Monday, 22 June, 2015
The next morning we are up and go to an unexceptional breakfast in the hotel restaurant. JV was anxious for us to get on the road, so we go down to the shuttle to head to the terminal around 3 hours early. Check-in goes fast and well, very few others are around that early. In one sense it worked out well, as there was a massive queue for passport control for non-EU passports. Disgraceful really, at least 45 minutes which, when we finally got to the barrier, all they did is stamp the passport. I consider CDG the worst airport in the world, in spite of its improvements and hopefully will never have to grace it again – oops – we exit to Switzerland from there when we will no doubt face another disgusting wait in a long queue.
Any way, there is a good Internet service, free, there and time passes. We eventually board our plane. There is a good distance between the seats although the obnoxious people in front of us immediately drop their seats back to the maximum amount cramping me to the extent it was almost impossible to use the lap top. The meal was hot and I quite enjoyed it albeit JV did not.
It was a 3+ hours flight and we needed to board buses to get in and then go through security again. Not too long a flight, 2+ hours. The meal this time was good for JV, i.e. smoked salmon salad of which she had mine and hers. The cold sandwiches were quite ordinary.
At Tbilisi airport, immigration was quite quick, the bags came off relatively quickly, our driver was easy to find and we were soon on our way toward the Hotel, perhaps 30 minutes from landing to car to the Hotel.
At this stage I would like to say that there are few photos, see the end, and not much interesting commentary. So, I have decided to insert the commentary for what we were supposed to have done on the first day of the tour, including a few of the photos.
Airport Transfer depending on arrival time, walk through some of Tbilisi’s old quarters. Tbilisi has over 1,600 years of history, and its cuisine, music and architecture is laced with influence from Persian, and Arab culture inter-woven with strong local traditions. Meet John Wurdeman, owner of Pheasant’s Tears winery and our host for the tour. Welcoming dinner at Azarphesha restaurant introducing guests to authentic Georgian polyphony music paired with wines and food. Learn the traditions of our Georgian ‘tamada’ or toast master, a key part to any feast and the country’s wine drinking heritage. The following are the photos I was sent.
They also found a Turkish bath which they found quite good.
When we arrive at the Hotel, there is some confusion as to our room and to whether food had been left behind for us. Eventually, we check-in and arrive at our room. The very helpful staff suggested we have something to eat so we go down to the restaurant. There is a decent wine served in a carafe and we have that. We were suggested a Georgian Pizza and we agree although JV was probably not that keen. Shortly after we had settled in, our tour group arrived. Big cuddles from Hugh and Jan. Great to meet Andrew again and new chums – Dan the photographer, as well as two other guests – Janet and Brynn. I did not get his name right on the night, so I called him Heathcliff as in Wuthering heights. We move to a larger table and most retire straightaway. Hugh and Jan stick around for a while. Eventually Julie and I are all that is left.
So, we are finally in Georgia, ready and raring to go, kinda.