I published Dubai to Georgia – A Complete Guide – Part 1 quite a time ago and I promised to write the second part soon. But my commitments were such that I was not able to write it. But here I am again with the second part of Dubai to Georgia a complete guide.
In the first part, I explained the whole process of getting visa and passing through the immigration along with some other expense related details. In second part of Dubai to Georgia a complete guide, I will write about the places you can visit.
Day 1: Out First Food
Once me and my friend Kaleem made ourselves comfortable at our apartment we decided to try some local food. We were living at a five minutes walk from Freedom Square so naturally we would have to go to Freedom Square to have our dinner. When we were going there, it started to drizzle and weather became even more pleasant. Streets were small but clean and the houses were obviously very old. We observed some “Chacha” cafes along our way to Freedom Square. In Urdu language, Chacha is used for “Uncle” but in Georgia Chacha is their special kind of beer. Neither me nor Kaleem drink alcohol so we kept on going towards Freedom Square. We knew that we gonna eat Kacha Puri and Khinkali because these were the two traditional Georgian Food which everybody on internet tells you to try when in Georgia. But the problem was we did not know the right place to eat Kacha puri and Khinkali so we asked locals about good restaurants where we can get these two food items. We asked multiple people and everybody tell us to try Samiktino/MachaKhela and hence we ended up to a place which served us very good Khinkali and Kachapuri. In the picture you can see the Achapuri, unfortunately I don’t have Khinkali pics but it is similar to dumplings.
We had one Acha puri and five Khinkalis along with two Pepsi and total bill was somewhere around 30 Lari. So yes, it was cheap.
After Dinner: A walk through Freedom Square
Freedom square is really an happening square. It does not matter at what time you go there, you will always find it alive. At the center of the square there is a beautiful Freedom Monument which is actually statue of St. George. It also has many tour operators doing their job for the tourist. You can also find Red Bus tour and Green bus tour stalls in Freedom Square. We took the opportunity to plan our next day by talking to multiple tour operators. We end up buying Green bus and Red bus tours which I will explain later. Below is just a glimpse of Freedom Square I captured:
Marriott International is also located here and there is also Galleria Tiblisi Mall. Fast & Furious was being filmed around Freedom Square when we were there.
Day 2: Green Bus and Red Bus Tour: Hop-On-Hop-off
These tours are the perfect start to know about Tbilisi and it’s history. Red Bus takes you to famous places within the city. You will be provided hands free to listen to the radio commentary in many different languages. You can hop-on from freedom square and then it will take you to many places including Bridge of Peace, Rustaveli Avenue and the Sulfur baths. The ticket which we purchased were valid for two days and we can hop-on-hop-off many times. It is a 90 minutes ride and at the end of the ride we hopped on to the single line Green bus which took us to out skirts of Tbilisi. Green bus provides a guide which is better than the radio commentary. Green bus takes you to Holy Trinity Cathedral, Turtle Lake and a panoramic viewpoint at Mount Mtatsminda.
Mtatsminda Park is the last spot of the Green Bus Tour, you can either choose to go back with the guide or you can choose to explore Mtatsminda park a little more and go down using Funicular Service. When we were there the Funicular service was not working and we discover a trail down to the Tblisi and the good thing was it takes you to to the Freedom Square. The whole trail takes around 30 minutes and at the end you can find Taxi or walk another 10 minutes for Freedom Square. Below is a fast forward video of the trail
Day 2: Halal Food – Dinner
It was easy to find Halal Food in Tblisi. Almost in every street you will find an Irani or Turkish restaurant. On our second night we randomly selected an Iranian restaurant in Kote Afkhazi Street very near to Freedom Square. It has good taste and acceptable quality.
Churchkhela is authentic Georgian Delicacy. whoever visits Georgia bring back some Churchkhela- Nuts dipped in grape juice and preserved.
Sharedeni street in Tblisi is the center of social life and night clubs. It is must visit place if you are not with your kids, you can roam around all night and still you will not feel tired. Alcohol, Sheesha, Dance, Girls whatever you can imagine you will find in this one street. We went there but as we don’t drink or smoke sheesha it was not a place for us. Unfortunately I do not have clicks from this street but do not miss the visit to Shardeni Street.
That night we walked a lot and went far far away from Freedom Square, On our way back we decided to take Metro to Freedom Square. The escalators in Tblisi Metro are one of the longest in the world. Below is one of the escalator track inside a metro station.
Some Random Pictures
Day 3 – Tblisi to Kazbegi
157 Km in the north of Tblisi there is a beautiful town Kazbegi offers mesmerizing view of Caucasus mountains and Mount Kazbek. You need to be lucky to get a sight of Mount Kazbek as it is mostly covered by clouds. We were not lucky enough but our day 3 was full of sight seeing of nature’s miracles.
You can take Bus, Taxi or a private tour to reach Kazbegi. While Bus is the most cheapest way to Kazbegi a private tour is the most entertaining and full of insights of the places you will be visiting on your way to Kazbegi. And, yes it was not cheap. in 65 Lari per person you will visit Ananuri, Gadauir and Kazbegi.
We left Tbilisi around 9:30 AM and our first stop over was Ananuri. Ananuri was a feudal dynasty in 13th century and remains of Castle Ananuri on the lake a view not to miss. 30 minutes are enough to explore Ananuri Castle and the lake. To get the following view, you need to go at the highest place of the castle.
After Ananuri, the next stop was Gudauri. Its a panaromic view where you can enjoy a lot of pictures, Paragliding and in snowing weather you can enjoy snow bikes. Enjoy Gudauri pcitures.
In next one hour or so there is must visit place Kazbegi situation at a height of around 2100 meters from sea level. Kazbegi is famous for two tourist locations. One is Gergeti Trinity Church, built in 14th century and The Kazbeg mountain. Church is the view point of Kazbeg mountain which is more than 5000 meters high and Caucasus mountain range. Sadly no pictures here too.