Sunday, April 22, 2012

#997 Tbilisi, Georgia

Mother Georgia - Karlis Deda
The old town of Tbilisi is famous for it's ornate colored balconies.
Georgians are warm, welcoming, friendly people, happy to share their wine, cha-cha, history, stories, and laughs. Tbilisi is the center of this delightful culture. Sprawled along the picturesque Mtkvari River, with the large Narikala castle-fort overlooking it (and of course Mother Georgia), Tbilisi is a pretty capital, and compact enough for nice walks around the center.

Rumored to be founded for it's hot thermal baths, and famous for them since the Byzantine era, it is now the political, cultural, religious and education capital of this small Caucasus nation. It is peppered with orthodox churches (The Georgian Christian Church is the second oldest Christian faith in the world) and nearby Mtskheta houses the current archbishop.
View of  Narikala fortress.
Mtkvari River. The large Tsminda Sameba Cathedral in the center  has only been finished quite recently.

The folk dancing in Georgia is pretty amazing and Tbilisi is a great place to see it -- the women glide over the floor as if they take no steps (like ghosts), and dance on their toes (without wooden toe shoes like in ballet). The men jump and kick in true Caucasus fashion-- fascinating to watch!

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