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Showing posts from April, 2014

Things Eaten & Things Seen: Tbilisi Day 2

Tbilisi day two has been just as enjoyable as day one. I went out early for breakfast at a place on a square in the old town called Qalari Samiktao, which was filled with locals (all men). It is not at all charming, but has a wonderful view of the square and the river and has a big, open kitchen with a large wood burning oven for cooking. Everything on the menu was Georgian. I had a coffee and a khachapuri (ხაჭაპური) which is basically a bread boat filled with some combination of cheese and butter and sometimes an egg or meat. I had the cheese variety. These are a staple in Georgian cuisine. The bread here is remarkable and when filled with cheese and fresh from the oven, it is delicious. That being said, i could only bring myself to eat a small amount of this heart attack on a plate, which seemed to concern the waiter, who asked, "it is not good?" I assured him it was, but i said "if i eat more i will die", which he thought was funny. Oh, and can i just say how wo…

Tbilisi Loves You: First impressions

My flight from Warsaw landed in Tbilisi at 4:00am, a time i am well acquainted with but after almost two days of plane travel i was bleary eyed. The sign that greets you at customs says, "Tbilisi: the city that loves you." And i felt the love, or at least, i felt welcomed. It was too dark and early to do anything, so i settled into a comfortable cafe in the airport terminal and drank coffee and smoked (inside the cafe) until the sky lightened. I haggled briefly and successfully with a man who said "i have car. I drive you," and we drove to the city. (The price: 25 lari) i wasn't able to gain access to my hostel until 9:00 so i spent 3 hours walking around the old city part of Tbilisi and around the river. 

Wow. This place is awesome. Seriously, from the sleepy early morning until now, the lively evening, it is beautiful and and so incredibly interesting. My pulse quickened as i walked down the winding streets with their beautiful, dilapidated buildings, medieval…

Warsaw Whirlwind

I arrived in Warsaw at around noon and zipped through security and immigration and onto a train which got me into the city centre speedily and without incident. I did a bit of reading up before leaving and knew where i planned to roam around. Of course, upon leaving the train station i promptly set off, quite confidently, in the wrong direction. Walked for about a half an hour before i realized something had gone wrong. No matter though, i got to see some of the more ordinary parts of the city, filled with traffic, cafes, milk bars, and  kebab shops.
Once i had my bearings i walked up the lovely Nowy Swiat (street), lined with cafes, churches, palaces, the university, and oodles of inviting cafes and eateries. There were certainly people about but the streets weren't particularly lively as it was pouring rain and windy. A winning combination. First purchase: an umbrella. Nevertheless, the walk was lovely. The churches were filled with worshippers and three of them had weddings un…

Georgia (the country)

In one week I’m off to Georgia – the country, not the American state.I know.Georgia.Random.This will be a short trip, 10 days in total, so it seems somewhat ludicrous that I am flying to the other side of the globe, but I think I’ll be able to pack a lot in to my time there and I love flying so the long flight is kind of a bonus (all that forced relaxation and guilt free napping…heaven)
It’s not like I discovered Georgia of course, but I really hadn’t given it a thought until about a year or so ago when I was looking at my atlas one lazy day over a cigar (as you do) and I saw it and thought, “What’s the deal with Georgia?”So I started reading about it and became very intrigued.First of all, it looks beautiful in terms of landscape and architecture: snowcapped mountains, bucolically verdant valleys, medieval churches, and glittering modern design.Second, people don’t really go there – not like they do to Italy or Argentina anyway.This appeals to me.The off-the-beaten-track places are al…