In September 2018, for 1 month long I navigated across the unbelievable country of Georgia. Despite the 2 conflicted zones with Russia on the North side: Abkhazia and South Ossetia, this country is surprisingly friendly and peaceful.
The geographical features are very diverse, from the coast of the Black sea, the plains and countryside in the interior, the varied hills on the East, and the gigantic Caucasian mountains on the north.
In a relatively small area, it encompasses a myriad of treasures and I found the general way-of-life to be very chill.
The culture is difficult to describe, as it is a mixture of Europe, Asian, Middle-East, and Russia. The locals like to call themselves ‘European’ even though they are very far from the actual Europe. It has a very rich history as it is one of the oldest place to find past trace of humans on earth. Georgian is the official language and the most widely spoken, but Russian is still very well spoken as they were ruled by Russian many times in recent history.
My Georgian journey started in Kutaisi, third biggest city, and one of the oldest city in the world! Arriving there woke up my curiosity as I discovered the Georgian language and so special alphabet, along with the local food which is like nowhere else. It felt like a prism in time.
I walked around the market, old and dark place with so much vendors and stores. I captured very nice ambience from this authentic market.
Well, at this point I have to mention that Georgian food is very well renowned. It is made of old tradition, very varied, with fresh ingredients, and very distinct from any other place I have been.
After Kutaisi, I spent few times in the center countryside near Martvili town. I could record interesting sounds from this side of the country.
I took the typical mini-bus, the Marshrutka, on a 1 day ride to get up to the mountains in Mestia town in the Svaneti region. In this region you can find many towers made of stone, called Svan tower, these were defense tower, and can be as old as 1200 years old. Hiking up the mountains I could hear many insects that flourish only at some altitudes.
Going down from the mountains, I followed my journey on the shore of the black sea, in the city of Batumi. It is the second most important city and is oriented to the sea and tourism, with many casinos.
My last stop was in Tbilisi, the largest city and capital of the country, where I stayed 10 days. Tbilisi has many facets, it’s a multi-cultural city; and it has a very rich history.
I couldn’t not notice how busy but also polluted is the city. It lies between multiple hills and has varied architectures which confer some charm.
The Georgian people are very hospitable. They are open and friendly, even more when it is time to share their famous wine.
All in all, this country is surprisingly European but with a twist that can’t be found nowhere else. It is in my opinion an underrated place to discover. I had great pleasure to record sounds throughout the various landscapes of this country. I decided I will come back in the near future (and with a better Russian language knowledge) to discover more on this area of the world.