We started the day with a hunt for breakfast and being Sunday, Sighnaghi was very much asleep. We went back to the cafe that found us a guesthouse and they were open and sold us some khachapuri and our other favourite place sold us a coffee. Our first problem solved for the day!
We then went to the Sighnaghi Museum to see a trio of exhibitions, although mainly for the history of Sighaghi, which stretches back to 6000 BC, although they suspect longer, but have yet to find significant archaeological evidence of it. To make things confusing there was a time the region was known as Iberia, which is also the name of the piece of lane Spain and Portugal currently occupies. Rather than hack a guide to Georgian History the Wikipedia – History of Georgia page is a good place to go.
This museum had a lot more artefacts along the lines of pottery and bronze tools and weapons. Most of the gold appears to be at the museum in Tbilisi, although there was a tiny gold lion on a rotating platform. We continued upstairs to were a temporary exhibition of Japanese dolls was being held. Seemed a bit strange to see them in a small Georgian museum, but they were wonderful to see.
We then went to the next room which was the last exhibition of the famous Georgian artist Nikos Pirosmani. I quite liked his paintings especially “Feast in a Grape Gazebo” which depicted three men eating with their faithful hound in front. I also liked “Vintage” which was a wide painting of a grape harvest and everywhere you looked there was something going on.
After the museum we went searching for wine tasting. How hard can it be? We walked out to a park that apparently had wine tasting, however it didn’t look promising enough and we headed back into town and instead went to Okro’s Wines. The lady was happy to help us out with a sampling of 5 wines and a shot of “Chacha” to wash it down with. Unlike in Australia, wine tasting cost us 25 Lari each.
We tasted 4 whites and one red and most were quite good. I preferred the amber coloured Mtsvane which had hints of citrus in the flavour. The wines were all made from one of the 527 varieties of Georgian grapes! Many of which are not grown anywhere else in the world. Not being a huge wine drinker the only other wine I’ve had was the Tvishi which was a white semi-sweet wine and it was really good chilled. Apparently, Georgians don’t tend to drink their wines chilled, but that’s what I am used to.
There is nothing more to add for Georgia, it has been a wonderful country to visit, the people are generally friendly and helpful, but sometimes we’ve had to ask for the help and then we’ve received more than enough. Actually, there is one more thing. We walked past the little market in the park, where I got myself a doormat for inside the house, the 15 lari seemed far too cheap, but also bought a big smile to the ladies face. I guess some days they might not sell a thing.
We then walked past a stall that takes donations for the dogs and cats on the street. We’ve put a few lari in there the past two days (plus Claire has fed a number of them throughout the country). Today there was a gorgeous dog sitting there looking at me so I called him over for a pat. I was thinking he wanted a pat, he was thinking about the Khachapuri I had bought for tomorrow mornings breakfast. He followed us halfway back to our guest house before giving up!
Tomorrow we make a dash for the border of Armenia. We have numerous options, but we are glad to say our first Armenian Hotel is picking us up at the border so we won’t arrive to find the only hotel in Haghpat closed!