Prometheus, Sataplia and Kumistavi: Aladdin’s caves in Georgia

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Kumistavi caves near Kutaisi in western Georgia is the biggest and most amazing network of caverns in the country.

The little sister of this huge complex is Sataplia cave. Nearby, there are dinosaurs’ footprints!

But the main jewel is the Prometheus cave, with its breathtaking views of stalactites, stalagmites and underground rivers.

“We are in a spectacular spot here, at the heart of a labyrinth of caverns branching out for dozens of kilometres underground,” said ‘Postcards’ reporter Claudio Rosmino.

“Just think, some of these rocks have taken up to 60 million years to form!”

Today, visitors to the Prometheus Cave Centre can enjoy a magnificent 1.2 km walk, but those who discovered this place, in 1984, reached it through a very narrow passage.

“We were literally in the mud up to our ears! When we arrived in this huge hall, this amazing underground system, we were bursting with happiness,” remembered speleologist Amiran Jamrishvili.

“We could not wait to go out and share this with all the other speleologists!”

And no visit would be complete without a boat trip on an underground river in which the traveller can emerge from the magical cave – back into the outside world.

 

Source:Euronews.com

Bagrati Cathedral: a landmark of Georgian architecture

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In this episode of ‘Postcards’, we discover Bagrati Cathedral, the symbol of the city of Kutaisi, nearly 250 kilometres west of Tbilisi.

It was built under the first Kingdom of Georgia, a period of political and economic strength for the country.

“The cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions of the city,” said ‘Postcards’ reporter Claudio Rosmino.

“It is named after King Bagrat III, who commissioned its construction in the early years of the 11th century. Since then, it has become a landmark of Georgian architecture.”

The cathedral suffered heavy damage throughout the centuries and was gradually renovated from 1952 to 2012.

“Bagrati Cathedral is in a 3,500-year-old city, one of the oldest in the world,” explained Sulkhan Kuprashvili, a professor of history from Kutaisi State University.

“The construction of this church started a golden age for Georgia. For centuries, Bagrati has remained a symbol of the country with its high standards of education and culture.”

Bagrati Cathedral is now of only limited use for services of worship.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Khinkali: Georgian dumplings like a work of art!

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 373

o holiday in Georgia is complete without trying khinkali, one of the most traditional dishes in the country.

With the help of a specialist chef, ‘Taste’ reporter Claudio Rosmino discovered its history, how to prepare it and the special technique to enjoy what is basically a big, tasty dumpling, filled with meat.

Khinkali was traditionally the food of shepherds in the mountains but then it became popular nationwide.

Usually, you eat it in specialised restaurants, like the one visited in Tbilisi by ‘Taste’.

Reporter Claudio met Malkhaz Tsikolia, the head of the kitchen at the ‘Tsiskvili restaurant’, and asked him about where khinkali comes from.

“Khinkali is a Georgian dish produced many years ago in the mountain regions,” the chef explained.

“It quickly became the favourite dish of the whole country and nowadays people from many other nations visit Georgia to taste real khinkali.”

So how is Khinkali cooked and what ingredients is it made of?

“First we make the dough,” said Malkhaz.

“Then we insert minced beef and pork and some spicies. You seal the dough with the meat inside. You put it in boiling water and in seven minutes it is ready.”

Khinkali is something of a work of art because of its fascinating shape. A delicate touch is required in its preparation. Not everyone has got it – as Claudio discovered when he tried!

There are several varieties of khinkali, with pork, beef or lamb, but there are also vegetarian versions with cheese or mushrooms.

While the cooking is quite fast, preparing the ingredients requires several distinct stages.

In the kitchen, everyone must be coordinated, like in an orchestra, in order to produce hundreds of these traditional Georgian dumplings per day.

And when it comes to eating, the challenge is not to spill any of the tasty juice. The aim is to have as little juice as possible fall onto the plate. And for that you really need to master a special method, which chef Malkhaz demonstrated for Euronews.

“First of all, you take a bite,” he said.

“Then you drink the juice – and it’s really very good!”

 

Source: Euronews.com

Tbilisi’s old town: a bridge between ancient and modern times

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In Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi modernity and ancient history are separated by just a few meters. Walking through the city centre is an experience made of contrasts and beautiful discoveries in a town which has been at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for centuries.

