Georgia

 

GeorgiaAn old Georgian story said that  “when God created the world and shared it to the people, the Georgians were busy drinking and celebrating God, so there was nothing left for them, therefore God gave them Heaven”. With almost half of its territories placed at 1000 m altitude, Georgia is a mountainous country. The highest peaks are Shkhara and Kazbek, part of the Caucasian Mountains, both over 5000 m. The main populated areas are valleys between the two ranges of mountains and the valleys of the Rioni and Kura Rivers.

Despite the fact that it is a small country Georgia has a wide variety of landscapes, climates, habitats and types of vegetation. Aware of the beauty of their country, the Georgians have organized national parks, even in the soviet period. Many of these protected areas are being threatened today by the lack of personnel. Poaching is aggressive, trees are being cut down recklessly and the forests are degrading because of the continuous growth of the animal number.

From the Black Sea beaches to the highest peaks of the Caucasians, Georgia has a very varied landscape. Visitors are amazed not only by the locals’ overwhelming hospitality, but also by the over 400 architectural monuments, most of which are churches and monasteries. One of the most visited regions is Svanetia in the West of Georgia, the origin of the Georgian tribe Svan. Known for the a particular culture and language, the Svans live in tribal villages on the valleys of the Big Caucasians. These beautiful villages are very important, historically speaking, and have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, visitors are advised not to enter the region without a native guide.

Wine plays a very important part in the Georgian culture and in the life. Every time Georgians gather to enjoy a festive meal, there comes a “tamada” , that is a master of ceremonies, who makes toasts, tells jokes or stories, he animates the people around the table. Each of them must eventually make a toast. However, it is an act of bad behavior to get drunk at such ceremonies.

Tbilisi

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia is a beautiful city, blessed with a beautiful architecture of the buildings, which were unfortunately very much damaged by the numerous earthquakes. Tbilisi has two important historic monuments: Sioni Cathedral and Metehi Church. The surroundings of the city also display other religious settlements not very well known.

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