Tag Archives: Georgia travel

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: BEING GREEN

For this Week’s Photo Challenge: It is easy being Green, I am sharing couple pictures from my Georgia travel.

Surround oneself with the beauty of nature and enjoy the best moments of the day 🙂 , capturing the different shades of green.

ashusphotography-WPC-Being Green
ashusphotography-Georgia travel
ashusphotography-Georgia Travel
ashusphotography-Georgia travel (Gudauri)
ashusphotography-Georgia travel (Gudauri)

ashu

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Georgia Travel Diary 3-Georgian Bread

Food is an essential component of any travel that one embarks upon. If I am traveling to a new destination, my mind first searches for the food/cuisine found in that place. This is not only because I love to eat and cook, but would hold true for most travel enthusiast. Traveling is the journey that one sets upon to learn new things about the place one visits, it’s people, it’s culture and its food and cuisine, and in the process to discover or rediscover oneself too. This would be the true definition of what traveling means for me.

As already mentioned in the Georgia travel Diary : 1 blog post, the food, wine and oldest wine making method of this place was what drew us to visit the country Georgia. I would like to share the pictures that I took when I visited the local bakery.

Shoti-Georgia bread
Shoti-Georgia bread

Local bakeries making the Georgian Bread called Shoti is a typical sight that we get to see in all the streets. This local and typical Georgian bread that is called Shoti or Shoti puri can be similar to the Indian bread called Tandoor Roti or Naan, or to the Afghani Naan or the Arabic Kuboos that I see here in the UAE. All these require the Tandoors or clay ovens for baking the bread. It is customary to be serving the Shoti along with wine, the local winemaker we visited told us and offered us this bread and samples of his homemade wine-both the red wine as well as the white wine.

Wine tasting at the local wine maker

Wine tasting at the local wine maker, see he offered us the bread.

I saw this bread bakery in Kvareli town. After our day trip was over and our hired taxi dropped us at the hotel, we set out on foot to explore the peaceful town of Kvareli.

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Kvareli Town
Kvareli Town
Kvareli (City Centre) Town
Kvareli (City Centre) Town

After stopping to taste the local ice-cream at the supermarket shops lining the road, we came across people carrying freshly baked bread in paper rolls or sheets. I followed the road from where I saw people were coming with bread and reached this bakery. It was already late in evening and the baker was busy baking the last batch of bread. I requested for clicking the snaps and he immediately agreed. He could not speak English and still we were able to communicate, this is best part of any travel. He was busy doing his job without being bothered by my questions or me moving around in his bakery to click the pictures of the bread being baked.

The oven is called Tone. It more or less resembled an Indian Tandoor, only the shape could be bit different if I am not wrong.

The oven to bake Shoti is called Tone.
The oven to bake Shoti is called Tone.
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The tools used to remove the bread from the hot oven.
The bread dough
The bread dough
This could be the vessel to make the dough
This could be the vessel to make the dough
The special tools to remove the bread from the oven.
The special tools to remove the bread from the oven.
With one he scraps the bread free from oven and with the other looped one he lifts the bread, using both he removes the bread from the oven.IMG_4583
The baker expertly removes the hot bread from the Tone.
The baker expertly removes the hot bread from the Tone.
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The hot bread from the oven is kept on the wooden rack to cool and sold to customers as they walk into the bakery.
Freshly Baked Shoti.
Freshly Baked Shoti.

As we were watching the baker busy with the bread making, we saw two customers walk into the bakery, purchase the bread and walked away, it was wonder in their eye to see me busy clicking away pictures with my camera.

