lens-artists photo challenge #92 – second time around

Once is never. Twice is always.”
James S.A. Corey

John is asking us to share a second time around … my second time around should have right now.

I should have been back in Tbilisi, Georgia in the company of 2 friends …. but a virus has come around. Take off was on 8th for 7 nights.

I visited Tbilisi the first after a 60-second travel journal on CNN while I spent my Christmas in Kraków 2017. so soon the flight booking was open for Christmas 2018 I booked my flights and hotels for Christmas 2018.  I didn’t know what to expect and I was taken by storm, What a fantastic destination and the people.

One of our biggest daily newspapers did an article about Tbilisi a couple of months before I went … and their headline was “The city with a big heart” – how right hadn’t they got it.

I always say when people ask me about Tbilisi … it was where the adventure found me.

What an amazing experience … and I was so looking forward to spending Easter there, but no worries … Tbilisi will be there when it is all over.

My blogging sister and good friend, Ann Christine@Leya  visited Tbilisi in October with her husband Lars – and they meet of the same amazing experience as I did. She told me that she didn’t want to leave

On the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, and since then has served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917, then part of the Russian Empire, Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus.

It’s very difficult to in words and images give Tbilisi and it’s people justice, the city just gives you that fulfilled of feeling good.

Plus that Georiga has been making wines for over 8000 years … and their wines are fantastic, plus so is their vodka, Chacha, made of grapes and stored on oak barrels, so it smells and look like whiskey. And it’s seriously strong, up to 65%.

Tbilisi is lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, and since then has served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917, then part of the Russian Empire, Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus.

Kakhaber “Kakha” Kaladze (1978) is a Georgian politician and retired footballer. He has served as a Mayor of Tbilisi since November 2017. He played for A.C. Milan for 10 years. A young and very popular Mayor that is full of great ideas. Like dog bank with shelters, you put in your empty water bottle and out comes dried dog food .. for all the stray dogs. All dogs in Tbilisi is very well looked after, they are castrated, earmarked and get their yearly vaccination.

He has also given Tbilisi ATM where people pay their domestic bills – because not all people have the internet and the machines are found on every street more or less and Metro stations.  The screen has big images of instead of words, so elderly people can use them too.

Wander around the historic district of the capital of Georgia and discover a beautiful area of Tbilisi. Tbilisi Old Town (Dzveli Tbilisi) is famous for its traditional buildings and winding, cobbled alleys and is the ideal place to go for a taste of Georgia’s history. Packed with attractions, Tbilisi Old Town contains several officially designated monuments, churches, cobbled streets and picturesque pastel-coloured wooden houses with open and carved balconies.

A twisting maze of charming streets. Tbilisi Old Town sits in the shadow of the Narikala Fortress, climbing the hill towards it in a labyrinth of narrow streets. Doorways lead to hidden courtyards and alleys, while vines climb the ramshackle walls in this enchanting district.

The Old Town is an architecture lover’s paradise, with buildings featuring several distinct styles. In addition to tumbledown houses with their brightly coloured balconies that Tbilisi Old Town is known for, you’ll also see designs inspired by the Art Nouveau movement and Russian styles, as well as Georgian and Byzantine architecture.

The Tbilisi Old town is one of the most photogenic places I ever been to. Oscar loved ever building, detail and backstreet.

In many people eyes, the old town is in terrible decay, but it’s only on the outside … inside are the modern homes. I was told that in 4 the old town will be rebuilt and refurbished, some building has been altered, but the result is not the greatest. There is some new building they succeed greatly with. When I was there they were building everywhere.  That is the reason I want to go back to the old town is totally changed.

The Sioni Cathedral was originally built in the 6th and 7th centuries, but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times, and today’s building is mainly the 13th century. Next door neighbours to the cathedral are the Jvaris Mama Church and Great Synagogue, so 3 religions side by side in the same quarter!!!!!

And then we have the Sulphur Baths. Legend has it the city was founded by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the King of Iberia after he went hunting nearby in the heavily wooded region with a falcon. It’s said that the King’s falcon caught a pheasant after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died. Impressed by the warm waters and the potential healing of the hot sulphur springs the King built the capital here and named it Tbilisi.

Fed by underground bubbling sulphur springs, Tbilisi’s bath district is located in Abanotubani, a district situated under the imposing hilltop Narikala Fortress on the southside of Mtkvari River which divides Tbilisi. There were more than 60 bathhouses, not that many today … but quite a few left. If going for a hot soak do a bit of research before, because they go from awful to excellent.

24/7 Dry Bridge Market is the other MUST if visiting Tbilisi. A flea market where you can buy old Russian passports, LP records, silver, crystal, modern art, lovely shawl and handcraft.

And the food rounded up in one word … Excellent! Their national cheese bread, Khachapuri, is a MUST!!! I enjoyed the best at Cafe Flowers … then also give you the most stunning view over the Tbilisi Old town.

So my second time around is ahead … hopefully my take-off will be as planned 24th October 06.45pm  – can’t wait to be embraced again.

“Sometimes the things we do second time around
are better and hold more value because
we take the time to reflect and review,
and revive them through a higher love”
Christine Evangelou


24 thoughts on “lens-artists photo challenge #92 – second time around

  1. Best of luck on making your return visit. You have given us a grand tour of Tbilisi. I am not much of a wine drinker, but I’d give that Chacha vodka a try. Your images tell the story of a beautiful old city, but my favorite image is your last, the view of all of the buildings. Thanks for the virtual visit.

    • Johan, thank you so much for the nice comment … it is a pleasure to share Tbilisi with you. And if you visit … you have to try the Chacha – I need a serious amount of tonic with mine. Strong stuff. I’m not a whisky drinker, so I couldn’t enjoy it as a shot. *smile I think it will be a going back in October!!!

  2. Now, I definitely will have to go there, Vivi. You and Ann-Christine make a very good case for traveling there! I enjoyed your travelogue! Take care and stay well.

    • Patti. of course you should visit Tbilisi!!! You will love it. I’m sure Ann-Christine would like to go back again, so maybe I should talk her about it. We have talked about doing the Carnaval de Nice, but next year I will give it a break. Thank you much, and the same goes for you.

  3. Wow Viveka, what a whirlwind tour! I hope you get to return as planned in the near future. And how fun to be with Ann-Christine! I’m guessing you two could get into all kinds of trouble together 🙂

    • Tina, thank you for the Wow!!! Ann-Christien and I only live 1 hrs drive from each other, so we have a couple of adventures together each year. We had planned Copenhagen at the end of the month, but it’s a no-go now. I don’ know about trouble, but we always have a great time together. I have changed my Tbilisi flight to the end of October, I think I will be okay by then. I hope we will get a great summer again this year now when we have to stay put.

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