Travel day from Zeda Gordi to Tbilisi
11.09.2019 - 11.09.2019 23 °C
Travel plans on how to get to Tbilisi kept changing as different people gave us differing advice. Initially we intended to get a taxi to Kutaisi and then get a train to Tbilisi. The schedule wasn’t brilliant as the only two trains were in the afternoon and it is a 4 1/2 hour journey. Dimitiri, our host at the hotel advised us that a marshrutka from Kutaisi would be better as it took less time and there were more of them. We decided to forget the train.
After another filling breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Dimitri and the other staff. Our taxi arrived promptly at 10am. As we wended our way down the valley our driver suggested that instead of paying 60 lari for an uncomfortable marshrutka journey - he could take us all the way to Tbilisi for 200 lari. The idea that we could miss Kutaisi and the hustle and bustle of the bus station was too tempting, so we agreed. Our driver didn’t speak much English but had studied German at school and we managed to communicate quite adequately. He had been a policeman in Tbilisi and now lived in Kutaisi - I think he had a family business now related to cars. Not completely sure about this though!
Quick fact about Kutaisi. Anne Lister - subject of the BBC drama Gentleman Jack - died of a fever In Kutaisi whilst travelling with her wife Ann Walker. Apparently, very few people from the west, let alone unaccompanied women, ever travelled there. Her body was embalmed and it took six months to get the body back to the uk to be buried in Halifax.
We stopped somewhere around the Kashuri area for lunch at a really nice roadside cafe. Can’t pinpoint exactly where it is and what it was called but the food was good. We bought lunch for the driver who seemed to be quite surprised at the gesture.
The whole journey was relatively traffic free until we hit Tbilisi. He headed to Nick and Lindsay’s Vinotel first. They wanted to have the treat of a luxury stay as their holiday is coming to an end. Their hotel is very tasteful. I then took a taxi to my hotel - Hotello - on the other side of the river in the Mtasaminda area. From the outside it looks quite shabby but the room is really nice - large and very clean plus I have the novelty of a round bed and a bath! Breakfast is also included.
I went for a wander before it got dark. Rustaveli was closed when we were here at the start of our holiday because of the Fast and Furious filming so I had a little wander as it was just behind the hotel. After a fortnight of bread, cheese and more cheese - I headed to the veggie and vegan cafe - Mama Terra which is quite close to the funicular. We had passed it a couple of times. It felt as if I had stepped into a Bristol cafe! I had a Rainbow warm quinoa salad with not a smidgen of dairy anywhere, followed by a plate of fruit. Just what I needed for a change of diet.
Then it was back to the hotel. There was something going on outside the Parliament building but I couldn’t make out what was happening. Looked like a demonstration about the Russians encroaching on Georgian territory. Apparently they currently occupy 20% of it.
After a cup of tea - there is a kettle AND cups in the room, unlike Villa Dolly - it was time to call it a day as I crawled into my large, round bed! One thing that has been consistently good in Georgia have been the beds - all of them have been firm but comfortable which has been great for my back.