Justins World

A Fortress, two cats and a gas mask

Today is our last day in Tbilisi and the last place on the to do list was the Narikala fortress that sits above our hotel.  I can see it from the window in our room.  If you read reviews online you’d think the climb up to the fortress was nothing short of a mountaineering exercise and to take the cable car instead. However, from our hotel, it was a leisurely walk up the hill for maybe 5  minutes. It was nothing compared to out brutal steep hike yesterday, where one slip might have been the worst slip I’d ever made.

Old town and Narikala fortress

We wandered all throughout the fortress with stunning views of Tbilisi, the bridges across the Mtkvari river and the St Trinity cathedral and its golden roof. We could also look down and see our hotel clinging to the edge of the canyon and the sulfur baths that I didn’t want to visit, after the last Turkish bath experience in Uzbekistan.  Turns out these baths are just a place to wash your self in the sulfur enriched water.

Narikala fortress

We headed back down the hill and proceeded to cross several bridges and even found an odourless underpass.  We were heading to the Dry Bridge markets to see what was on offer.  There was a lot of old silverware, jewelry, rugs, art and if you needed a gas mask, you could get those here also.  I even got mum a belated mothers day gift from here, I hope she likes it.

Tbilisi Panorama

We then sat down to a Georgian set lunch, which was really delicious.  It came with soup, salad and Khinkali dumplings as well as a fruity drink.  I also had some delicious homemade orange and lemon lemonade. Perfect for the sunny warm day, that was rather exhausting in the direct sun, but lovely in the shade.  Claire made friends with a local cat who hit pot luck as Claire prefers to eat vegetarian and her soup had chicken in it. The cat also got the meat from two khinkalis, it was the cats lucky day and was very affectionate afterwards.

Churchkhela – walnuts in grape sugar caramel

We went to the Bread House for our final dinner in Tbilisi. I’d been here on my first night and after the average dinner last night we went for the low risk good dinner option.  I ordered a chvishtari, chicken shashlik and some potatoes. The chvishtari was a cheesy cornbread that was freshly baked and delicious. Claire had something with a long name, but was ground walnuts and eggplant as well as a fish in pomegranate sauce. They love the pomegranate here, you can order fresh pomegranate juice on every street corner just about.  The local cat got the fish head and tail. With wine and beer it was a great meal and cost around $35 all up for us both.

We are heading up into the Caucasus and probably the coldest few days we’ll have. The last two days have been warm and mid 20’s, but we are expecting the mid teens with very cold nights up in the mountains.

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