The freshly made bread smelled so amazing and our mouths watered and suddenly I felt so hungry. Every Resturant meal I ate I had ordered this Shoti bread. I am fond of any type of Tandoor roti or bread and hence it was perfect for me to eat this typical Georgian bread at every meal during my full tour. 🙂

Enjoy!!

ashu

Georgia Travel Diary 2: Flowers of Georgia

The beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the flowers seen around. This Georgian tour I had many blessed moments to be surrounded by the beautiful flowers in all the places that I visited in Georgia. The vast open stretches of fields/terrain, mountains covered with wild grasses and wild flowers of many colors were so fresh and brightly colorful, and it was the perfect moments to sing and jump along in happiness. These locations reminded me of the Sound Of Music movie. I had the most amazing time adorning my hair with these beautiful flowers, the best hair accessory that I could ever lay my hands on. Everyday of the tour I got matching color flowers to go with my outfit for that day, indeed I was on top of the world.

Most Indian females love to wear flowers in the hair, I am no exception, and flowers in hair is a must whenever I am wearing my traditional look or the sari.  Georgia travel became the exception that each day of my travel I had the beautiful matching colored flower in my hair, irrespective of the outfit worn :).

Blessings drop their blossoms all around you-Rumi.

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These beautiful flowers below were seen at St. Nino’s Monastery, Bodbe.

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St. Nino's Church, Bodbe, Georgia.
St. Nino’s Church, Bodbe, Georgia.

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The Earth laughs in flowers –Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The flowers below were caught on camera during the hike to the Trinity Church from the Stepantsminda town. It was a beautiful and fun walk/hike to reach to the top to see the Gergeti Trinity Church. The town is surrounded by the mountains on all sides and we get to see the most beautiful view of the Mount Kazbegi that is at 5047 m.

Stepantsminda Town, Georgia
Stepantsminda Town, Georgia

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Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia
Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia
Mt. Kazbegi, Georgia
Mt. Kazbegi, Georgia

A flower blossoms for its own joy- Oscar Wilde

The street of Tbilisi adorned these flowering trees in straight line along the pavements, each tree loaded with these colorful flowers, adding color to the street as well as working its magic on travelers like me who would stop after every few steps and capture these flowers in the camera lens. I loved all these flowers that to me reminded of our very own Hibiscus flower, such variety in color and shade, simply amazing!

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Nature has the power to calm and sooth the soul. I always feel fresh and rejuvenated when I find myself in nature. It was a very happy experience to be among these gorgeous Georgian flowers.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere- Vincent Von Gogh.

Enjoy!

ashu

 

Georgia Travel Diary- 1

ashusTravels-Tbilisi, Georgia.
ashusTravels-Tbilisi, Georgia

Summer holidays for kids brought up the decision to go sightseeing and my elder one took up the responsibility to decide the travel destination for this summer of 2016. After having gone through a list of lot many places to select from, she had decided on Cambodia, and since the flight from UAE is via Bangkok, so it was going to be Bangkok and Cambodia. But then the scenic beauty and direct flight to Georgia was looked up, this food and wine destination stole our hearts and finally the tickets for Georgia were booked. The vineyards and oldest wine making method used in Georgia were the deciding factors for selection of this travel destination. I am writing this post after visiting the country, so I am happy to say here that it was a good choice. We went for a seven days tour, but the last two days of the tour being very hot made me think that a 4-5 days travel would have sufficed as we were going on vacation to escape from the UAE summer sun. It is a small, less populated and quiet Country with serene, beautiful scenic views of the mountains, countryside, friendly people and extremely safe to roam around even late in the night. We saw police patrols everywhere in Tbilisi when we were out  having a late dinner and later roaming the streets and shopping till late in the night.

It is a direct flight to Tbilisi from Dubai, takes you 3 hrs. to reach and visa was on arrival for the UAE residents. Air Travel was okay, a short sitting time at the Dubai airport lounge, some snacks and sweets tucked in the tummy and we set out for the short three hour air travel. The passport control at the Tbilisi airport was also quick and soon we were near the exit searching for our tour guide, Nino, a young smart girl, who was waiting for us along with the driver of the vehicle that was going to be our transport for the rest of our tour. And our seven day Georgia travel started and it was a good experience with two wonderful people, one spoke English and one could not. The driver was extremely caring and though he could not speak English, but we somehow managed to converse with Nino’s help. The advantage of travelling in private hired vehicle/hired taxi is it allows us to spend more time at places that are of our interest., the kids get to relax and be comfortable so that they are not cranky all the time 🙂 !

