entire life and the road that was leading towards the church was super, super tiny.

One thing I must say is that all the drivers we met in Georgia are very professional and we felt safe at all times.

At one point on the way up the car couldn’t pass through due to the amount of snow in front so we went until the end by walk.



I can tell you it was a struggle, the wind was strong and it carried snow directly into our eyes, although I was already blinded by the white layers of snow all around me.


I kept following my boyfriend's footsteps as he paved the road in front of me.

As we reached the church and finally recovered our breath back, the view from above was so stunning and unreal, almost as if someone placed a wallpaper in front of us.


I stood silently in front of the Causcas mountains thinking how grateful I am to be able to see this.



Now more about the church!

Situated at 2170 meters above the sea level and just under the Mount Kazbegi, this church was built in 14th century.

The reason why it is so high up is because it served as a safe place to hide the country's most valuable objects during the wars.

Now it is a very popular tourist and hiking destination so I highly recommend visiting this one.


Exhausted and hungry, we went back to the hotel to have lunch and sum up the thoughts on how amazing this hiking experience was.


We spent the rest of the day exploring the village and enjoying the nature surrounding us.



DAY 4


What was supposed to be our last day at Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi, turned out to be a trip to Gudauri and return to Tbilisi one day earlier.


After we enjoyed our breakfast, we got a notification from the receptionist that the road might close again because of the snow showers, which wasn't really working for us because we had to go back to Dubai the day after.

As the road closure was expected for the night time, we hurried to pack our things and went to Gudauri that is a very popular Ski destination in Georgia.

It was pretty sad for us to leave Kazbegi as it grew on us quite fast.



The ride to Gudauri was around 1 hour long and now I would like to take back what I said for the amount of snow around Trinity Church. Gudauri has the most snow I have ever seen in my life.

If you are someone looking for a ski vacation, this is your place.



We haven't had a chance to actually do it because Ski Center was closing at 4pm but also because we made a decision to go back to Tbilisi.

Gudauri is very beautiful, don't get me wrong, it's just the Covid19 rules that limited the movement and activities around the village so we realized there is not much to do.


Arriving to Tbilisi once again to Rooms hotels, starved and tired we went to Stamba hotel and had the best meal of our lives.


DAY 5

We woke up early being very determined to explore the town before our flight as much as we can.

After breakfast in Stamba (one of those very few restaurants you can have a coffee and food in the morning), we were strolling around the Old Town in Tbilisi, following the recommendations Nikoloz gave us.



Tbilisi has a lot of soul, the architecture is very mixed between European and Asian cultures with a Soviet touch.

The streets are covered in many beautiful graffities and monuments.



There are many orthodox churches and museums, that are mega worth visiting!



By the recommendation of one of the receptionist from Rooms hotel, we went for a lunch in a restaurant that is hidden in a small one way street.


It is one of the best restaurants we visited in Tbilisi, the food we ordered was their specialty- pulled beef and cheese kinhkhali. Wow!


What a way to leave Georgia. We still talk about that restaurant, even days later.



Whole experience was very positive and we want to visit Georgia again, but next time will be in the summer.

I'm sure it's equally beautiful if not even more.

Here are few more tips and contacts so feel free to use it if you need to!

• When booking a hotel, avoid doing it online, we found that we got far better price just by giving them a call.

• Visit Expedited Global Visa Services | iVisa.com to see if you need a visa for visiting Georgia.

• Contact Nikoloz for awesome tips and affordable rides. +995 555 77 72 00

• Follow up with Covid19 related restrictions before booking a flight.

• Eat local food!



Yours,


K









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