Virtual Vacations: Georgia – Crossroads of Europe and Asia: Part 2
Posted on: September 27, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, Yokibu Editorial

Why is Georgia a unique place to visit?

There are many reasons—

1. Kutaisi—one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world

Located in western Georgia, the city of Kutaisi has survived the ravages of time and conflict for nearly 4000 years—it was the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis sometime between 2000-1001 B.C.

2. Kakheti Valley—the Cradle of Winemaking

The very first time that wine was produced on Earth happened 8,000 years ago in ancient Georgia—the birthplace of wine! Kakheti Valley—where 70% of Georgian grapes are today grown—is a haven for oenophiles—wine lovers.

Wine in ancient Georgia was not produced as an intended beverage. It happened entirely by ignorance and accident, when grape juice was poured into a “qvevri”—an earthenware jar—and buried underground…

…during winter, resulting in a glass or two of the first wine on Earth! This ancient Georgian tradition of Qvevri winemaking has been included by the UNESCO in its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

3. Vardzia—the 6,000-room cave city!

Carved out of and under the Erusheti Mountain in central Georgia, Vardzia—a fortress-monastery-palace complex—is Georgia’s own other-worldly cave town.

Originally built in 13 levels of 6,000 chambers—complete with bakery, church, wine cellars, a self-sustaining irrigation system, and royal apartments—the construction of the site—as a refuge against the raiding Mongol Empire—was ordered by Georgia’s Queen Tamar in the 13th century A.D.

Sadly, however, two-thirds of the city was destroyed by an earthquake a century later. On the brighter side, still-intact parts of the underground city is accessible today to tourists for exploration.

The only other such geological feature in the same region is that of neighboring Turkey’s Cappadocia, famous for its “fairy chimneys” rock formations and rockface churches.

4. The Georgian Language—spoken nowhere else on Earth

One of the most unique languages in the world, the Georgian Language boasts its own alphabet, and there are multiple forms of the Georgian script—Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli.

While modern Georgians today use the standard 33-letter Mkhedruli script, the Georgian Orthodox Church solely uses Asomtavruli and Nuskhuri.

The many different Georgian dialects in existence presently date back to the mid-fourth-century, its alphabet unique to anything else internationally. However, many young Georgians speak English better than Russian.

5. The Georgian Biosphere—one of the world’s most ecologically diverse regions

This is one more reason that makes Georgia an international favorite among tourists worldwide—an incredible diversity of landscapes and wildlife is spawned by the 12 climate zones of Georgia.

From subtropical and alpine to semi-desert, Georgia has almost every type of climate—the 49 different types of its soil makes the land conducive to agriculture. Furthermore, animals such as lynxes, bears and a small number of leopards populate the dense forests that cover 43% of Georgia.

While wildlife lovers might—if lucky enough—spot wolves, lynx and bears in the forest, the ski slopes and canyons of Georgia will be adored by outdoors enthusiasts looking for hiking opportunities.

When is the best time of the year to visit Georgia?

The good news is that Georgia is an “all-year-round destination”, thanks to the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea for such a diverse climate for so moderately small a country.

There are perks for every season here—mild and sunny Springtime with a rainy April, and a capital with hot summers. Georgia’s capital Tbilisi—pronounced “Tuh-Buh-Lee-See—means “warm” in Old Georgian.

Therefore…

…Georgia is a hidden-in-plain-sight wonderland of sorts—ironically one whose linguistic, architectural, cultural, and ecological wealth is largely unknown—waiting to be uncovered.



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