Saturday, October 01, 2016

Beyond Tbilisi

Our brief travels beyond Tbilisi allowed us to visit some wonderful places, to learn more about the history and culture of Georgia.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Meskheta.
A wall at the cathedral, where you can see many
layers of Georgian history.
Alaverdi Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jvari Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jvari Monastery.
And, now for something completely different, Chateau Mere in Telavi. It is a remarkable property with an excellent restaurant. Worth a visit!

And this summarizes our amazing trip to the Republic of Georgia. We appreciate all of the hospitality, knowledge, insights, and friendliness of the many people we met. And we really enjoyed the many, many wines and the delicious food that we shared with our new friends.

Traveling Around Tbilisi

So we did more than eat, drink, and be merry in Georgia. We took in several of the cultural and tourist sights and sites. First, around Tbilisi.

Mother Georgia oversees the city. In her left hand she holds
a bowl of wine to greet friends; in her right is a sword
for those who come as enemies. A woman with attitude.
Tbilisi panorama from Mtatsminda plateau.
Beautiful iron work in Old Town Tbilisi.
Tbilisi՚s sulfur baths are a popular destination.
Inside one bath.
The Tbilisi synagogue in the old town.
Tbilisi՚s wonderful traffic, from our
hotel room.
The next post will cover some of the places we visited outside of Tbilisi.

Searching for Yarn in Georgia

When we travel, our focus is usually wine and local wool. Georgia did not disappoint on either, but the wool search went an unexpected direction.

I found a few skeins of knitting wool, but it was very rough and rustic. Then I learned about felt products from Georgia. The wool is perfect for felting.

Very warm and sturdy felt slippers.
Socks, also heavy and sturdy. Most socks were simply striped;
these were more colorful.
My new felted shawl.
A beautiful marble rendition of a linen drape on a tomb
at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta.
Then we visited the Nukriani community union in Kakheti. One of the projects is training women (mostly) in the arts of quilting, felting, and other traditional crafts. The members create and sell beautiful objects, such as those below. All of the felt is made by hand.

Nukriani figures.
Making a felted flower.
Felt flower pins.
Wall hanging with Georgian sun symbols.
My experiences have been that fiber people, like wine people, are generous and delighted to talk about their art.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Republic of Georgia Travels, Food Edition

It has been quite a while since I have summarized a travel adventure, but a recent trip to the Republic of Georgia merits a few words. We were there for the United Nations World Tourism Organization conference on wine tourism. The conference provided an opportunity to learn more about a country that I could barely locate on a map. Now I know a little bit more.

As most of our friends expect, the first installment will be about food. Georgian food is simple, fresh, and flavorful.

Georgian bread, baked in a clay oven.
The hanging items are churchkhela, a sweet made from
thickened grape juice and nuts. You know what
vodka and wine are.
Salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs,
lightly dressed.
Meat, stick, fire, yummy.
Fresh herbs, including tarragon, parley, purple basil.
Khinkali, meat-stuffed dumplings.
Matsoni (yoghurt), with honey and walnuts at the
Alaverdi Monastery.
All kinds of peppers.
Other food we enjoyed were eggplant with walnut sauce, chicken with walnut sauce, cheese, and lamb stew. We gobbled it down before I could take a picture.

Future installments of our Georgia trip will include my search for fiber and visits to historical monuments. Mike will cover wine on his wine economist blog.