If my memory serves me well, it was around first week of December 2015 when a friend of mine alerted me and two of our friends about a low-priced trip to Georgia during January 2016. My friends can smell good deals from miles away whereas I am extremely lousy at it. If it weren’t for their expertise, I wouldn’t have experienced the fun of traveling on a budget. Our trip to Greece last year – which I have yet to blog about (yikes) – was also arranged through a Package Tour Operator called Holiday Factory.
So was our trip to Georgia 🙂
My friends and I were supposed to travel together, but our schedule didn’t coincide with the dates available on Holiday Factory. So, with much dismay, we had to compromise our plan but still forged ahead with the trip, only this time, in twos.
Seth and I traveled first. It was also our first time to go on a trip together so that was a bonus! In as much as we wanted to just wing it when we get to Tbilisi, quite a bit of planning was still put in place because 1) English is not Georgia’s first language, heck, very few can speak it so be prepared to exercise your gesticulation skills when communicating with the locals 2) We wanted to make much of our very brief stay there (read: 3 days collectively!) so we needed to know where to go and how to get there without wasting time on getting lost in an unfamiliar territory, as much fun as it may sound.
If you are a holder of Philippine passport and a resident of the UAE, traveling to Georgia is easy peasy. A visa application is not required but the immigration in Dubai airport will randomly check if you have enough pocket money with you – a minimum of USD1,000 is needed! We didn’t have that much cash at hand so we were asked to show them how much money we have in our account. That being the case, we printed our SOA from an ATM to prove that we can sustain ourselves during our trip! That was the only hassle Seth and I had to face but it wasn’t a biggie. Also, prior to the trip, we purchased a Travel Insurance — just in case needed!
Now… onto G E O R G I A!!!
T B I L I S I
We arrived in Tbilisi airport around 4am, still a bit dazed from the plane ride but excited to roam the city! When we stepped out of the airport, a blast of a cutting winter wind slashed against us as we legged our way to the bus stop. We were transferred to our hotel in about 30 minutes and before Seth and I knew it, we zonked out! We woke up 3 hours later, fully recharged and ready to go on an adventure that awaited us 😀
Trivia: We joined a free walking tour of Tbilisi just to get to know the city more. It lasted about 2 hours and it was really helpful – we rode on a cable car that took us up to where Narikala fortress is and where we can get a better view of the city, then we wound our way down the private roads and went through different passageways that led to a frozen waterfall, we also passed by different restaurants.
Unplanned matchy-match outfits!!!
Churchkhela sweets – a Georgian delicacy 🙂
B A K U R I A N I A N D B O R J O M I
The way to Bakuriani filled me with overflowing awe and wonder! I was brimming over with excitement as we drove through endless winter terrains!
Borjomi! The source of Georgia’s legendary mineral water
G U D A U R I
One word: PARAGLIDING!
Just a bit of advice, though: Make sure you wear warmer and heavier garments! It was freeeeeezing cold!