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Author Topic: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind  (Read 1398 times)

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Online msmoby

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Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« on: April 30, 2019, 02:22:33 AM »


Tbilisi has replaced Kyiv as a meeting point for biz meetings for European and Russian passport holders without the need for pre arranged Visas.( Russian males of military age are currently not welcome )

I adored Georgian wine and cuisine from my earliest travels to S.Russia's Black Sea resorts in the mid noughties and when a member decided to live here, I thought it would make a suitable replacement.

It has not disappointed.

Sochi is a hop over the Mountains by air, but my nutty colleagues decided to DRIVE!

Because of 'Abkhazia'..which Georgia claims is part of her territory and Russia recognises as a separate nation (but gives Russian passports) one cannot take the coastal route from Sochi via Sukhum(i) That would save nearly 50 percent in distance.

The journey was just under 1000km and some of the Russian roads were not covered with asphelt !


At the border it took over 2 hours to leave Russia and 2 minutes to enter Georgia,  then a qick stop to buy insurance for the RU reg!d car...( 50 Gel).. c.$20 approx

The no man's land was only 1 km...much less than the RU-Finland border crossing I experienced in Dec '17

 I travelled via Wizzair from Luton...the ticket with 10kg checked in hold luggage was £60))..The Irish chap sat next to me paid only £19 for carry on!

The flight is nearly six hours and goes to Kutaisi...mid way between Tbilisi and Batumi.

The airport is 20 mins from Kutaisi city and a coach costs 20 GEL..less than £6 to Tbilisi.

Then a15 min taxi ride to our apartment.  When booked with the Bolt app it cost 10 GEL..less than £3 . It was my first trip in a Toyota Prius.

It was a mark2 ..an insurance write off from New Jersey, USA...Imported to Georgia,  done up and cost the driver $4900 all in ( taxes and repair) a year ago.

It seemed v.solid and no rattles.

Toyota Prius seem to be 20 to 25 percent of vehicles on the road!  Hybrids are BIG here.

Although we have the Russian vehicle, we use the Metro..which costs 14p (18 US cents ) per journey and one can transfer to a bus at no charge..if one transfers within 60 mins(?) it is considered  a continuation of the journey and free.

One buys a metro card for 2 GEL and scan it on entering a bus. 

Inspectors occasionally arrive and pick out folk at random to check the car was scanned or if one has bought a ticket!

I was here in March and was shocked to see so many RU reg'd cars...but it will soon be the Russian May holidays.

Generally, younger people speak English and over 40's Russian.

The relationship with Russia is complex ..  The photo - overlooking the city's Botanic Park ( c.$1.5)   says " Russian Occupiers" 



Many - esp. younger people resent Russia occupying what THEY see as Georgia ( S.Ossetia and 'Abkhazia' )  and seek closer ties with the west and the EU




I am writing this as we await a delivery of our evening meal..delivery cost c. £1 ..There are 4 competing food courier firms and earing out here is so cheap, it makes cooking at home seem crazy.

Things to try...Tarragon 'ade' ..'Takhun' and Khachapuri... which makes pizzas seem boring.


The view from the top




Online msmoby

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 02:23:22 AM »

Driving from the border with Russia to Tbilisi




It was -4C in the mountains and +21C in Tbilisi

Online msmoby

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 11:12:51 AM »
Was introuced to a great e
Wine app 'Vivino!, today..

Take photo of the label within the app and one can read about the wine.

As apps go..as really useful one.





Offline Chris

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 01:53:39 AM »
Was introuced to a great e
Wine app 'Vivino!, today..

Take photo of the label within the app and one can read about the wine.

As apps go..as really useful one.


We love Georgian wine in this house, still drinking lots of this stuff   :)
 http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,17645.0.html

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 01:12:11 AM »
Hi Chris

Have fallen in love with Saperavi dry reds...

