People

Georgian people are very hospitable, warm and friendly. Because many Georgians excel in fields like literature and the performing arts, a lot of them have become musicians and actors. Also due to political instability in the country, there have been many known military leaders and individuals who excel in politics. Georgians also have strong traditions of chivalry, and women are highly regarded in society and are treated with utmost respect. Aside from that, Georgians are individualistic people who still take pride in belonging to a bigger family.

Geography

Georgia is surrounded by Russia and the Caucasus Mountains. Most of Georgia is mountainous and the Likhi Range, a mountain range which is part of the Caucasus Mountains, divides the country into western and eastern halves. Topographically speaking, eastern Georgia is very much different from its western side. In western Georgia, forests have almost disappeared because of agriculture purposes and urbanization. Eastern Georgia is mostly comprised of gorges and valleys which are separated by mountains, and its trees grow only at certain seasons. The Caucasus Mountains shield the country from extreme conditions like the cold air from the north. Although an Asian country, Georgia is sometimes perceived more as a European country since it is very near to the rest of the other European nations.

History

Georgians call themselves Kartvelebi and their country, Sakartvelo. They were one of the few countries to adapt Christianity. Georgia was once a part of the Russian Empire. The Eastern Kingdom of Georgia signed a treaty with Russia stating that the former receive protection from the latter. This never happened though during the attack of the Turks in the country. Georgia experienced a brief period of independence but was later on forced to become part of the Soviet Union. Although a new leadership has been established and many improvements in the economy are evident, there are still political conflicts around the country. Just recently, they had an armed conflict against Russia. Protests are also prevalent in Tbilisi, demanding the resignation of their president. The country also has had many different names that refer to different periods. The first modern Georgia was called Democratic Republic of Georgia. When it became part of the Soviet Union, it was named the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. When it separated from them, it was called the Republic of Georgia. At present, it is now simply called Georgia.

Famous Attraction

There are many churches, castles, towers and fortifications around the country that reflect Georgian architecture. Georgia is also known for its rich folklore, and one way to experience that is to visit their theaters, cinemas and art galleries. Georgia is also a good place for those who love the outdoors since one may be able to commune and get closer with nature by going hiking or caving and participating in other outdoor activities around the Georgian mountains. Places like the Georgian Military Highway, Mount Kazbeg and Davit Gareja are highly recommended to visit. These places offer a spectacular view of the mountains and are also home to some of the monasteries dotting the country. There are also ski resorts like the Bakuriani ski slopes and Pasanauri slopes which are great places to visit. When going to the mountains, one is required to be flexible as hiking may be needed, or hitching a ride or hiring a jeep (although this alternative is quite expensive). One may also visit the Kakheti wineries, home of Georgia’s famous wines.

Nightlife

The nightlife in Georgia is a thriving activity. There are already many bars and cafes especially around the country’s capital, Tbilisi. These places mostly attract the younger generations. One of the more famous places is the Bamba Rooms, great for having romantic dinner dates or getting into a wild party. The Zen Klub is also getting more popular, although most taxi drivers do not know the place since it is practically new, so it is better to ask the younger people around. There are also various other clubs especially in Tbilisi that showcase DJ talents from Georgia and even some foreign ones. Drinks could be expensive at some bars although they could be well worth it.

Cuisine

Georgia’s cuisine is delicious and most restaurants around Tbilisi are accompanied with Georgian music and dances. Two of their well-known dishes are the “khachapuri” and the “khinkali”. The former is a cheese-filled bread while the latter is minced spicy meat in a dumpling. The khachapuri is served at every meal, but the khinkali usually is eaten on its own at a separate meal. The country, though, is more popular as the "cradle of wine." The most popular wine producing region is Kakheti. Georgians respect wine culture, and this place has a lot of history about wines. When traveling to Georgia, it would be best to have a taste of their wine. Unfortunately, you cannot take with you a locally bottled wine, which is said to be their best quality wine.