T’bilisi, the capital of Georgia, has been home to human territory since 4th millennium BC. Georgia is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, with climatic zones ranging from subtropical to high alpine to semi-desert. Georgia has the world’s deepest cave – Voronya Cave and it’s highest mountain is Mount Shkhara with an altitude of 5,201 meters (17,059 feet).
Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 8,000 years ago. Chateau Mukhrani – Goruli Mtsvan 2009 (a white wine from Georgia) costs just under £10 from thedrinkshop.com or treat yourself to a bottle of Orovela Saperavi from Waitrose cellars costing £16.79.
One can ski or indeed snowboard, in Georgia. There are several ski resorts of varying sizes, Gudauri seems to be the largest with 57km of pistes & 7 lifts. From a very rough search, a 7 night ski trip might cost:
Cheapest return flight from London to Tsibili – £216 (via Turkey as there are no direct flights)
Taxis from Tsibili to Gudari – £30 one way
Cheapest hotel (White Shino Hostel) – £204
Most expensive hotel (Hotel Gudauri Marco Polo) – £2,122
A total of £476 for cheap as chips, or £2,398 for top dollar, excluding meals.
In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis, Georgia. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship and figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his band of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly, Greece. Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece.
I was quite surprised by the variety of the Georgian recipes I came across, to name a few – Lobio (between refried beans and soup), Kharcho (slow cooked meat stew), Lobiani (bean filled dough), Khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread) and Khinkali (dumplings)
As it was a Friday night, I thought I’d be adventurous and dare 2 dishes. The links below were the recipes I followed. I did about a 3rd of the chicken recipe for the 2 of us and there were still leftovers. I actually used 2 chicken breasts rather than chicken pieces, which I think worked just fine. Unfortunately I couldn’t find dried marigold (it is available on amazon though!), so I substituted turmeric, mainly for the colour. I served it with rice.
Rating: 7/10 overall