Welcome to 'World Journeys' (the blog)! Formerly known as 'The Greater World', World Journeys is written by Andrew Boland, a traveller approaching 40 who has visited 69 countries, and counting!
This blog features any travel I am doing, and thoughts, memories and the like from my past trips, not to mention photos. Please come back regularly to read about some of the interesting, and different places I have visited!
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Trip to Tbilisi
Dear avid followers and those who just happened to visit
this page by chance.
I visited Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, a couple of
weeks ago. Strange to take a break from the daily routine of teaching here in
Georgia which challenges and is rewarding too. But I have a series of photos
needing explanations here for you!
A bride in Tbilisi.
Tbilisi is really quite an attractive city. The
population of Georgia is around 4.7 million people, so the capital was never
going to be a huge metropolis or even Almaty-sized, but with around a million
people (so I am told) it is definitely the capital, where much is possible that
isn’t in other places around the country.
Metro station - the escalators.
I must confess that staying in a hotel with a proper warm
shower with actually water pressure was one of the highlights, as was the wifi.
Tbilisi is not a flat place at all. The city follows the river Mtkvari as it
winds its way through the Georgian hills. It stretches up to the top of the
hills where castles, churches, a TV tower and theme park watch over the city’s
Freedom Square is one of the main centres of town, where
celebrations the week before had been going on with the French President
Nicholas Sarkozy making a special visit. Georgia sees itself as part of Europe,
which according the map.. isn’t quite where it sits. It seems to have desires
to join the EU at some point.
The castles on the hills are typical of Georgia. I
visited the Narikala Fortress, mostly in ruins but when I was there the church
inside was hosting a bit of wedding. Or they were just there for photographs, I
wasn’t quite sure.
Bride of Peace
The stylish glass bridge, which lights up at night, is
called the Bridge of Peace. It’s certainly one for the camera. On the other
side of the bridge is a park and there was much activity going on. I also
visited an amazing synagogue and a couple of churches in the old town. The next
day, after getting some important business out of the way, I visited the
amazing Sameba cathedral. A modern construction conforming to older orthodox
designs. A very peaceful place to spend a bit of time – I was there for an hour
or so, mostly due to the pelting hail and rain that I encountered.
The journey back home to my village was a serious one.
Nearly six hours in a marshrutka – a minibus like the ones in the ‘Stans,
through the mountains winding around. Passing on blind turns – well of course
they do. Since then I’ve had just over a week more of teaching. The classes are
sometimes a challenge. But the kids are great! More soon!