Monday, June 11, 2012

Kutaisi, Part 2: Sataplia Cave

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve.

Also known as Sataflia Cave.

It was a funny thing - just before we went to Kutaisi, we got some negativish reviews on Sataplia Cave. After Sandy, Marie, Kathy and I toured Promete Cave earlier in the afternoon, I asked the group if they wanted to just take a pass on Sataplia, if Promete Cave had filled us up with cave-ness.

Marie and Kathy allowed as how they'd had their fill of caves, and when I asked Sandy what she thought, she said that, actually, she still wanted to check out Sataplia Cave. The four of us agreed that we'd all go to Sataplia, and while Sandy and I toured the cave, Marie and Kathy would enjoy a drink at the cafe on the cave campus.

So George ferried us from Promete Cave to Sataplia, where we encountered a crowd of kids. Yikes! This called for an ice cream.

We figured out where each of us needed to go - Kathy and Marie to the cafe and Sandy and I to the cave. Sandy and I got hustled in with the group of kids, alas.

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve.
An unexpected and pleasant surprise: To get to the cave entrance, we walked through the prettiest woods. This walk included going by animatronic dinosaurs. Kitschy but fun. I bet the little'uns love 'em. I liked how they were insinuated into the woods.

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve.
Just before we entered the cave, we passed along the bluff with beautiful vistas.

The cave itself - after seeing Promete's dazzling splendor - Sataplia was more staid. But it was a cave with enormous rooms. Pleasant. Sandy and I scooted around the kids' group and walked ahead and it wasn't long before we experienced blissful silence.

At Promete, I liked how they spaced groups out by 20 minutes. We had also encountered a group of students there, but the four of us were kept back and allotted our own guide. A better system. 

We emerged from the cave near the restaurant. Beautiful! It was designed to integrate with the wooded surroundings - lots of glass and concrete, simulated wood beams. Two (maybe three) levels. Huge terrace. Well done. Sandy and I hooked back up with Kathy and Marie there.

On the way toward the park exit, we saw a reproduction of a  dinosaur skeleton.

Kutaisi, Sataplia Cave reserve. Photo courtesy: Sandy.
And then a guide pointed us onto a path where there was a glass walk that jutted out over the bluff. Again  - the woods so pretty! Adjacent to the glass walk was an almost-completed indoor-outdoor cafe with stellar views. Modern white and glass decor.

Some views from the glass walk:

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve.

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve. View of Georgia's new parliament building - the bubble.

Kutaisi, Georgia. Sataplia cave reserve.

Tired, but feeling satisfied that we'd achieved our mission, we headed back to Kutaisi, where George dropped us off at the Mirzaani microbrewery and restaurant by the river.

We had a table on the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the water.

A good day.


Unknown said...

thanks for visiting sataplia and prometheus caves and for sharing your amotions...

Mzuri said...

Thanks for your comment, Nino. I loved both of these caves, and also Kutaisi.

Unknown said...

what would you change or add in our services?