Tblisi - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Georgia’s capital, with its winding streets, streaming Sulphur baths and art treasures galore, never fails to enchant. Neither does its unique cuisine.
Close to colossal Caucasus mountains, Tbilisi is a melting pot bubbling with European-, Soviet- and Oriental- style architecture, a little dishevelled but all the more romantic for it. Famed for its hospitality – there’s a well-known Georgian saying that lauds the guest as a gift from God- your glass will never be empty s as endless toasts keep the chacha (Georgian brandy) flowing in this vivacious, diverse beautiful city. August and September have superb weather and many events that celebrate the capitals rising star status among the worlds best city breaks.
Begin by taking the cable car to the top of the 4th century Narikala Fortress overlooking the city and distant mountains. Here, you will be up close to Kartis Deda a 20-tall aluminium statue that greets friends with her goblet of wine and enemies with her sword.
On the descent, stroll through the ramshackle houses that cascade down the hill. With tilting and spiral staircases, wrought-iron and wooden balconies and colourful pastel shades, you will find yourself gawking at every corner. At the bottom get a scrubbing in the Sulphur baths, unmistakable by their steaming domed roofs.
Nearby in the Sioni Cathedral, murals and iconography in gold and blue combine to create one of the best examples of a sumptuous Orthodox interior. A progressive, artsy air has been pervading the city and it wouldn’t be Tbilisi without its numerous art cafes.
Get a feel for it in the vegetarian Café Leila or the Bohemian café Linville.
Its possible to pick up good street food all over the city but in Khurjini you will find hundreds of jars labelled with Georgian script. They are perfect for gifts – think syrupy walnuts, apples, and damsons.
On the other side of town, the wide boulevard of Roustaveli is home to the Georgian National Museum.
Heading down to the river, you will pass the flower market and make it ti the Dry Bridge market. Haggle over trinkets and vinyl while the friendly Georgians indulge in the heart-stopping doughy khachapuri.
Café Littera is set in the garden of the grand writer's house, the food and wine are some of the best in the city.
For more traditional Georgian fare head across the river to in the Shadow of Metekhi where arguably the best city panorama can be seen from its terrace above the Mtkvari river. If the views fail to entertain the restaurant also hosts local musicians and dancers satisfying all the senses as you tuck into fried chicken in blackberry sauce.
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Page added on: 23 October 2018
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