As soon as we arrive in Georgia, we reach the capital and the address of a recommended hostel: Yard hostel. As parking is paid for in the city center, this hostel, well located on the left bank of the Kura river, which crosses the city, offers all the services for 5 lari per night (€1.50), surprising comfort at an ultra-low price. for a capital!

The day after our arrival, we take bus 31 towards the French Embassy to have our customs pass stamped (cf. Iran). We find out that if you need anything, you can head to your embassy! The reception is non-existent and we are ashamed for those who wait up to two hours outside (despite an appointment), in front of a gate, to obtain a visa. Apart from the Turkmen consulate in Bishkek, we have always been received inside the consulates, in a room reserved for waiting, with minimal access to toilets!

Faced with this sad observation (always interesting to see how our own country welcomes those who wish to meet them!…), we therefore leave empty-handed.

We jump again on bus 31 which was waiting for us ;o)! The Toulouse appeal without a doubt!

Our first stop to begin our discovery of Tbilisi is on the banks of the Kura River, near the sulphide baths, the Abanotubani district. Just a few steps in this neighborhood and I immediately fall in love with this city.

We are now where it all began for Tbilisi. It owes its origin to King Vakhtang 1st Gorgassali. A legend, told by our guide Anano, with whom we will explore part of the old town, says that while hunting falcons in this district, once a wooded area, the king caught a pheasant. By wanting to recover his trophy, this one was cooked! The pheasant had fallen into a hot spring. These hot springs laid bare, the king chose to found his city there. Tbilisi was born! The name Tbili means hot in Georgian. We are at the Vth. s., and Tbilisi, which has a good strategic location, will become the cultural, political and economic center of the Caucasus region. Occupied more than 20 times by external enemies, it has been since 1991, the date of the country’s independence from the collapse of the USSR, the capital of the Republic of Georgia.

We will discover the architecture of the wooden houses surmounted by sumptuous balconies, the neighborhoods that have been restored today and those whose renovation programs are underway. We will wander for three days in its streets and alleys, and fall completely in love for this capital which brings together everything: architectural beauty, cultural diversity, sublime parks and gardens, warm places to live to offer wonderful Georgian dishes and wines.

And although we are in Asia, Tbilisi has its sights set on the West. It displays many European flags. This country has made corruption its battle horse to claim to enter the European Union. As a result of its efforts, the Schengen visa is no longer required for its citizens, which also means that we can stay one year without a visa! And the renovation of public buildings is often carried out with large windows demonstrating the government’s desire for complete transparency towards its people. We will also glimpse political tensions, concerning the territories occupied by the Russians of Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia, through a controlled demonstration near the seat of government.

To better understand your visit to this jewel that is Tbilisi, I strongly recommend that you take the free tour on arrival, in English, provided by the association “Tbilisi Free Walking Tour“. Let yourself go; stroll according to your desires in the streets of the old town Kala and especially lose yourself; browse without looking at the watch to notice the unusual objects of the Soviet era at the flea market under the dry bridge; admire the works of Georgian artists at the National Gallery. At the end of the day, after a good summer sweat, go live a unique experience with the locals, to find your baby skin, by testing a sulfur bath at number 5, the oldest public bath in the city. Finally, do not hesitate to treat yourself in one of the thousand and one beautifully decorated taverns to enjoy a last night walk where the lights of the city magnify this Caucasian capital.

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