The cohabitation between history and modernity is perhaps best illustrated by the Peace Bridge that connects the newer parts of the capital to the ancient ones.

According to legend, in the fifth century, King Vakhtang Gorgasalince founded the future capital of united Georgia during a horse hunt. Abanotubani is the place where the royal falcon fell, leading to the discovery of hot springs that nowadays are public bathhouses that use the sulphurous waters.

« It is exactly in this place that king Vaktang found his falcon boiled in a hot spring. He put his hand into the water and discovered it was warm and he said: ‘I will found a city here and we will name it Tbilisi, which means the warm city,» explains Vlasi Vatsadze a local tourist guide.

Much of the Old town was restored in 2009. The “New Life for Old Tbilisi” project has rehabilitated the historical district with its pastel-coloured houses and monuments.

Source: Euronews.com

Passenger traffic at Georgian airports increases 25%

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 327

Georgian airports have served 3,375,959 passengers during the last eight months, which is a 25 per cent increase in comparison to last year, an official statement of United Airports of Georgia says.

Tbilisi International Airport served 461,051 passengers in August: a 12 per cent increase y/y.

Growth in the first eight months of this year was 24 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Passenger traffic in Kutaisi International Airport increased by 44 per cent in August 2018 y/y.

Over the last eight months Kutaisi International Airport has served 382,325 passengers, which is a 35 per cent increase.

Batumi International Airport served 121, 298 in August 2018 which is 12 percent more than the same period for last year. As for the first eight months of this year, passenger traffic in Batumi International Airport increased by 24 per cent.

Georgia’s rural airports in Mestia and Ambrolauri together served 5 ,520 passengers in the first eight months of 2018.

Georgia 4th among world’s fastest-growing tourism destinations

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Georgia has taken the fourth position as the world’s most fast-growing tourism destinations in the World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) 2017 report.

The report reads that in 2017 the number of tourists particularly increased for trips to Egypt, Togo, Vietnam and Georgia.

For Egypt, the number of tourists increased by 55 per cent.

In Togo, by 46 per cent.
In Vietnam by 29 per cent.
In Georgia by 27.9 per cent.
Georgia stands above France, Spain, Turkey and other countries where the tourism field is especially well-developed in terms of pace of growth.

This is the first time that Georgia has taken a leading position as a quickly growing tourist country in the UNWTO report. In 2016 Georgia was the first in Europe as a tourism destination, now we are in the top five as the world’s fast growing tourism destinations, which is a great achievement,” head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration Giorgi Chogovadze said.

The report reads that international tourist arrivals grew by seven per cent in 2017, the highest increase since 2010.

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

Euronews: Traditional Georgian Ballet is the Classics plus Folklore

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Euronews correspondent Wolfgang Spindler went to Tbilisi to find out more about traditional Georgian ballet.

The Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet combines traditional Georgian dances, ballet, and elements of modern dance. With fast turns and acrobatic jumps, the dancers can easily captivate an entire audience, young and old. The ensemble has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious performance spaces.

The company began 70 years ago when Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili, a husband and wife team, created their own dance ensemble. Since then, they have survived the Stalinist terrors, the Cold War, and the collapse of the USSR to build international recognition. Today, it’s the grandchildren who are in charge. Iliko Sukhishvili the younger is the Artistic Director, and his sister Nino is the General Director and Costume Director.

The group’s repertoire includes dances from the various regions in Georgia, featuring traditional costumes from these same regions. Some dances from mountainous regions are reminiscent of fights, or agility and courage competitions.

You can see a performance of the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet at Rike Park in Tbilisi every Saturday through August 25.

Source: Euronews.com

New air connection between Tbilisi and Racha region

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Regular air flights between Tbilisi and the high-mountain region Racha launched in January of this year, reports “Sputnik Georgia” with reference to Georgia Airports Union. Flights will operate by Serviceair company on aircrafts placing 17 passengers.

Airplanes will depart from Natakhtari aerodrome located near Tbilisi on Sundays and Wednesdays at 14.30 and arrive at the airport of Ambrolauri at 15.00. Regular half an hour flights will allow reaching Racha from Tbilisi anytime of the year.

