My flight landed in Tbilisi about half an hour ago, but even after the drive from the airport to our hotel, I’m completely blown away by this city.
It’s really unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been; I can’t explain how foreign and different everything is.
I’m currently sitting in a big puffy robe and staring out at one of the most incredible views I could possibly imagine. The photo isn’t great, but I couldn’t not take one. It doesn’t do it justice at all. We’re staying at the Radisson Blu here in Tbilisi, and one entire wall of our room is windows facing towards the old town. We’re right next to the river that streams through the city, and on either side I can see the most impressive and beautiful buildings all lit up. There’s what I can only imagine is a cathedral lit up in orange that completley dominates the skyline – it’s so big and I can’t stop staring at it.
Whenever I land in a new place, I always take note of some observations on the drive in. Walking off the plane, we were welcomed by the smell of cigarette smoke, but I was too excited to be bothered. After getting through customs with a fancy Georgia stamp on our passports, we were met by a driver from the hotel who came to pick us up since we were arriving in the middle of the night. The airport was absolutely packed, which was a total surprise considering it was 4am. Our driver lead us through the crowd and out towards his car, which was parked in an equally crowded parking lot.
The radio played Son of a Preacher Man as we drove out of the busy Tbilisi airport in the light of massive billboards all lit up with Georgia’s extremely foreign-looking alphabet. Next to the billboards was a massive video screen playing an ad for Alter Ego, a Men’s Club with near naked ladies wearing angel wings.
Most of the drive into the city was alone a pretty but plain road lined with trees on either side. I noticed a sign for George W Bush Avenue, which I thought was interesting, as well as a UN monument and a number of gas stations all called Gulf.
We took an exit and all of the sudden a giant fortress lit up of skyline. I’d read about it before, but it was huge and stunning, and such a surprise. From there, it only got more exciting as more and more monuments and buildings were lit up around us. It is so so beautiful – I can’t believe more people don’t come here.
I can’t wait to go and explore, but also can’t wait to sleep!