One half hour drive meant we reached Mtskheta, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. It’s either the oldest or one of the oldest cities in Georgia and is pretty much where Christianity originated from in Georgia. Anyway, it’s beautiful. Expect lots of photos and vlog number two! There’s one thing Georgians do when they’re together as a group and that’s eat and drink. Unfortunately for me, this meant returning to the place where I first tried chacha and fell asleep in the car afterwards. Could be worse, and was fun at the time but it gets a bit samey now when the conversations stay the same. When I ask why? Tradition. Anyway, we headed through to a typical khinkali/ chacha/ wine place, perfect for tourists but apparently the khinkali is good too, and took our seats. These drinks are pretty much standard at any Georgian table. This lemonade is like liquid cocaine, it sends me crazy. And of course, the dreaded chacha. It arrived before the food, and a bottle was nearly empty by the time it came out. Awful stuff, I stopped after 2 with much whinging from the others that I don’t like it. No, I don’t like it – I’m a whisky girl! The heavens opened and greeted us with a freak hailstorm, enough to make us worry about the condition of the car, and finally releasing the stuffiness of the day. Food arrived. You can see here the little salads I asked for (see why it’s hard to be Vegan here?). I just love how they don’t cut-up the herbs though, seems to taste so much stronger. And this big bread thing is plkhovani which is similar to khachapuri but with some veg and spinach inside, and I think a little bit of kacho/curds. It was great though, and we have leftovers too. The (20) khinkali aren’t pictured, I can’t even look at it and it was demolished within minutes, really. We left and took a walk to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral which is absolutely beautiful inside. The colours on the exterior are impressive enough, but the frescos inside made me swoon. I wanted to take photos but it feels so wrong in a church. Erekle II and Vakhtang Gorgasali are two prominent figures in here, with a lot of history I’d recommend reading up on. You can sense the age of this place so strongly when you’re there, but weirdly enough people seem casual about this sort of history and more interested in the khinkali. It’s a growing concern I have with Georgia where little is being done to protect heritage, even in smaller areas with incredible buildings. It’s what makes Georgia worth visiting yet they demolish it all to build weird, shiny, Wile E. Coyote buildings thinking that’s what the people want. You can’t deny this landscape though. Finally we had a peek at the St Stephen’s Nunnery on the way to the car park. I stayed outside with Tika because there were loads of priests there and I sensed we weren’t allowed access with our jeans… Although this sweetheart kept us company!
And here’s the day’s vlog, still iffy but always fun:
I’d love to know what you think!