Actually, I could also name the blogpost something completely different – e.g. Sculptures, Hairdresser and Tourists. Or Cheese, Crypto and David. Or….. To travel from mountainous area to mountainous area, you tend to have to keep going back to the plains, as the mountainous areas are not connected. So I travelled from Mestia to Kutaisi, the second largest city in Georgia. I had been here before in 2008 and again I did not recognise many things.
In my first blogpost Before the trip hI already mentioned the Bagrati Cathedral, which was then a ruin and should now be a complete building. Since the evening light is so beautiful there, I went straight there.
It’s easy to see what’s been added and what’s still original, and I thought 80-90% was pretty well done. Besides, you saw active clergy – and so I think: isn’t it better to do without UNESCO and rather have an active life than just tourists? I found the Jesus with wings funny – it was the first time I had seen him consciously. In the evening, many people walk around there because of the beautiful view of the city and because it’s just nice there.
The sculpture on the large square is also new. Stalin used to stand here. Before that, I don’t know. In 2008 there was a horse and rider. And today there is the Kolchis Fountain with golden animal statues that are a replica of old Georgian figures.
There were also many other sculptures, but I don’t remember if they were there 15 years ago or new.
These ladies are sisters who performed Georgian music during the Soviet era and – as noted on the information panel – also raised the morale of the soldiers in the Second World War with live music.
Here is a sculpture complex from the 1980s, still Soviet.
Then there was a small museum with old photographs, old cameras, movie projector etc. Very nice how they presented it.
In Kutaisi there is also a large indoor market with art on the façade outside. Inside, there was mainly food for sale. It was quite nice to walk through and a lady let me try some of her cheese. The one with the holes tasted good to me.
Next to the market hall there was also sellers from different tiny booths in souterrain
There was also a hairdressing salon in this street and as I thought my hair was too long, I went in. 4.50 Euros for a cut and a wash. Communication with translator app. At first I thought the lady was a bit hesitant and I would have to go for the next haircut soon again – but then she corrected here and cut there – and in the end it was so short that I think the next visit still has time.
Now there are single photos of what came across when wandering through the city
Does that give a city impression now? Maybe not really. Or maybe it does – because there are so many different things to see, sometimes your gaze gets caught, some things are pleasing to the eye, some are special discoveries. And what is it about the castle? Scroll all the way up again – that looks like the interior of a castle, doesn’t it? That’s where I lived! The lady of the house invested in this interior as soon as she had any money left over. Now she rents out two rooms, which weren’t quite as splendid. But that didn’t matter at all, because I probably couldn’t have afforded splendid either. From the outside, it was an absolutely inconspicuous house. But she called her guesthouse “Guesthouse Castle”.
Here is another picture with me in it. I had a meeting and the meeting took pictures of me.
With KerstinI had contacted via the website of Caucasus Trekking. She is in her early 50s, from Germany and we also spoke on the phone before I left. Quite nice. And so we stayed in touch and met after her arrival in Kutaisi and also had the idea of hiking together. But that’s not going to happen now, there are more contacts from her side and Jason with the Mestia-Ushguli trek seems more attractive. I don’t want to go there again. But we had quite an interesting evening. She picked up another gentleman at the airport. He’s only here for four days and I didn’t like him very much. The Irishman in Tbilisi from the very beginning was also only in Georgia for 4 days. And then we met a third gentleman who was also only here for 4 days – he had only decided the evening before. I don’t go along with that. Why do you do that? For 4 days in such a foreign country? By plane? Just for that? What’s the point? What kind of attitude to life is that? And all three of them thought they were rather cool with it.
The gentleman she picked up had rented a car for the following day and invited us to do a round trip with an impressive gorge and other sights. It was quite interesting to catch a glimpse of someone like that – but more hours? No way! Otherwise I would have seriously forgotten my politeness. So we only nagged at each other once when he outed himself as a part-of-Putin-understanding. Kerstin, on the other hand, took the chance and decided against a Marshrutka trip to just one destination.
And so I was on my own again the following day and experienced a lot.