Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kutaisi: Walking Down to Town

Go here for Part 1: Kutaisi: This Wasn't in the Brochures! 

Bus #1 dropped us off in the city center. Next step: Call Giorgi's Guest House for further instruction on how to get there. Sandy made the call and the word was: Get a taxi. Give the phone to the taxi driver. Giorgi's daughter gave the driver directions. Five lari.

This seemed kind of pricey until we began making our way up and up and up onto the bluff overlooking the city center on narrow lanes.

The guesthouse is on Chanchibadze Street, #24 or thereabouts.

The owners are engaging and speak pretty good English. During the high season, Giorgi nformed us that he ferries guests in a van to the local sights, which is a huge benefit. His house is large. There are two private guest rooms upstairs and a dorm on the ground level. There are two "wet" shower-toilet rooms out on the balcony. I believe there's a shower room-toilet downstairs, as well.

Didn't see the dorm room. Here's the private room Sandy and I shared. Good thing we get along well; it's a double bed, for which we paid 20 lari each. 

Kutaisi - Giorgi's guest house bedroom

We felt a little depressed that we had to go out into the cold to use the bathroom, and the room was chilly despite the small oil-filled radiator heater. We were looking forward to sleeping somewhere that we didn't have to wear our socks, long underwear, and hats to bed. We can do that at home and not have to pay extra for it.

Kutaisi - Giorgi's guest house - bathrooms on the balcony

Next time we go to Kutaisi, we'll try another place - one closer to city center. It's easy enough to walk down the hill to town from the Giorgi's; not so inviting trudging up hill after a long day and evening walking about in town. Paying 5 lari for a taxi for each day's return to the guest house is a bit much.

Anyway, we got settled in to our room, had a nice cup of coffee and tea and a chat with Giorgi, prepared by his smiling daughter, and then struck out for the town below.

Here's what we saw on the way:

Kutaisi, Georgia - Kazbegi Street

Kutaisi, Georgia - Kazbegi Street

Kutaisi, Georgia - Kazbegi Street

Kutaisi, Georgia - Kazbegi Street

Kutaisi, Georgia - Bagreti under renovation

View of Kutaisi old town from Bagreti

Kutaisi - A happy couple

We arrived at steps that would give us a pedestrian shortcut straight down to the city's ground level rather than having to negotiate the twisty-turny streets that would likely get us lost. We spilled out along the Rioni River.

Rioni River, Kutaisi, Georgia
Georgia (and its former region, Abkhazia) is known for its caves; Kutaisi is filled with karst formations. In fact, the primary reason we came to Kutaisi [note: major foreshadowing highlighted in turquoise] was to visit three famous caves: Sataplia, Promete, and Navenakhevi Caves.

The river shows this karst limestone. It's not so much attractive as .. .unusual. The trash that lies along the bank is not so much unusual as it is ... unattractive.

Trash in Rioni River, Kutaisi, Georgia

We also saw bags of flour for sale at a store at the bottom of the steps.

Kutaisi, Georgia

Next: Brains and Snafu

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