It is to remind that Ambrolauri runway was launched on 6 October, 2016. The length of the aerodrome is 1,1 km and 30m in width.

Batumi to Host International Rural Tourism Conference

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 404

The second International Conference of Rural Tourism will be held in Batumi on October 19-20. The main topic of the conference will be “Rural Tourism as Business”.

The conference will present presentations, reports and seminars by invited Georgian and foreign experts, and introductory practical visits will be arranged on tourist routes throughout the Adjara region.

The topics of the Conference include:

Village and village life as a tourist product, business and source of income;

Innovative services and tourist products to maintain rural / village authenticity in parallel with innovative services;

Rural tourism development prospects and challenges in the Adjara region/tourist infrastructure in rural areas;

General standards of rural tourism (service standards, types of family guest houses, etc.);

Georgian hospitality and hospitality as a business;

State programs in rural tourism development in Georgia and other countries;

Competition in rural tourism, positive and negative impacts and sides of the competition;

Attracting tourists in rural areas and advertising.

The conference will be attended by the owners of family guest houses, tourist agencies, the representatives of the different fields of rural and eco-tourism, as well as the representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

“In the Adjara region, rural tourism is at the initial stage of development, so it is important for us to get acquainted with the international experience and successful business examples of rural tourism.

“Although the locals of Adjara region have started to actively engage in tourism sphere and the number of the providers of family guest houses and other tourist services is significantly increasing, there is still a lot of work in the direction of tourism business development,”  said Tinatin Zoidze, Director of Tourism Products Development Agency of Ajara Tourism Department. “Accordingly, we need to get acquainted with other people’s experiences and use it in practice. This is the main goal of our conference and I think that we will have interesting speakers this year, too.”

How to Drink Wine the Right Way, According to Science

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Drinking wine is more than simply consuming a beverage; it’s an entire experience. Although there are thousands of different types of wines, there are a few key elements to include in the wine experience that will make all of your wine drinking much more enjoyable. If you learn about the different components of wine – such as bodyfinish, and flavor intensity – you’ll be able to find the perfect wine for you.

Get a recommendation. If you’re a new wine drinker, go to a store that specializes in wine to ask for help in selecting the wine that is right for you. If there isn’t a specialty wine store near you, don’t panic. Most liquor and grocery stores have a large variety of wine, so you should have no problem finding the right wine for you.

  • Explain to the wine expert or store employee what flavors you enjoy so that they can help you choose the best wine.
  • If you’re planning to have wine with food, tell them what food that will be on the menu so that they can help you pick the right wine.

Choose a wine. Knowing what qualities you’re looking for in a wine is very important, as there are numerous types of wine. Do you want a full-bodied or light-bodied wine? Body equates to how heavy the wine actually feels in your mouth. Or do you prefer a dry or sweet wine? In wine-speak, dry is the opposite of sweet. Do you want a crisp or soft wine? A wine with refreshing acidity is crisp, whereas a wine that feels smoother is considered soft.

  • The most popular red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.
  • Try a white wine. Popular white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Pour 1-2 ounces of wine into your glass to taste it before deciding on a full glass. It’s common to try a few sips of wine before committing to a glass. Proper wine tasting is a great way to determine whether or not you like the overall flavor of the wine.

Experience the aroma. Swirl the wine in your glass to expose it to a larger surface area. This increases wine’s contact with air and intensifies its aroma. Swirl your wine by holding the glass by the base or by the stem. Smell your wine as you swirl it to take in the aromas. Common aromas include different fruits, spices, herbs and flowers.

  • Be sure to smell the wine several times, swirling before each smell. A complex wine will offer multiples scents, and taking in each scent will intensify the wines flavor.
  • The overall taste of a wine is a combination of smells and flavors, so it’s important that you don’t skip the smelling stage.

Taste the wine. Taste your wine in small sips. Roll the wine across your taste buds by lightly swishing it around your mouth. Hold the wine in your mouth for 5-10 seconds before swallowing to really absorb the flavor. After swallowing, notice the aftertaste, or finish. High quality wines tend to have a more defined the finish. A good finish will linger on your palate for quite some time.

Here you are! 1 or 2 glasses is enough to feel the taste and to be on a good mood.