HELLO, GEORGIA! (PART 1)

Well, well, well, look who’s here with a shiny new souvenir.

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Yup. I am here with yet another travelogue. Surprise!!!

It’s nothing major. Just a short 3-day trip to Georgia. But the memories we gathered are sure to last longer.

So many of my friends and cousins have mistaken the country Georgia with the state Georgia in the United States that I felt bad for the small but stunning country.

Well, I’m certain that one day, its repute will spread and the scenic locales will put the country on the map.

So while we were at the airport, I couldn’t stop myself from jumping up and down in excitement, as if a spring had been attached to my feet.

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It was just a 3-hour flight from Doha. As soon as I settled down in my seat, I decided to play a movie so that I won’t feel the travel time.

Of course, movies don’t engage me. Of course, I got bored as hell. Of course, I felt if this trip was a mistake just because I was bored and couldn’t sleep smushed in between my co-passengers. Oh, the drama!

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Aerial view

When we landed and proceeded towards the exit, I was first and foremost caught by the beauty of the people. Their sharp features, flawless skin, captivating eyes, seemed like a sharp contrast to the covered faces in the Middle East.

We were hit by a gust of cool wind as we stepped outside. Again a contrast to the hot climate in Middle East, given that it’s summer.

After exchanging pleasantries with our tour guide, he drove us to the hotel. The roads were quite bumpy and reminded me of our village in India. After checking into our room, we agreed to wake up by six so as to have breakfast and begin our tour by ten.

The first day started with a bland breakfast. We Indians need the spices and salt and the absence of any one element would result in our tongues recoiling in distaste.

We had to make do with some plain bread and a thick omelette. We carried snacks in our handbags, wore hats on our heads, and sported bright beams on our faces, excited to begin our first day.

We were headed to the magnificent town of Sighnaghi, but not before stopping by a large winery en route.

First, when I entered it seemed like a wine shop where a vast array of wine bottles and flasks was put on display for nominal prices.

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But as we moved further, we were taken into what looked like a huge factory where the ambrosia is manufactured. Gigantic wine tanks surrounded us, and the temperature inside dropped by several degrees, making me shiver with cold as a result.

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The guide offered us plastic glasses and made us taste the fresh wine from each of the tanks. Here, I must add that it was a truly unlucky day for me as I couldn’t taste a single drop of wine (again, given the circumstances) but I did derive vicarious pleasure from seeing others do so. Oh, who am I kidding? I wanted to smash their glasses on the walls.

Anyway, so next, we arrived at Sighnaghi, which was a cute little borough with colourful buildings and people. Down the road, we could see most of the ladies dutifully knitting and crocheting vibrant articles of clothing so as to sell them to the swarming tourists.

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Tourists fascinated by my sari-clad mom-in-law

After a not so satisfying lunch (like I said, we need our spices), we made our way to the Bodbe Monastery, which was two kilometres from Sighnaghi. Girdled by clusters of Cypress trees, the pilgrimage site looked more or less like a miniature Hogwarts castle, minus the many spires.

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It also provided a picturesque sight of the vast Alazani Valley, best viewed from the beautiful flower garden a few steps beyond the structure.

 

After the exhausting walk back to our vehicle, we began our journey back to the hotel room, already anticipating the wonders waiting the next day.

And sure, it turned out to be better than the previous one.

But why don’t you guys wait till you find out next week? I promise I won’t make it longer than two parts. Haha!

And oh yes, there are animals this time around too. So stay tuned.

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