Remember when I said we were not a fan of Cultural tours and City tours, well we just proved it while doing cultural tours in Georgia. But nevertheless, the places we’ve seen and been through were still breathtaking and short of amazing.
Our tour started in Uplistsikhe or “Lord’s Fortress, about two hours drive from Gudauri. Getting to the top requires a bit of a hike but not requiring you to be fit to get there.
It was hot when you’re at the base and gets chilly at the top so don’t forget to bring your sweater or scarf with you. Our guide, whose name I forgot was very informative of this historical place. He said this is the place where the oldest urban settlers were found, older than Jesus Christ was born.
This cave served as a house to the settlers before the Mongols came and invade this place. The complex were used for pagan worship even when Christianity arrived, the life in Uplistsikhe continues.
There were areas used for sacrifices. Traces of buildings, pillars and larger structures showed that this place used to have a prison, bakery, ceremonial places, cellars and even amphitheater. I wonder how it was like back in those days?
After the hike in Uplistsikhe we made our way to Mtshketa. A small city considered to be one of the oldest in Georgia. Here you will find plenty of shops for souvenir shopping and coffee break. We even tried the best coffees in the world as “proclaimed” by the shop owner.
It was interesting how the owner makes the coffee. Without using a kettle he melted the coffee through stirring the cup on top of very hot remnants of coals. It tasted good and very strong. Better than Starbucks is what he said and never failed us.
After spending some time in Mtshketa and stopping to each souvenir shop without buying anything we then proceed to another famous monastery in Georgia on top of the hill, Jvari Monastery. It was too bad that we were not allowed to take drone shots from Uplistsikhe but this time we were able to record a video.
It was fascinating how the old settlers were able to build this church on top of the hill without the help of any machine or technology. I can’t seem to imagine how they were able to do that. I honestly am thankful to these old settlers for building a beautiful monastery on top as the place provides peace and serenity. Once you get there, I began to reflect on the wonderful blessings I have received in my life. Somehow this place have that kind of effect on me. I guess it was the location? You were seeing everything so small and yet when you are on the ground you feel like you’re above everyone else.
The sun was settling in when we reached Tbilisi. We took a cable car to the top of I don’t know which place to be able to see the whole Tbilisi. It was beautiful at night. You can really tell that this place is old because of the building structures. Each corner you will find churches. Even the third tallest Orthodox church in the world, the Holy Trinity Cathedral is located in Tbilisi.
Our guide said the city is beautiful during Spring. They have a botanical garden that houses beautiful flora and fauna, I don’t have a doubt about that. The statue behind me is a lady who they believed is the Mother of this country. She’s holding a bowl of wine in her left hand as a greetings to those friends to her and her country while on the other is a sword for those who come as enemies. Interesting right?
Georgia is rich in history and culture. One that must be explore by those who love ancient artifacts and old structures. As for us, we enjoyed listening to our guide’s stories. I wish we had more time in Georgia for wine tour. I guess we’ll save it for next time.