Churchkhela is a snack that originated in Georgia and can now be found in other countries such as Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan or Armenia. It's traditionally made at home in autumn months, because this is when its two basic ingredients, i.e. grapes and nuts are harvested. How is it made? A freshly made grape juice is poured into a large pot and then flour is added. The mixture must be stirred thoroughly to avoid lumps. Then the pot is placed on the stove and the whole process of stirring starts again until its consistency thickens and the colour darkens. Then the strings of wallnuts ( or almonds) are dipped into the mixture. The last stage is to hang the churchkhela to dry.
Churchkhela can be bought throughout Georgia. We tried it a few times in different places and I can say it's ok. Rather waxy in texture and just slightly sweet. It's considered to be a great portable snack, as it provides nourishment and energy.
Khachapuri is another famous Georgian dish. It's a kind of flatbread filled with cheese. The amount and kind of cheese added can change the taste of khachapuri dramatically. Some Georgians say that Imeretian cheese should be used, others prefer sulguni. Everybody agrees though, that good khachapuri should have a high cheese content, i.e. about 2:1 cheese to flour ratio in weight.
Different regions in g Georgia have their own versions of this popular dish. Here are some examples:
- Ajaruli - shaped like a boat, with a raw egg and butter on top
- Imeruli - probably the most common, round in shape
- Megruli - also round, with cheese on top
- Guruli, which has boiled eggs inside dough
Whatever type you choose, you will enjoy it, especially if there is a bottle of Georgian wine on the table.
Khinkali is probably the most famous Georgian dish. Those meat-stuffed dumplings are so well remembered and often mentioned by travellers not only for their delicious taste, but also for the way they should be eaten to fully appreciate their flavour. Originally made with lamb, today other kinds of meat are also chosen, the most frequent being the combination of pork and beef. They look like little sacks with knobs at the top. When you eat khinkali, you shouldn't use any cutlery. Simply, grab a knob and bite carefully into the dough. Before eating the dumpling, suck out the meat juice formed while boiling. The knobs, which actually are quite tough, should be left on the plate to be a proof of how many khinkalis have been eaten. Frankly speaking, I didn't leave the smallest bit.
Georgian folk music and dance
Coming to Georgia I was certain of one thing: I wanted to listen to famous Georgian folk music known world-wide because of its polyphonic traditions. When in Batumi, I noticed a poster inviting the public to a charity concert in State Drama Theatre during which quite an array of folk groups were to present themselves.We went there instantly and were surprised at the price of tickets - only 10 lari. On the day of the concert we arrived at the theatre quite early because of the pouring rain, so we had plenty of time to look around. Definitely, the theatre's best days are over. Outside it still looks impressive, but inside it's rather shabby, especially the foyer.
The auditorium filled slowly with the audience, rather modest in number, and to our surprise consisting mainly of Georgian viewers, with just both of us and a couple of other foreign tourists.
The concert was conducted obviously in Georgian language by a lady, who judging by the way she spoke and recited some poems, must have been an actress. We loved all the programme which consisted of about ten various singing and dancing groups, including the band of elders, who must have been 80 or even more years old. Most of the performers were wearing beautiful traditional costumes. It was a wonderful experience to see the women dancers 'gliding' gracefully on the stage while the men were performing their vigorous leaps and turns and incredible spins. But it was the voices of the singers that made me speechless. I don't know anything about the singing techniques, so i just admired the voices for for their sound, strength and the melody they carried. Of course, we didn't understand the words, but it was not necessary. As the lady conducting the concert said to us in Russian when we met for a moment in the foyer: "Your mind doesn't need to understand what your heart feels"Related to:
- Theater Travel
- Arts and Culture
20 thousand godchildren?
If you happen to visit a church in Georgia on Saturday, you are very likely to witness the ceremony of baptism. It is interesting to see how little ones are becoming new members of the church by being immersed in water three times. It is usually accompanied by some cries, quickly hushed by caring mothers. Unlike in western churches, here baptism is immediately followed by chrismation, when different parts of the baby's body are anointed and with the sign of cross made.
Since 2008 mass baptism ceremonies have been held in Georgia. How did it all start? Concerned about the declining birth rate, the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II declared in 2007 that he was going to baptise personally all babies born to a family that at least had two children. Believe it or not, a baby-boom is a fact now, which not only statistics, but also any visitor to Georgia can confirm. By now 35 ceremonies have taken place and the number of Patriarch's godchildren approaches 20 thousand. Impressive, isn't it?
