First impression. Georgians are proud. They love their nature, they love their wine making tradidions and wine itself, they like history (good or bad), respect their ex-rulers (David the builder, Tamara and others) and saints (dragon killer St. Georgy the most important of course), they love all their heritage. Georgia is churches, history, people, food&wine and nature.
History. Apart from having fun of themselves, Georgians are extremely proud about their history, culture and nation. They do not see things only black&white. Stalin has his share of love, adoring and hatered in equal parts. Wars with Iranians, arabs, Turks, Russians all make history, all have contributed to uniqueness of Georgia. Georgians undertand it and respect their history. They have 6000+ registered churches, while total number is around 20+ thousand as they estimate. We visited one small willage of 15 registered and 45 non-accounted churches, so numbers above could square... Big number of churches date back to 4th-8th centuries. It was funny to hear our guide reffering to churches from Middle ages as brand new ones... Stories of each one of the churches or monasteries are breath taking.
People. Big, warm heart, love for good food and celebrating life in general. With many bloody wars in their past Georgians have learned to cherish life. They have been peasants and warriors for many centuries. It seemed indeed that most of them indeed live the day as it could be the last one. They cherish their friends, they drink wine and enjoy being together with their friends. With every round of wine small table speach (tost) to praise guests, friends, love, peace, elders etc is made. They celebrate life and friends are enormous part of their lives.
Food. Khinkali, kebabs, chakapuli, hachapuri, churchella etc. Best from asian, arab and meditteranian cousines. During one week of our our trip 4 adults from Latvia gained on average 4kg of weight, as we just could not resist the temptation of tasting it all..
Nature. Mountains and valleys, springs and rivers, sun and wind, juicy fruits, hundreds of grape types.. You just have to experience it yourselve.
Best guide. We were blessed to be hosted in Georgia by probably the best guide in Georgia - Gia Lapauri (he is on one of pictures below). Without him, we would not learn so much about Georgia as we did. Gia's knowledge of history is phenonemal. His pride of his country is unlimited. His heart is big. If you really want to explore Georgia to it's max, get in touch with Gia (Tel. +995593343023. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). More about Georgia and Gia you can find on www.kvoseliai.lt
Madloba (Thank You) Gia, Georgia and Nahvandis (See you soon!).