For new year's eve we got some visitors – one part came well planed and the other one pretty spontaneous. So we didn’t have to think about where to go after Batumi.
On the 30.12. arrived Hannah, Johannes cousin, together with Jacob on the airport in Tbilisi, where we picked them up. We were happy to see them, as well as they brought some things from back home. Johannes birthday was on the same day too. We arrived back home at 3 am, as it took us around one hour with the bus and taxi from the airport to our flat. We then sat together, drunk some Georgian wine and were chatting. The next day we went to explore Tbilisi. With the metro we drove to the centre and then walked uphill to the “mother of Georgia”, a huge statue in the neighbourhood of old Tbilisi. As we walked down, we stopped in a small cafe for warming up and then walked through the city till it got dark.
On the 31. we were expecting Matze and Jane, a study mate from Johannes and his girlfriend. As it was Matze and he always has troubles, they took off with a delay of 12 hours, so they nearly missed new year's eve, but finally it worked out. At around 9 pm we met in the centre and went in a small, touristy restaurant, where we got a nice dinner with Lobiani (beans), different Chatschapuris and as well Georgian beer. At 11.30 pm we walked uphill for having a nicer view over the city. We arrived on the minute and thanks to Hannah and Jacob we had champagne and vodka and thanks to us we had a nice chocolate cake. After half an hour, the fireworks calmed down, we finished our drinks and the cake and walked back to the centre. We had a few beers, smoked some shisha and had more beers and early in the morning we got back home falling happily in our beds..
On the first, we nearly stayed the whole day in bed. Only Theres got up in the morning and went for a walk, she stopped earlier with drinking. In the evening we made pizza, but very fast went to bed again – we are not getting younger, but still it was a good new year's eve!
On the second we 4 went together to the bazar, but most of the shops were still closed. After having been invited to Chatschapuri and wine from some locals, we talked together and we had to watch out to leave before having had too much wine, as Hannah and Jacob planned to drive to Gori, to visit the Stalin museum (a link to their experience in Gori). So we said goodbye to the three men and drove with the Minibus to the big bus station and helped them to get the right bus. We two went back to the centre to meet Jane and Matze. Together we had a nice walk through the botanical garden.
The following day we had time for us, two were in Gori and the other two in Gudauri, exploring Georgians most famous ski resort. We decided to visit Martina and Sven next to the Turtle Lake, where they stayed for a few days. We walked through huge streets and suburbs of Tbilisi, observing the live there. Passing a huge memorial of the II world war, we walked uphill to the lake. The sun was shining and it was a nice walk, where we got a coffee at the end. On the way back home we visited the Salewa Shop, where we talked to the owner and got some phone numbers of local climbers.
Now it was already the forth of the month – today we finally wanted to visit the big market. Hannah and Jacob came home from the cultural trip from Gori in the late afternoon. In front of the bazar we met Jane and Matze, who enjoyed the slopes in Gudauri. Exploring the bazar was very interesting, it was really huge. They sold all different sorts of food: meat freshly prepared, fish swimming around in tiny pools, spices, rice, noodles, fruit and vegetables. There were places for clothes, new and already used ones, some from the 80s or faked brand clothes. After a while we became tired and it was quite cold, so we warmed up in a restaurant, having some hot drinks. We decided to go to a small restaurant, which we saw before, as we were getting hungry. The small restaurant was full with people, so they even had to clean a table only for us. The food was good and local but not a lot, but we had more wine and we even tried chacha (Georgian grappa). Next to us, a group of around 25 men were celebrating the birth of a son of a member of the group. We started talking to them with our hand and feet and got invited to more wine. They started making music with drums and a harmonica and some were dancing traditional dances. Some were singing, dancing, making music and drinking wine and more wine – and the most important thing in Georgia – toasts. Every 10 minutes somebody (or we) had to toast and afterwards everybody was clinking glasses. It was an amazing evening and we men were very lucky about our women, who brought all of us back in our beds. And we have to thank as well the Georgians, who leaded us to the right taxis and even guided us to our front door. The boss of the restaurant was happy with us too – she spoke in Russian with Theres and said, we were so good guests.
The next morning, we noticed that one bag was missing and Matze even found an iphone in his pocket!! Feeling bad, he immediately went back to the restaurant, where he got our bag back. We four preferred our flat, Hannah and Jacob went out for a coffee and we two stayed in bed. Theres already saw it coming, when we were entering the restaurant the night before... tonight it is going to escalate. In the evening Jane and Matze came and we showed them some pictures from our trip. The next day their holiday was going to finish, so we said good bye to them and hope, that they will come back - we are waiting for you!!!!
The last day with Hannah and Jacob passed too fast. After a coffee in the centre and visiting an art market, we got the last dinner together. Then we went home, where Hannah and Johannes stayed up till 3 am, when Hannah and Jacob took the taxi to the airport. The goodbye was short – but the 10 days together were superb.
Hey you 4, your visit during our trip was great – you are always welcome back here. Have a good time back home and think about us now and then... :)