I initially planned to take a ferry from Sochi to Batumi, a very attractive seaside resort town, and then a train to Tbilisi, the capital city. But I was cautioned that the waters might be rough, and since my time was short, decided to fly directly to Tbilisi instead. As usual, upon arrival, it was challenging to arrange a taxi to the hotel, since the drivers were asking twice what the hotel recommended that I pay, and my Uber app wasn't working. But having no choice, I took a cab and arrived around 8 pm.
|The Tiflis Palace Hotel. I can most definitely recommend it. Lovely rooms and exceptional staff.|
|It's always exciting to look out the window of a new hotel room, especially at night.|
|The Great Synagogue|
|The Little Synagogue|
That afternoon I wandered around the old town and then did something I had never done on Yom Kippur...I took a bus tour of the town. That evening, I broke my fast with herring and a local dish that includes an egg and cheese in pastry.
|Freedom Square: one of the main squares in the city.|
|There is a variety of architecture throughout the city.|
During my stay, I visited the main museum where there were some most impressive exhibits on the archaeology of the region and the history of Russian occupation.
|No, I didn't meet this person on the street. In the museum...|
The next day I head out to the historic capital...
|The former capital of Georgia is a most historic, medieval place.|
As I wandered along the main street, I saw a sign leading to a Jewish Museum, hidden along a side street. Housed in a former synagogue, it had some modest but interesting displays.
Tbilisi is a fascinating place; unlike any other city, I have ever visited. Much of it appears very poor; other parts are sophisticated late 19th and early 20th century European, while a number of large, contemporary complexes appear around the city. There's a very lively old town, with a network of pedestrian streets lined with restaurants and bars.
Here are some more photos.
|The presidents palace overlooks the river that runs through the city.|
|The sculpture overlooking the city offers grapes to friends and visitors and a sword for enemies.|
|On a river cruise I met a number of Russians. My Sochi hat gave me away as a Canadian. Fortunately, Google Translate came in handy!|
|A marvelous pedestrian bridge. There is also a gondola connecting an amusement park down into the city.|
|Macdonalds has a large presence in the city.|
|A new theatre/concert hall.|
|I don't know why this is here!|
|A new government treasury and passport office. At least that's what I was told this is.|
|The large and facinating flea market would certainly appeal to my daughter Claire.|
|At night, there is an incredibly lively street life with pedestrian streets lined with restaurants and bars|