All the full bodied flavour but minus the tannin that makes so many red  wines feel rough as one touches the tongue to the the roof of the mouth))

As I was planning a short trip , I had not invited SC...work had to come first...But a small delay meant a window opened and there were no seats left on direct flights at sensible prices as it is the May holidays, she took a sleeper train to Vladivavkas and a mini van to cross to Georgia to Tbilisi.



Only problem was we had a day of rain and that meant 3 and 4m snowdrifts and single file traffic and long queues

Luckily, Irina..who works for Formula 1 events in Sochi ..had been to Baku to see the Azerbaijan GP and was transiting Tbilisi .

She is from Vladikavkaz ( the city nearest the RU-GE border) and arranged the mini van service for SC

Without her help, SC's transit would have been much more of a hassle. It was sheer coincidence that she was going the opposite way and had a list of drivers in her contacts list...SC was met by Timur at the train station and he called my Georgian mobile number to allow SC to tell me she was OK..but the snow had caused big tailbacks.

Thank you, Ira

She has just got off an overnight train, wearing no make up and looks lovely.


She took me to a jewelry market in the station and the selection of rings and prices were v.reasonable.









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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind..the arrival of SC
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 01:34:59 AM »
I guessed SC would arrive at 6-7pm at the bus station at Didube on the northern outskirts of Tibilisi.

Boy was I wrong, and I used Skype to send SMS to her RU mob to advise her of my location..it is a linear layout .

I was shown the place where the minivans depart arrive, but at the time did not know the name of the driver, so the precise place was a guess. I showed a picture of SC and asked the RU guys to watch out for her.

A guy turned up in a VW Transporter and I showed him the photo and he knew Ira and he had arranged SC's transfer and he showed me he had SC's train ticket and Timur had met her off the exact carriage on the platform ..service !

There were a diverse collection of vehicles offering rides to Vladikavkaz, and various other SW cities including Saratov.



I was getting hungry and Vitality through whom Ira and I booked told me of a great Shashlik place and I had just eaten when he told me that SC was minutes away and she called my GE mobile to confirm ))

The transfer cost 1500 Roubles.

I took SC to our hotel and she pronounced on the way that the suburbs remained her of Soviet times!!  When she saw the hotel, she changed her mind.

I took her into town and was by now gob smacked by Tbilisi.

We had an impromptu wine tasting at midnight ..she had her rabbit food at a restaurant Maxx had told me about that my guy use for home delivery and we crashed at 0230.

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 02:54:16 AM »
A curse on predictive text

*Vitaliy....not vitality))

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Re: Georgia ( the FSU one) on my mind
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2019, 11:57:43 PM »

When SC finally arrived, she had been 'off air' for nearly 4 more hours than I thought..

She was exhausted and our apartment was not available until the next day so I had booked a hotel. The journey there gave SC to see the suburbs of Tbilisi and the impression was not favourable...))

Luckily, the hotel was great and we took a taxi to the centre for her to eat ( I had eaten while bored waiting). I used the Bolt (gasify) app and a 25 minute journey cost 3 USD in a Prius imported from the US.


On seeing the centre, SC changed her mind and we had an impromptu wine tasting session at mid night...We went to the restaurant Maxx had introuduced me to..it works 24/7..and the Russian speaking chef made her bespoke rabbit food.

We got home at 0230...and crashed..

I took this photo of SC as she stirred..I could not believe she was really there))



We went to the boys apartment .dumped off the bags and went to the Central market to buy the grass SC eats copious amounts of.

When we returned,  the 2nd apartment was ready and SC prepared a salad and we went to bed v.early.

The next morning, I woke up first, went to the bakery and bought the boys breakfast and moved my gear next door. Iwanted (needed ) a haircut and while it was being done, Svetlana noticed a beauty Salon at the rear...

My haircut had cost 6 Lari.. approx $2 ..that included extraneous removal of ear hair and eye brow trimming

We asked how much it would be for a manicure and pedicure plus a shellac treatment...$20...

I was served coffee and cakes while SC was pampered.










The salon staff were so friendly and we shared music to listen to ....

If you bring your lady to Tbilisi I guarantee she will appreciate the care.)


 

 

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