Time to Explore
So, my main goal today, as it was my one tour guide free day during my trip, was to hit a sulphur bath! With suggestions from my tour guide who picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at my hotel, I googled the best sulphur bath locations. I picked one of the locations, put it into my iPhone’s GPS….and was off.
Now, I will say that I, at this time, had no idea my hotel was a half hour walk to the center of the city. Nor did I know that the sulphur baths are generally (I think) in one area of town.
The lovely hotel receptionist took my picture by the Christmas tree in the lobby, before I set off on my adventure.
Sights Along The Way
A small bakery just getting ready for the day. Not one person spoke english. I think that pinkish colored ceramic dome with the blue handle is the oven.
This is a sculpture of the characters in the “Mimino” movie.
Piece of the Berlin Wall
I turned a corner and there before me was what looked to be the hub of the city, and a piece of the Berlin Wall.
King Vakhtang Gorgsali
A statue of the founder of Tbilisi, Georgia, King Vakhtang Gorgasali.
Michael brought one of these hats back with him from his trip to Georgia. The crazy wild hat is called called a papakha sheepskin hat. I just loved it and had to have one too! This is the first item I bought during my wandering around into the city center.
Papaka hats are for sale in almost every souvenir shop – but no one was wearing one.
I LOVE this crazy hat!!!
Not only did Papaka hats catch my attention – so did these weird, waxy looking food items, hanging in bunches like homemade wax candles…
So into the little shop I went…
I wanted to buy two of the bright red ones – pomegranate and hazelnut. I had 100GEL on me and the young shop owner who spoke English couldn’t make change. I said I would come back to make my purchase when I had smaller amounts of their currency.
I returned, but the young shop lady who spoke English was gone. This shop lady was much older and didn’t speak English. Using the universal language of my hands to point and do the talking, I bought two of the sweet treats then asked her to take my picture because I was wearing a papakha hat, a traditional Georgian sheepskin hat, and was purchasing a traditional Georgian sweet called churchkhela!! Churchkhela is a fruit or nut on a string then dipped in fruit juice and dried in the shape of a sausage! It’s very sweet and has a waxy texture.
This old woman didn’t have clue how to use my camera. Her finger kept missing the shutter button. It was pointless explaining how to use the lens to focus because she could not understand me. However, the moment she figured out how to take pictures, she was hooked and laughed while taking them. Or, maybe she was laughing at me…. hee hee!
Here are her pictures!
More Sights Along The Way
Stray dogs in Tbilisi are vaccinated and tagged to indicate so! You’ll see the tag in the dogs right ear.
Sulphur Bath Houses
Here are the famous sulphur bath houses! This my original destination – to take a sulphur bath – but it was just too crowed, the wait, too long.
And, I decided I wasn’t settled in yet, I needed/wanted to wander around and get a feel for the area before I could relax into a sulphur bath.
The above mosaic, Turkish looking bath house was recently renovated and is the most popular, expensive bath house to visit.
This is a side view of the above mosaic bath house and a cool looking church on the hill.
It was time to eat! I was starving! I picked a popular restaurant in this trendy bathhouse, tourist area called Terrace Gorgasali. When I settled in, I noticed that most of the dining room was filled with Russians. When I asked my server about the sulphur bath houses, she said now is not a good time to go – New Year’s Eve day and tomorrow – too many Russians here filling them up!
View from my seat in the restaurant that is located next to a sulfer bath house. The brick domes are, I think, vents to the bath house rooms. Steam was coming out of them.
Water bottle and glass. Great colors, ‘eh!
I ordered the cucumber and tomato salad with nuts! Possibly the BEST salad I’ve ever enjoyed.
Next I had a very traditional and popular Georgian dish – Khinkali Kalakuri (with beef). These are dumplings. I had no idea what to expect on the inside….
They arrived…I started to eat with a knife and fork….
But that isn’t how you eat them. The server came over and told me I was eating them wrong (in a nice way!)! You turn them upside down, bite a hole in it, drink the juice inside, then eat.
Local musicians busking in the area came into the restaurant. They stopped at my table because I took a picture of them as they sang at another table.
Here is video of them singing to me.
I wanted dessert, but I was denied it because…well I was told they didn’t have any.
But, I think it was because they needed the table. There was a line-up out the door for people wanting to come in. So, I paid my bill that was equivalent to $10.00 CAD. Very awesome!!!
Maybe I’m wrong in my disbelief that they didn’t have any desserts, but for a restaurant as popular as that, with tables held with reservations….. me thinks I was a turnover to get the table.
So off I went….I was getting tired so I decided to make my way back to the hotel.
More Sights Along the Way
Yes, that is a peacock on the wall!
Hey, someone painted Michael and I!
Well, that was my day! What a fun day!
It’s time for bed…