Tbilisi city tour through my eyes: We started the city tour in the hired taxi and I got busy click pictures through the car window.

Tbilisi
TbilisiIMG_3598
Freedom Square
Freedom SquareIMG_3668

It is a city founded in 5th Century AD, named after the hot spring found here, The streets are cobbled streets as we see in any European country and is a good blend of the old and new. Here we can find Georgian orthodox, Armenian Gregorian, Roman Catholic churches, Synagogue and Zoroastrian temple in close vicinity to each other. It was sure interesting to see this.

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Tbilisi means warm in Georgian and I can tell it sure was quite warm in July. Most of the sightseeing in Tbilisi is in the old town, and all the sites are within walking distance, yeah it helps if one is wearing comfortable shoes. We got down from the taxi and walked around the town on foot, yes the sun was at its peak so be prepared to carry a hat or cap and use sun block for protection of the skin.

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After an anxious lunch, as I was tasting the Georgian cuisine for the first time, we started our old town Tbilisi tour on foot with our tummies full of yummy meal.

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The first stop was Sulfur bath. It was amazing and also breathtaking to see the town and cobbled streets and looking up skywards to see the green lush mountains and blue sky with pure white cotton candy like clouds floating past. For me the picture was just out of a children’s reading book that show lovely mountains with beautiful blue skies. I was already getting soaked into the beauty of this city.

Abanotubani Sulfur Bath District

Sulfur Bath District
Sulfur Bath District

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Water fall, coming from the Botanical gardens (as per our guide Nino)

Souvenir shops lining the Sulfur Bath area
Souvenir shops lining the Sulfur Bath area
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Wine bottles displayed by the local Restaurants as we move through the old town.
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Grape vines
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Sioni Cathedral

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Sioni Cathedral- considered the most sacred places in the country, holds the holy cross of St. Nino. Our guide also named Nino told us St. Nino was the young woman who converted Georgia to Christianity in the early 4th Century.

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Peace Bridge, Tbilisi

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Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tbilisi
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tbilisi

Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is an important cathedral, and is the main Georgian orthodox cathedral. One is supposed to cover the head with a scarf and also no shorts allowed when we entered the churches in Georgia.

It was a learning experience for this traveler to know that almost all religious places be it the temples in India, the Gurudwaras, the Churches, or the Mosque that I visited in Abu Dhabi require us to cover our head, wear full length before we enter these holy places.

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Narikala Fortress

Narikala Fortress, a medieval fortification overlooking the Sololaki district. The panorama view from the Narikala fortress of the old town Tbilisi is quiet interesting, we get ample classic shots of the Tbilisi city from here.

Botanical Garden, Tbilis
Botanical Garden, Tbilis
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Panorama view from Narikala Fortress, Tbilisi
Panoramic view of Tbilisi from Narikala Fortress
Panoramic view of Tbilisi from Narikala Fortress
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Old TV Tower, Tbilisi
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Mtastminda Amusement park, Tbilisi

These above pictures were clicked from the top near the fortress. We have a rope-way to come down into the city from the top of Narikala fortress. We drove our taxi to the top but we returned down using the cable car.

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Looking down from the cable car

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The Mtkvari river and the Peace bridge captured from the cable car ride.

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We get down from the cable car and walk out to this monument that says Europe Square.

‘Travelling leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller’- Ibn Batuta

The quote perfectly describes my thoughts, and here I make an effort to take you along on the travels through my posts with the travel pictures captured by me.

This was our first day site-seeing in Tbilisi, Georgia. Hope you all liked going through the pictures as much as I loved sharing them here with you all. More about this beautiful country famous for its wine making and food in another post on the blog tomorrow.

ashu.