Monday, October 4, 2010

A life full of surprises

It has been some time since I have posted.  This is because I am finally gaining independence from my family, who has been very protective since my arrival.  I have been able to travel with friends on the weekends to Batumi, Kutaisi, and the capital Tbilisi.

Batumi was an interesting experience.  The lesson we learned there was not to trust a friend who knows someone who knows someone.  The good part about our trip to Batumi was the sea.  For those who don't know and I have not made look at a map, Georgia's coast is of the Black Sea.  Batumi is the "resort capital" of Georgia so things are a bit more expensive and there is a ton of construction going on.  I feel this is where Georgia is trying to build it's tourism industry.  They will probably be successful in this in 5-10 years.  I also feel that if it's not a Church then it's going to take twice as long to build it.  This could be just a rule of thumb, but who knows.

My time in Kutaisi was a bit more relaxed then my trips to Batumi or Tbilisi, and I think this is because there is not to much in Kutaisi to see.  It is more a city of function.  Although we did stay at a cute hotel on the hill and rode the cable car down to the city center.  I think that's much cooler then a taxi.

Tbilisi was yet a different experience.  We took Friday off from school and took an afternoon bus from Zugdidi to Tbilisi.  I can't even tell you how long the ride took but this drive and the one on the way back were by far the scariest driving experiences I have ever had in my life.  Please talk about L.A. or New York but there is no competition.  And as we keep saying, for this specific situation Georgian drivers are good drivers but it's scary as hell.  At one point I realized that we were all holding each others hands or knees in fear that we might just tip over.

Back to Tbilisi.  Tbilisi is much like other cities in Europe but not as nice but it still has much to offer.  We visited the Holy Trinity Church that was just recently built and took 4 years to build.  I would say it's much more grand on the outside then on the inside.  We also walked up to the fortress and to the statue of Mother Georgia.  The fortress was really cool and the stairs were nearly impossible.  We also spent a good deal of time at cafes in Old Tbilisi which is very cute.  And of course, if there is a McDonald's it beckons all Americans in its radius.  So we made a few trips there as well.  But, the most interesting part about going to McDonald's in Georgia is that they have a hostess at the door who greets you.  On top of this she will always look like a super model.  Its a cross between a super model and a flight attendant-heels and all.

Then, on Sunday we somehow got back to Zugdidi, only to find that the weather had turned and it went from around 85 degrees to maybe 50.  It's a nice change of pace though.

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