Hello world! I just finished sorting out my photos from my second day in beautiful Georgia, this time I travelled and paid a quick visit to the Kakheti Region. Locals call this region 'The Motherland Of Wine' simply because the economy in this part of Georgia is dominated by the production of wine. Being a lover of red wine, I was stoked when I found out that this is part of my tour itineraries.
Again, I booked the tour through David from Holidays Travel Agency in Tbilisi. A lot of my unexpected readers have been sending me messages on how to contact this guy, even at late hours of the day! So folks, simply click this link so get his details. They normally reply within 24hours.
I paid for 49GEL for this tour that took us to Bodbe Monastery and Sighnaghi itself, visiting Orthodox churches and walking through the rustic streets and city walls of the small town. In 2002, the population of this town was only below 3000 thus if you're an Instagram enthusiast, you will have to wait for a couple of minutes to take your #strideby shots because there's not much locals roaming around the town.
It took us about 1.5 hours to reach Bodbe Monastery of St. Nino, the quaint convent about 2km away from Sighnaghi. This is one of the tourist destinations in Georgia.
Outside the convent sits one of the prettiest rustic doors I've seen in Georgia, there are local street vendors selling souvenirs and warmers too. There's also a cafe/restaurant for motorists and a toilet for pee breaks.
Going inside the monastery, I was in awe seeing this:
It was just an entrance going inside the monastery but to be completely honest, I've seen such thing only in the movies.
The monastery was dedicated to St. Nino who brought Christianity to Georgia. They allow visitors to go inside the church but be a little cautious as they do not allow taking pictures inside. They sell candles and religious souvenirs. At the right side of the complex is a newly built church made the traditional Georgian style.
If you explore the complex further, you will see a very pretty garden with one of the most astonishing views of the Kakheti Region.
We stayed for a few minutes and headed to the town proper of Sighnaghi. Unfortunately, our mini bus had a few problems so we had to walk to reach our destination. In between the 1km walk, we were able to take photos of Sighnaghi from afar.
The City Of Love And The Things I Loved About It
Architectural StructureAll the 18-19th century buildings in Sighnaghi looks really pleasing in the eyes, not a single photo in my set was set to black and white. If ITB was here, I would've asked him to take thousands of my outfit shots and he'll really be annoyed for sure. *inserts evil laugh here*
Sighnaghi is a very small town you can go around the city by foot. Some streets are quite steep but look on either your left or right side, you will be in awe with the many beautiful colours around you. That's one of the things I loved about it.
The main square is not as busy as the one in Tbilisi or Mskheta. This is where the mini-buses are parked taking you back to Tbilisi.
Going up the town square will take to you a mini-square, there are a few art pieces sold here by local Georgian artists. I have noticed that in this part of Sighnaghi are hotels and inns, perhaps it's because this is the peak of the hilltop and the view of every balcony has the best views like ever? I really don't know.
The short walk brought us to the street going to the city walls of Sighnaghi. Even though we have been walking for minutes now (1km from Bodbe Monastery), I never got tired. Sighnaghi has this unique power to get your ass off to walking, and this is also one of the things I loved about it.
...because who will ever get tired of this picturesque view?
Another thing that I loved about Sighnaghi - it's easy to navigate the city. There are signs made to guide tourists.
We passed by one of the churches again, vintage cars are parked every where I am daydreaming of vintage weddings. This is one of the best spots to shoot for creative wedding photos.
Didn't missed the chance to take a snap of this old abandoned house. Could be non-sense for many but I'm an Instagrammer so yeah, I took a shot of #thatabandonedvibe. And then the city wall of Sighnaghi. I can't even describe how beautiful it is, I am in love!
The City Wall
After visiting the high city wall, we went back to the town square. We were given about 3 hours to get our lunch and go places. We had the chance to go around and see what we've missed. If I only had time, I would've walked even more and visited the left side of the town - the blogs I have read mentioned that small villages are also worth the visit.
Of course, my favourite part of the day was lunch and this is where I had mine:
Host of Sighnaghi
Of all the things I loved about Sighnaghi, nothing beats the warmth of their people and their hospitality. Even if they speak less English and more Russian, you can honestly tell how sincere they are when they offer you something. Here's a photo-op with one of the ladies from Host of Sighnaghi, she told me she'd want me to be part of her family so I started calling her 'mommy'!
So if you're wondering where this happy place is located, this is the first restaurant that you will see on your right side when you reach Sighnaghi if you're coming from Tbilisi. My meal didn't cost me that much, I only paid 21GEL for 3 pieces of meat khinkali, one large kachapuri, and a bottle of water. Food photos will be posted on this blog separately. *wink*
Pheasant Tears Winery
Not far from Host of Sighnaghi is TripAdvisor's number 1 restaurant - Pheasant Tears Winery. I chanced upon this wine house because of their small blue door (I have a thing for doors) which was slightly opened while walking back to the town square. The sign that says fine art and carpets also picked my interest. I was left with about 45 minutes of free time and since the wine shop have wine tasting that barely cost anything, I went in and discovered this pretty corner. And I'm in Kakheti, why the heck miss their famous wine!
I tried 3 wine selections - semi sweet white wine, red dry wine and this living black wine that tastes exactly like my granma's old cabinet (ok, ok, I don't eat wood but that's how I remembered it). And even though I'm not a white wine drinker, I ordered a glass of it because the texture of the wine is so pure and it really taste good. I only paid 16GEL for everything! Hurray!
That's how I fell in love at the City of Love and how day 2 of my Georgia travel went. We headed back to Tbilisi at 4pm and yes, I still had the chance to go around the city capital which I will soon write on a separate post. Ciao!
I booked my tour (travel to Kakheti - The Motherland of Wine) with David through Facebook and email (please refer to the link above the post). The price was 49GEL at the time of travel and this includes transfers and a qualified guide.