[Trip Report] Snow Wonderland – Georgia. 格鲁吉亚 – 此地景美人温情 (Part 1)

I’ve already shared some odd pictures about Georgia. Today I’d like to share the whole trip with you. I went there in the beginning of this year. I’m so happy I discovered this amazing Caucasus country. Georgia is somehow not that popular among the non-Russian speaking travelers. I was asked by friends why I came up with ideas to visit Georgia. Here are a few reasons why I chose it.

之前零零散散发了一些格鲁吉亚的照片,今天我想把他们整理成一篇完整的游记,我非常喜欢这个外高加索国家,也很想把这个美丽的国家介绍给大家。我是今年年初冬天的时候去的。格鲁吉亚对于欧洲人民,或者说任何非俄语区的人来来说,并不是个人气很高的旅游国家。我之前也是对它一无所知但是现在我非常高兴,因为体验过看过这个国家。首先我想来说说我喜欢它的原因。

  1. Budget airline Wizzair air offers some great connections between many Eastern European capitals, such as Warsaw, Sofia, Budapest, even Berlin, etc. to Kutaisi. As a relatively budget traveler, I found it amazing. I chose Warsaw and Istanbul as my stopovers, so I had an extra chance to see these two cities as well.
  2. Caucasus mountains seem quite attractive, I bet you must have seen Gergeti Trinity Church somewhere in Georgia’s travel page or travel guides, the church is used as cover picture for Georgia. Gergeti is not the only place to get an amazing view of Caucasus mountains, there’re many little village in the mountain such as Ushguli and Mestia.
  3. Georgian Food. I love Georgian food, a lot! I didn’t expect it to be so good to be honest. I barely know any Georgians in Belgium and I never saw any Georgian restaurant here either. But surprisingly, its cuisine has a great variety, the best BBQ, soups, stews, etc. Some of the dishes even remind me of Indian food.
  4. The hospitality. Maybe this should be the first reason. I was totally touched by Georgian hospitality. From the owner lady, Nona, to any random cafe owners in the street. I’ve traveled to quite a few countries. Georgians are among the most friendly people, together with the Colombians.
  5. Snowy winter. It’s summer right now. I don’t know if it’s about time to talk about winter, but Georgia winter is like a fairytale, with snowcoated everything. I was actually hesitating whether I should go there during the summer when everything turns green instead but in the end I never regretted having seen the Georgian winter.

1)欧洲的一家航空公司Wizz航空有从一些东欧城市,比如华沙,索菲亚,布达佩斯等等直飞库塔伊西的航班,对于像我一样预算有限的背包客来说,这是个不错的消息。虽然从西欧国家还没有直航,但是可以顺便玩个东欧城市也是不错,这次我选在华沙和伊斯坦布做中途停留,也有幸第一次去了伊斯坦布。
2)高加索山听起来很美。虽然我不了解很多,但是也看过上图右边那个三圣大教堂,那简直是格鲁吉亚的象征,相信很多人在格鲁吉亚很多旅游书和宣传册上也看过,很多宣传册喜欢拿这个教堂当格鲁吉亚的封面。
3)格鲁吉亚的美食。很多人都没有听过格鲁吉亚美食吧,我去之前也没有太多的期待,听我的哈萨克朋友说烤肉很有名所以我想象应该跟土耳其烤肉差不多,而其实他们的美食变化很多,我尝到了饺子,炖菜,烤肉,汤,各种各样变化万千。
4)善良好客的人民。可能我应该把这一点放在第一位才对。在格鲁吉亚旅行的时候,我无时无刻不在被格鲁吉亚人民的善良好客而感动。从旅舍的老板诺娜到路边一个咖啡店的店主。格鲁吉亚的热情好客是很真切的,不加修饰无比自然的,仿佛这是深深印刻在他们的骨子里一样。
5)雪白色冬天。现在是炎炎夏日,我写冬天会不会不合时宜?但是我真的非常爱格鲁吉亚的美丽雪景。城市,山脉,火车铁道,到处都是一片雪白,像童话世界一般。当初我其实也由于是不是夏天更好,可以看到绿色,但是格鲁吉亚的冬天实在太美,完全不后悔。

Itinerary: Kutaisi -(train)- Tbilisi – Kazbegi/Stepantsminda – Tbilisi

At first I planned to go to Mestia to experice Caucasus mountains and have found a flight company that offers flight from Kutaisi to Mestia and Mestia to Tbilisi, but in the end it was difficult to arrange it in advance during the unstable snowy weather. If you go there in the summer or if I ever go back, I might give it a try.

我的行程是从格鲁吉亚第三大的城市库塔伊西进,然后坐火车去首都第比利斯,以第比利斯为基点,去卡茲別吉待几天,看高加索山和那个著名的三圣大教堂。其实原先听很多人说另一边斯瓦涅季山脉有更美的村庄叫做梅斯蒂亚。而且从库塔伊西有小飞机直接飞去。但是冬天天气变换,飞机经常不开,所以就换了行程,如果有机会夏天去,一点不要错过坐小飞机去高加索山啊。

Flight arrived at around 4 am in Kutaisi. When I arrived the guesthouse it was around 5am. It’s located somewhere in the hill, not far from the famous monastry in Kutaisi. Nona, the owner of the guesthouse welcomed me and asked what time I want breakfast. 30 minutes later, I was welcomed by a full Georgian style breakfast. It was plenty and everything was tasty. I didn’t really expect Nona to get up so early waiting preparing the breakfast for me.