Georgians Are Night-Owls
Most Georgians are night-owls and stay up at night until 2:00 in the morning. Most Georgian businesses do not open before 10:00 in the morning, so most Georgians do not get out of bed before 9:00 AM. If you're an early bird you might appreciate having the countryside, the roads and the sites to yourself in the mornings. Gas stations are open 24/7 and there are many kiosks that are open in the early morning hours if you need to get something small to eat. Some cafes might have morning hours or stay open around the clock during the weekends. 10:00 AM is also a good time to go shopping if you want to avoid crowds. Since Georgians are late to bed and late to rise, their meals are consequently later as well: Lunch is popular around 2:00 PM and dinner after 8:00 PM. This means if you eat your meals at 12:00 and 6:00 PM, you will avoid the crowds and the cigarette smoke.
If You Like Peace and Quiet... Bring Earplugs
Georgians seem to love loud noises. If you are a peace and quiet loving person, you will certainly be bombarded with loud noises here in Tbilisi, if not the rest of Georgia.
If you go to a restaurant after 8:00 PM be prepared. Most large restaurants will have night club singers, jazz bands, a laptop "jukebox" or traditional Georgian musicians performing. Regardless of their forte, they will be hooked up to large overpowering stereo systems and played at concert level volume. I ate one dinner in a banquet hall in Kutaisi with 20 American tourists, where the entertainment was so excruciatingly loud that we gulped our drinks and crammed our food in our mouths and paid the bill before the fruit bowl arrived so we could escape as soon as possible. Another night a friend and I drove around Tbilisi near Old Town trying to find a restaurant playing traditional music; alas all the restaurants featured night club singers and the music was so loud we couldn't hear each other speak.
If you stay in an old hotel with Georgian windows in a downtown area, you will probably be woken around 10:00 or 11:00 PM, or 12:00 AM, or numerous times in between by screeching tires, revving engines, broken mufflers, honking horns, kids yelling, drunks singing, stray dog fights, or fireworks going off not far from your building. Depending on where you are at, the fireworks could be part of a banquet hall celebration, or it could be the kids next door. Either way, it is likely to happen on any night of the week, and more frequently on the weekends. The firework activity reaches its peak between mid-December and mid-January surrounding Christmas and New Years, when everyone seems to be letting off fireworks. If you are on the street, you may feel burnt papers land on you head or get sprinkled by gunpowder soot. Some Georgians are even out there firing their guns in the air. The house that I lived got a bullet through the window on one of these nights.
Now I'm sure if you are staying in a Western hotel with double-pane insulated windows with a good view of the city, the fireworks show might be quite spectacular! And if you are accustomed to loud city life, or young and thrive on nightlife, this exuberant type of ambiance will probably add to your experience here in Georgia.
The Pipe and Parasol
When in Georgia, it helps to know these symbols: the pipe and the parasol. It's hard enough trying to determine which bathroom to use if you can't read the Georgian language, but if one of these images are on the door, you will know that pipes are for men and parasols are for women.
“I even don't blame them if they think of the Stalinist era as an age of paradise”
Where did u get that? :))
Georgia achieved its renaissance and golden age by the young King David IV of the Bagrationi royal family, at the age of 16 (Builder and Georgian Reconquista)!
Stalin, “Great Russian man”, Soviet dictator and political criminal, who led the Russian Bolshevik army into Georgia, which to this day continue to create great problems for Georgia's freedom and democracy, all but destroyed his home nation, simply destroyed the best parts of Georgia!
Saakashvili faced many problems on coming to office. Still, it is a risky mix, but one with at least the potential of bringing significant progress towards development, stability, success and territorial integrity!!!
"I'm only wondering how could this wonderful country and proud people produce such a monster as Stalin and such an idiot like Sakashvili? "
well...hade to comment and get involved in political debates, but this is just not right in my opinion.
Mikheil Saakashvili won the presidential elections in Georgia with more than 96% of the votes cast, making him the youngest national president in Europe.
The reforms initiated by Saakashvili are considered to have huge success; still the rate of corruption in the country has drastically reduced.
According to the World Bank accounts, Georgia is named as the number one economic reformer in the world and the country ranks as 11 in term of ease of doing business, when most of the country's neighbors¡¦ are in the 100s of the World Bank's rank.
Finally, there is a big hope of restoring Georgia's territorial integrity and you are calling him an idiot?
Wow, so sad... ƒº
"You might think that as a Pole you're throat is well trained, but you can't imagine how much wine and vodka a Georgian throat can take! :-) "
*Yes, Georgians drink a lot of wine, but not every day. Only if there are guests over or something is being selebrated.
