On Saturday we will say our last goodbyes to my very strong-willed, artistic and caring grandmother Margarita, who passed away last Friday. She will be sadly missed by all of us. This is a picture of her and my grandfather Eduards, on their engagement day in 1933.

I travelled to Georgia a week ago with the "Saucējas" to sing at a festival in Batumi, a resort town on the Black Sea. We spent a whole week travelling to various places: a few days in Batumi singing, dancing and walking on the grey and pebbly beach; some time in the capital, Tbilisi, which we already knew from a trip 2 years ago, and day trips out to various places in the country - amazing cliffs with networks of caves long abandoned; a monastery made of rock with monks still living within; a shashlik meal in the country with the parents of our homestay host. Georgia is totally inspiring - very few tourists, the locals are friendly, generous and don't hassle, the sights are like pictures from national geographic magazine: the views are so stunning it is hard to believe they are not just painted backdrops. Food is delicious and simple and cheap, the weather is fine, and the wine is delicious. What more could you want?
Jem struggled through at home without me, which was not easy, and I think my three boys missed me as much as I missed them. Although the trip was amazing, it was sure good to be home!

Uplistsikhe

Batumi

Batumi - before a concert

Indiana Jones eat your heart out

David Gareja monastery

Tbilisi - the dilapidated wooden buildings hide the splendour of glazed windows visible from the inside

Tbilisi market

Country roads all had small bakeries selling freshly-baked traditional bread

Spicy fabulous Hinkali - just like Pelmeni, only bigger and tastier!

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