Country #63 - Georgia

The Bridge and The Churches

After a short but comfortable night’s sleep I woke up to eat a great omelet breakfast at Du Vin Rouge hotel before heading out to explore Tbilisi, Georgia for a few hours! Luckily Du Vin Rouge was located in the heart of the city and I was able to walk everywhere. My first stop was Tbilisi St. Trinity Cathedral, which was incredible! It reminded me a lot of the main cathedral in Helsinki - it’s grand and up on a giant hill with tons of stairs. The inside was pretty empty but the magnificent outside was incredible enough on its own. The gardens all around the cathedral were amazing too and I really enjoyed all of the time that I spent here.

I then walked back towards the heart of the city, stopping first at Metekhi St. Virgin Church. The church was very tiny and I just peeked inside, but outside it was picturesque and looked out on the rest of Tbilisi. I took tons of pictures from here of the city before walking into it and heading to the Sulphur Baths. I didn’t go inside but from the outside, the baths were domed and were really quite unique. I then walked through the city to another small church, The Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition. Once again it was small but beautiful.

My next stop was Liberty Square which had a large monument in the center. I enjoyed walking down Aleksandr Pushkin Street from Liberty Square towards the Mtkvari River. It was a very lively street with beautiful architecture. At the end of the street, I turned to walk past the famous Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater. There aren’t shows in the winter but the building was really cool and I was glad that I stopped by to see it!

I then walked to one of my favorite and final stops of the day. The Bridge Of Peace is a staple in Tbilisi and rightfully so - it was one of the coolest bridges I have ever seen! The glass bridge is stunning and leads across the river to Rike Park which I also really enjoyed. It was a large, beautiful park with other cool architecture (the Music Theater and Exhibition Hall were so cool) and there were many cool quirks to the park such as the giant chess set, giant piano, and the great views of the city. It’s also where you can take a cable car up to another part of the city, but it was not working today. Rike Park was a great last stop on my whirlwind tour of Tbilisi and I’m so glad I made it to where I would have a few hours here.

I went back to Du Vin Rouge where I wished Tigran farewell and thanked him again for all of his help! Du Vin Rouge was also very kind in providing my transportation back to the airport. I had an amazing stay in this new hotel and cannot recommend it enough! The staff were incredibly kind and caring and my room was very nice as well. Thank you again to Du Vin Rouge for everything!

The drive back to the airport was under twenty minutes but when I arrived I learned that my flight was delayed by two hours. This ended up being totally fine, though, as my layover in Dubai, UAE was already about six hours. This helped to make that layover shorter which was definitely a good thing. When the plane to Dubai finally departed I was exhausted and slept for most of the flight. I arrived at Dubai Airport (DXB) terminal 2 which is definitely the worst in the airport. It is home to Fly Dubai airline and is tiny, packed, and unfortunately very smoky when you walk in as the smoking lounge is located right by the entrance (and right by the food court… who thought that was a good idea?). I grabbed some food from Paul (the French cafe chain) and found a less hectic spot by my gate away from the smoke. It was still a very long layover but at least I didn’t have to spend so much time in uncomfortable terminal 2!

My second flight of the day was from Dubai to Manama, Bahrain and thankfully it was only an hour long, though I still didn’t land until about 2:30am. Thankfully I slept most of the flight again. I won’t have long in Bahrain but I’m really looking forward to what time I do have!

63 countries down, 134 to go.

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