*To refuse a glass of wine is rude,but to toast along,hold speeches and only drink symbolic sips from your glass is accepted.
*To say that you have a hang over is not reccomendet since the local remedy for this problem is more alcohol or you run the risk that they start preparing "HASHI", soup made of cew feet and cow stomach- the ultimate hang over cure... :)))
A Georgian Wedding
A traditional rural wedding - everybody has been invited: not only the villagers, but also the tourists who happened to be there. As the guests would not fit in any room in the whole village, they have gathered in the backyard of the bridegroom's house. Men and women are sitting apart. They are still waiting for the newlyweds, but the feast has already begun. Women will be bringing food to the table until the end of the feast. Finally, the newlyweds arrive and take their seats at the table, under a banner with an inscription wishing them happiness. In accordance with Georgian custom, the Tamad raises toasts, while men stand around the table. The cake is then cut into pieces and the dancing begins — mainly the traditional Lezginka. Naturally, the first dance belongs to the bride. The feast and revelry will last till morning.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Arts and Culture
To the rhythm of Lezginka
When at the dawn of history God created the world, all nations gathered in one place, waiting for their share of the Earth. Each nation wanted to get a beautiful piece of land for themselves. They started to make a great noise, jostling one another. When the Georgians saw this, they decided they'd rather spend the time dancing, partying and feasting. Meanwhile, God distributed everything he had. However, when he heard the merry songs and inspired toasts, he took pity on the cheery, smiling people. To reward them for their high spirits and rustic joy, he decided to give them the most beautiful corner of the world, verdant, scenic, mountainous and fertile, one that he had intended to keep for himself.
Dance, parties and feasts still play an important role in the life of the Kists — Georgian Chechens who settled in the Pankisi Gorge. They play musical instruments, sing beautifully and dance with great flair.
The Daimoakh (“Homeland”) folk group was founded in the mid-1990s by Makvala Margoshvili, who is both its director and instructor. Among the singers are such celebrated Georgian artists as Keto Mutoshvili, Taissa Alkhanashvili and Mamuli. The dancers, both adults and children, perform mainly varieties of Lezginka, one of the most popular dances in Caucasus.
Dressed in traditional Kist costumes, they sing and play both Georgian and Chechen songs, which imbues their folk art with a unique sound and colour.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Arts and Culture
Women in the Muslim community in the PankisiGorge
The Georgian Pankisi Gorge lies in the heart of the High Caucasus.
The Kists came here from Chechnya 200 years ago and adopted many Georgian customs, but also kept many of their own.
They still obey Muslim norms of social life. During visits to the mosque, women must dress in accordance with accepted canons, putting on a scarf, a long skirt or trousers. Not only in prayer, but also in everyday life they must conform to the strict separation of the world of men and the world of women.
All physical contact between men and women is forbidden in the presence of other people. Courtship takes place mainly by means of gestures and facial expressions, but must never be witnessed by others. After marriage, the wife may not sit or speak first in the presence of her in-laws.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Not many POS, but ATMs in the centre of T’bilisi are common sight. You can cash in both Lari (2,3 lari/1 euro) and USD. There’re some ATMs just outside the railways station, in front of a bank kiosk on the left side.
Should you have Manats left from Azerbaijan, they can be exchanged into Laris at quite reasonable rates in the exchange offices in the railways station. Banks won’t accept Manats.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
The Courtyard Tbilisi (Marriott) is a somewhat blandly good hotel, situated in the perfect Tbilisi...more
Haven't stayed there yet, but plan to this summer. Everyone raves about this place, the hotel's view...more
275 Agmashenebeli Avenue, Kobuleti, Batumi, 384500, Georgia
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Top Georgia Hotels
- Kazbegi Hotels
- 104 Reviews - 362 Photos
- Batumi Hotels
- 64 Reviews - 179 Photos
- T'bilisi Hotels
- 500 Reviews - 1583 Photos
- Sighnaghi Hotels
- 41 Reviews - 130 Photos
- Natakhtari Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- Mestia Hotels
- 26 Reviews - 87 Photos
- Manglisi Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- Kojori Hotels
- See nearby hotels
Explore the World
- Decatur Hotels
- Casas Adobes Hotels
- Heckscher State Park Hotels
- Douala Hotels
- Chuckanut Hotels
- Boracay Island
- Booktown Hotels
- Balangoda Hotels
- Higgins Lake Hotels
- Macao Hotels