从欧洲飞高加索国家大多是红眼航班,我到达的时候已经是凌晨4点了,折腾到旅社差不多5点多,天都快亮了。从旅社望得到美丽的绿教堂,到处都是大雪,真是美啊,库塔伊西真是一眼吸引我。旅店老板诺娜是个德语老师,不会说英语,我用跟德语有点像的荷兰语猜她问我早餐。诺娜人很好,30分钟以后,给我准备了超级丰盛好吃的早餐来欢迎我。我非常意外也被她的友好感动,完全没想到她起那么早为我准备欢迎早餐。

After breakfast, I took a nap before going out to explore the city. In Georgia, snow is common in the winter, I walked in my snow claw in order not to fall down. The snow claws are super necessary for Georgian witer, I highly recommend you to bring them.

吃完以后,我回房睡了一觉到中午,然后去城市走走。城市里到处都是雪,还好我带了雪爪,所以依旧带着困意的我走路也没有跌倒。雪爪在这样大雪纷飞的国家真的是很有用!

Kutaisi is not a very touristic city, yet I found it an amazing place to visit. During the winter time, there’s hardly any tourists in town. It was calm, transquille and super beautiful. I walked along the river and found a little restaurant.

I remembered once I had this Georgian classmate in the Dutch class and she could make amazing cakes. So I decided to step in to see if they got any desserts. I don’t speak any Russian nor Georgian, so I tried the only way I could to explain what I want, by showing the picture. The owner told me they ddin’t have any. But he told me not to leave, afterwards he called his son, 5 minutes later the son came back in his scooter, with the cake I was looking for. I was served with coffee. I felt a bit bad to make them buying it for me and it was not really a cafe. I love Georgians and their tasty cake.

虽然库塔伊西是格鲁吉亚的第三大城市,但是在这样的冬天,游人真是罕见。我觉得很多人还没有发现她的美丽,我才刚走了一会就觉得特别美丽又安静。走了走发现了一个小餐厅。

我突然记起来在荷兰语课有个格鲁吉亚的同学,她很厉害,人也特别好,经常做了蛋糕带给我们吃。我也还暂时没有发现蛋糕店,于是想进去餐厅问问看,顺便喝个咖啡暖暖身子。我当然是一句俄语或者格鲁吉亚语都不会(顺便说一下格鲁吉亚语长得特别可爱,像葡萄藤)。所以只能用手机找的图片来询问(我真是个吃货啊……)。老板告诉我餐厅没有蛋糕。但是在我打算离开的时候,他示意我坐下,然后叫儿子开摩托车去帮我买。我其实很不好意思,让他们为我跑一趟。不过他们很友好的一再说没问题。我又一次感受到格鲁吉亚人民的热情,蛋糕也特别好吃。

On my way to the monastry, I found an interesting colorful dessert. I first thought it was something salty like sausage, but they are actually a kind of desserts, basically different nuts with grape flavored coating. I kinda liked it and I’m missing it right now while writing. I call them “the Original Snickers” even though I don’t think they actually are.

在我去山顶看绿顶教堂的途中,路过一个市场,发现了一种很有意思的五颜六色的食物。不知道是什么,开始我以为是一种香肠。后来发现居然是一种甜点,葡萄做的酱裹着各种果仁。我觉得很好吃,并不是很甜,而且营养又健康。从那以后,我给这个起了个名字“士力架原型”,当然士力架可能跟这个完全没关系。

The guest house was close to the famous Bagrati Cathedral. The Cathedral is a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture. This green top is newly added during the reconstruction. I love this shade of green as it matches with the cathedral especially in a snowy day, although manylocals think that it lost its original look.

我住的旅舍里库塔伊西最有名的巴格拉提大教堂不远,这座教堂是格鲁吉亚中世纪建筑史上的伟大之作。位于库塔伊西的制高点,在城市各处都可以看到美丽的绿顶。下了很多雪,教堂四周被大雪覆盖,漂亮的绿顶也堆砌了星星点点的雪。让她看起来更神圣。绿顶是后来重建的,有的人觉得失去了原来的样子但是我觉得跟教堂很搭也很特别。

The view from the cathedral was stunning, with background of the extended Caucasus mountains. I was absolutely amazed to see the breathtaking views of totally white Kutaisi city under the gigantic snow-coated Caucasus before me.

从教堂所在的山丘上眺望下去,景色简直是太不可思议了,库塔伊西整个城市尽收眼底,所有的屋顶都被白雪覆盖,加上背景一大片的高加索雪山,此景只应天上有。

Some typical Georgian dishes, I expected it to be more of the BBQ and kebab-like dishes as the the dish above, but actually in Georgia, there are many stew dishes as well and they are super tasty, just as its famous BBQs. Also the anis flavor limonade was special.

这个是传统的格鲁吉亚食物,我以为格鲁吉亚食物应该都像上面那个烤肉一类。但其实也有很多类似左边那样的炖牛肉,炖的很够味很好吃。那个绿色的汽水也很神奇,是茴香味的汽水,这个在格鲁吉亚也是随处可见。

More food and sights, to be continued…

更多美景和美食,未完待续。


[Trip Report] Snow Wonderland – Georgia. Georgia – This Land Warming (Part 2)

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