Finally after a long week of settling in which mainly had tonnes of laundry , unpacking and cleaning; I’m sitting comfortably on my black couch with a Haagen -Dazs Strawberry icecream cup, all cuddled up in my comforter writing this blog at around 11:30 pm- Thursday night! Wooh!! ( The best part – daddy and Nayel are snoring in the other room 😋)
So, I had thought of writing a detailed blog on our recent family trip to Georgia and here it is!
A little background on why we decided Georgia… We had planned to visit Spain this summers but unfortunately our visas took very long and everyone had taken off frm work- we had to cancel it last minute and replan our trip. After shortlisting countries that give a visa-on-arrival, Georgia was finalized! ( so if you’re a Pakistani and a UAE resident- you get a visa on arrival). But Unfortunately two of my brothers weren’t granted visas on arrival and they were sent back to Dubai- this was the most upsetting part of our trip 😦 😦 – with no reason given ! )
Anyhow.. now the good part! You would be forgiven for wondering if Georgia’s part of the Middle East. The actual vibe however is European. Part of what makes traveling so fascinating is the sheer amount of history contained in a small geographic area. We landed in Tbilisi , rented a car and drove around. It’s a small city with beautiful architecture, extremely courteous people and lots of halal food 😍 – yes if you’re a muslim and looking for food options here – plenty of them. Our favorite restaurants here were Turkish and Persian 👌🏼👏🏻
We stayed at ‘Iota Hotel’ in old Tbilisi for two night. Our city exploration included riding a hop-on tourist bus to get sneaks of the city. We also strolled around Rustavali Avenue and Freedom Square. Sadly, it was a very hot day and we couldn’t enjoy that much. Nonetheless, the beautiful architecture along side river was my favorite! It’s a clean city with very well maintained old history. With Nayel, we couldn’t really visit a museum or an art gallery- which is my only regret.
The real fun began when we drove up to heaven like places- Gaduari and Kazbegi 😍 a green slice of Georgia up near the Russian border- where we witnessed a beautiful country shaped by rugged mountains, rivers, valleys and meadows.
We climbed to the top of the world and walked in the clouds.At least, that’s how it felt.
We rented a huge 3 story house from airbnb for our 4 days stay. On our way there which was around 3 hours from Tbilisi , we stopped at aCarrefour market and bought loads of food to be cooked! (so glad we found halal chicken😍)
Those 4 days were just perfect! As a family, we had so much fun cooking together , playing Monopoly, driving around the spectacular mountains and enjoying non- stop ☔️ rain. However the highlights were – paragliding over the lush green mountains- touching the white fluffy clouds! What an experience it was ! We were so lucky to have Nayel’s grandparents with us as they took care of him while mummy and daddy enjoyed their adrenaline junks -!gliding and hiking. Yes hiking was one challenge! We hiked up in the kazbegi mountains for an hour or so to get glimpses of an amazing waterfall!! Each step of trouble there was worth the view- no words or pictures can do justice to what we actually saw!
It doesn’t matter where you go but Georgia’s nature will keep you speechless. Some of the interesting parts of our trip were eating fresh fruits which were very cheap! Such as peaches, cranberries and cherries! The small towns that we passed by on our roadside were so colorful sometimes with old grumpy ladies who obviously didnt know a single word of English. ( google translator and image communication was our best friend! ) 😋oh and did I mention how easily accessible internet was : free wifi everywhere 😍
We got back to Tbilisi for one last night stay before we flew back to Dubai . But once we got back on the ground, it was so hard to stop dreaming of the time we lived in the ☁️ clouds ☺️.
It was overall an amazing trip with totally breaktaking views! I am listing down few important details that might help you if you’re planning to visit Georgia 🇬🇪:
- Currency: Georgian Lari (GEL)
- Primary Airports: Tbilisi (TBS), Batumi (BUS)
- Water : yes and no. We used mineral water, while most people generally claim the fresh water to be safe.
- Internet Situation: WiFi is rampant; available at most guesthouses and cafes. Also central Tbilisi has a free WiFi network, TbilisiLovesYou
- Language: Georgians speak Georgian, which is its own unique language and has its own alphabet. Most locals also speak Russian. English is only prevalent in touristy areas of Tbilisi and some of the mountain ski regions where we stayed. Have patience though, as Georgians have a deep culture of hospitality and will work with you 😉
- Budget: This is a pretty decent budget destination. It’s not rock-bottom- but comparing to Europe- equally beautiful views less on pocket!
- Food – very cheap and lots of halal options. We enjoyed Turkish and Persian the most.
I hope you enjoyed reading my not- so- tiny travelogue. Do comment if you’ve been to Georgia sharing your experiences. You can also write to me if you have any questions to plan your trip. I’ll be more than happy to help you.
Also- follow me on instagram @frommummytonayel and hop on my adventures with Nayel !
Till my next adventure- see ya!