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Friday, September 25, 2009

Georgia (3) Part Two

Here are some more pictures from my trip to 'Davit Gareji.' Mostly, they
are of structures at the site with one picture showing what risks I'm
willing to take for that perfect photo! The final picture is the view from
my balcony at sunset. It's hard for me to force myself to walk out on the
balcony in the evenings as you can imagine!

Please let me know what you think.

8 comments:

  1. Great pictures! Thank you for posting...I have been interested in Georgia for a long time, and hope to visit someday. This is the third or fourth time that I've checked your blog...I look forward to reading about/seeing more of your travels.

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  2. Oh, thank you so much for commenting on my blog! I love it when people do. If you have any specific questions about Georgia, just let me know and I'll try to get the answers for you. May I ask which country you are living in now? Anyway, please keep checking back in.

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  3. Thank you for your offer to help. I do have a few questions...

    I actually looked into a guided tour last year, but the prices were quite high, so I wasn't able to book anything. (This actually turned out to be lucky, as we were looking to go in August!)

    Would you say that it is necessary to book a guided tour, or could foreigners get around fine on their own?

    I'm not worried about communicating - I do speak Russian, although I'm a bit rusty at this point, plus Italian (probably won't be of any use), English, French and some German and Spanish. My Georgian consists only of a handful of words and phrases that I picked up from friends. I am thinking just generally about being able to get around on our own, without any problems.

    How would you say the safety situation is? I don't think of Georgia as being a "dangerous" country, but I do remember a Georgian friend commenting at one point, a few years ago, that he had decided against visiting the country as there was a lot of crime being committed and he was concerned that he would be targeted as he lived abroad. (He was from Poti, not Tbilisi.) Is Tbilisi safe at night? What about other parts of the country? Would it be safe for a woman to travel alone?

    What about costs for hotels, meals, etc...? I never stay in expensive hotels - would be looking for something clean, safe and basic. Same for meals - I would like to eat well, but it doesn't have to be at a fancy restaurant for foreigners. Would I have to be alert for being overcharged in stores, restaurants, taxis, etc? Are taxis expensive?

    Thanks again! By the way, I'm writing from Salerno, Italy.

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  4. Hey, Margherita! I believe you're better off not taking a guided tour. If you're in a hotel, you need only hire a driver. At my hotel (paid for by my employer), I simply choose a destination from the guidebook, have the hotel call a driver, and go. I usually try to take a Georgian friend with me though just to give me some background on the area. Tomorrow, for example, I'm going to an area called 'Ananuri' about 40kms outside T'bilisi and the total cost is only 80 lari (about $50). Definitely stay away from the tours.

    As for safety, I don't think T'bilisi is any different than any other big city. I've never felt threatened and you need only take the same precautions as you normally would. Probably, the worst of the crime occurred soon after the Soviet collapse and was mostly organized crime. I'm not too sure about the security situation in the rest of the country, but it would probably be better not to travel alone.

    As for costs, my feeling is it's pretty cheap if you stay away from the tourist areas. I think you can find food/hotels, etc. to accomodate any budget. It's still a little off the tourist trail so good bargains can still be had. No problem with being overcharged so far.

    I hope this helps a little. I would have written sooner but I just got back from a great walk downtown. What a beautiful city!

    Russ

    PS Your written English is perfect! I wonder how you learned it??

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  5. Great photos, Russ. What's the weather like in this period? It looks nice, isn't it?

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  6. It's wonderful, high's in the 70s with beautiful fall colors. We don't have such variation in seasons like this in Texas. It sort of reminds me of growing up in Kentucky.

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  7. I adore fall colors too! They are spectacular and very romantic. Orange, brown and yellow...I love those colors very much.

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  8. Lilia,

    I'm really enjoying the fall here but I suspect that winter will come soon and I didn't bring any warm coats!

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