Georgia was the first country where I witnessed snow while I was 12-weeks pregnant. A compliant, chill and lazy traveler with one blog post written three years ago (Dec 2018). Here I am trying to organize and compile information of a trip last February.
Note: Initial plans had been modified due to the delay of visa. Flights and hotel booking were mixed up and tiring.
Comparison between GoTrip and Bolt:
GoTrip is best to use for long-distance travel including roundtrip. Ideal for people who planned a trip ahead of time. It is technically hiring transfers where the driver will wait at your (own) pace. Valid for the whole day or 23:59 same day.
Bolt is efficient to use for daily/city tours from one point to another. It is safe but expect some drivers don’t speak English. Drivers on Bolt are also hot-tempered.
Day 1: Kutaisi
Kutaisi is the third largest city in Georgia. I haven’t heard of it until I had to book a flight from Abu Dhabi. Three years ago, the only flight available from UAE to Georgia is at the base of Sharjah Airport. Initially, Filipinos need an e-Visa before entering the country. If a Filipino is a resident of a GCC country, it is visa-free. For my mom’s case, she has a UAE tourist visa and Georgia e-Visa.
Lunch at El Depo for 25GEL – Khinkhali, Pork Veal, and Sandora
Kutaisi Botanical Garden – entrance for 1 GEL
Besik Gabashvili (ideal during summer)
From Airport to six places (including lunch place and accomodation), it cost 39 GEL booked on GoTrip.
Dinner at El Paso
Terrible experience that first time in my life I posted a negative review on TripAdvisor.
Recommendation for a night’s stay: Hotel Comfort
Day 2: Borjomi/Bakuriani
Establishments open at 9AM, we weren’t able to find a decent place nearby for an early food grab. The only accessible and fast to order (unfortunately) is McDonald’s. Spent 28 GEL for two chicken strips, happy meal and burger.
Beside is a Church (with no name on Maps). From Kutaisi to Borjomi is a three-hour drive then from Borjomi to Bakuriani is approximately 40 minutes travel. It cost 233 GEL from Kutaisi to Bakuriani.
Lunch at Pesvebi
I learned about this place as a recommendation from a blog: Emily of Wander Lush. After more than 24 hours since arrival, we were relieved they serve rice.
Borjomi Central Park
Technically we haven’t reached Central Park however, the area reminds me of Lauterbrunnen. Even my toddler said out of nowhere “Switzerland”. I didn’t expect he would remember his trips.
Dinner at Mimino
Accommodation Review: We stayed at an Airbnb where the location isn’t exactly located on what’s pinned on the website. There is no laundry detergent “refilled” despite that the owner answered that the previous tenants weren’t asking for it. Good heavens! Common sense isn’t common after all. Duh! No soap was provided even if it’s included in the amenities. It isn’t easy to check in as the receptionist doesn’t speak English.
Better find a better room (deal) and more quality service than this.
Day 3: Bakuriani/Tbilisi
It is past 10 in the morning and no one is skiing on the hilltop. Maybe they are still asleep? After our dinner last night at Mimino, there are still ski activities operating.
The ski costs 10 GEL per lap. It is considerably cheap than in the PH jetski rental price.
Day 4: Mtskheta
Mtskheta is the old capital city of Georgia. It is 25km away from Tbilisi a half day will be enough to explore the place. It is the best place to buy souvenirs and drinks, way cheaper and can save more than 50% city rate.
It is common in Georgia with beggars on the streets. But sometimes, they do really insist and touch you which is annoying especially with COVID.
We had a big steal for our souvenirs and bought ref magnet for 1 GEL each.
P.S. you can find him outside the church
Somehow my toddler seemed to understand that the churches are a bit eerie and creepy. There were tombstones or churchyards as they call it.
This is located at an uphill location, quiet with no one manning the area.
Day 5: Tbilisi
From our place, we booked Bolt that costs 3.8 GEL to the Funicular Station (11km). We arrived in less than 10 minutes, but since he had no change for 10 GEL, he said it will be free. I insisted to buy tickets first then we were able to pay the Bolt driver 🙈
The ticket costs 8 GEL/adult plus 2 GEL for the card (one is enough), then another 8 GEL/adult back to the Funicular base station.
Lunch at Seidabadi
Rice, rice, rice! This restaurant is a fusion of Asian and local cuisine. It does make me confuse where the color hues reminds me of Santorini but the aesthetics is Asian.
St Abo Tbileli Church/Metekhi St Virgin Church
Three hundred meters away from Seidabadi, these places (Europe Square, St Abo Tbileli Church, Metekhi St Virgin Church) are an instant cultural exploration.
Day 6-7 Tbilisi/UAE
Printed PCR results is needed requirement back to UAE. There is one shop on the underpass on the right side of Galleria Tbilisi. If I recalled correctly, it was 0.50 GEL/page.
I recommend Tashir Pizza with its variety of cuisine to choose from and its affordability.