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A suitcase full of wine and a heart full of memories
01 March, 2017
I left Switzerland and arrived in Tbilisi on December 28. The reason for my trip was an internship at Georgia Today newspaper. In Switzerland I’m working as a journalist for the public broadcaster and I took 2 months off to learn more about Georgia and the Georgian media system. My expectations of the country: cold, snowy weather but good wine. I was lucky to have the opportunity, to travel a lot for work during that time. I visited Sighnaghi, Kazbegi,
Vardzia and Batumi to write articles about those places. It was an amazing time and there are a lot of things I want to take back home.
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Tbilisi

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Sighnaghi, historic town in Kakheti region

For example the aubergines with walnut sauce. I could eat this tasty dish every day. But it’s not the only thing of the Georgian cuisine, the Khinkalis, Chatchapuris and also the typical Georgian bread are just amazing. Normally when I’m abroad I start missing Swiss food. Especially bread and cheese. But in Georgia I didn’t think of it once.
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Vardzia, Georgia's cave city

With good food, you need good wine. And when it comes to wine, I’m very thankful to my 72 years old neighbour. As almost every Georgian family, he is producing his own Saperavi. Every now and then he passed by to ask, if I still have wine. If not, he went to his apartment and brought another bottle. This is only one example of the good hospitality in Georgia. Everyone cares, that you as a foreigner feel good in this country. They love to talk about their culture and they give you the feeling, that you’re family. What makes it very easy to feel home. I really love the way how Georgians treat foreigners.
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Georgian wine presented to Manuela by her neighbour

Different daily routine

In Switzerland people use to get up early in the morning and go to work. Whereas getting up in the morning is not the strength of Georgians. Going to the city in the morning, you have the streets for your own. Also if I wanted to set an appointment for an interview or wanted to contact someone for work, people are not available in the morning. Whereas in the evening I received E-Mails until late. I wish I could maintain this rhythm in Switzerland.

A very practical thing that I would love to take back home are those little cards for metro and buses. You can charge them everywhere on the street and you can use it for all the different transportation vehicles. It’s a lot easier than in my home-country. Back home you always have to find out which ticket you need before you hop on a bus or a train. Here I just had my card in my bag and after entering a bus I had to invalidate this card and that’s it. Super easy.

My last evening in Tbilisi I spent in the sulphur baths. “Tbili” means warm and the capital is called like this because of the sulphur sources in this area. It does not matter in which mood you are when you enter the bath. After an intense peeling and massage you feel like newly born. The sulphur water makes your skin very soft and it’s just the best place to relax in this city.
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Sulphur Baths in Tbilisi

And after all those compliments, I have to come to the things that I didn’t like in this country. But I can make it short. What I won’t miss: the traffic.
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Kazbegi, Stepantsminda

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Dashbashi Canyon, Southern Georgia
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Batumi, Georgia's seaside resort

By Manuela Kosch

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