If you drive east of Tblisi, back toward the Azerbaijani border, you will find yourself in Wine Country. No country in the Mediterranean or Middle East would be complete without claiming to have the Oldest Wine Culture In The World. Georgia stakes that claim too. Who knows? One of them has to deserve it, right? Why not the Caucasus?
We left Tblisi in the morning after a breakfast of pancakes. Even though we were going to “tourist country,” it was not surprising to find that we were the only ones on a narrow road showing rare signs of habitation. We wound up and down, across the tree line and through snow, and were surprised to find a marked crosswalk with a picnic table at one of the Middle Of Nowhere spots.
Fortunately, even though the ride was long, Daddy had made us a nice mix CD with such hits as “Peaches,” “Call Me Baby,” and some R.E.M. classics. The boys know all the words now and even like Bob Dylan. When we finally made it to Telavi, we were ready for lunch!
Whoa! Look at that schwarma!!
That baby is HUGE! Seriously, it was like the biggest food we have ever seen in this part of the world. Actually the size of an American fast-food burrito. And check out that big chili sticking out of the middle… we all gave it a try, and then went crying into our lemonade! Somehow we made it through two of those, plus some pizza and french fries, all in the company of a bunch of local teenagers and policemen. It was great!
Even better was arriving at our hotel. Eli found a butterfly:
And this was the view from the balcony:
As the sun went down, we went up to the rooftop terrace:
The pink shadows dividing the Caucasus from Russia soon gave way to town lights twinkling in the dusk:
All we kept saying to ourselves was “Wow! This place is so much better than we expected!”
There is a bathtub!
And a winery!
And a playground!
We are pretty happy to be here in Signaghi. Finally, a destination that was really worth the trip.