Meet Dariko, the Ukrainian Blogger who Fell in Love with Georgia
21 November, 2015
Meet Dariko, the Ukrainian Blogger who Fell in Love with Georgia
In this article we are going to introduce to you to one red-haired girl with blue eyes and a beautiful smile who fell in love with Georgia so much that she decided to connect her entire life to this small country. Daria Kholodilina, who is from Ukraine, is better known here by the nickname Dariko, after the brave heroine from an old Georgian film that inspired her. A big fan of football and a travel enthusiast, she writes articles about
Georgia’s sights, cuisine and culture for the Georgian National Tourism Administration, runs her personal blog, is an editor of the Georgian section of an international online journal for business ladies We-modernflaneurs.com as well as editor-in-chief of the Tbilisi section of Likealocalguide.com. Moreover, Dariko climbed Tbilisi TV Tower two times with the help of her friend to capture Tbilisi from above with her camera. On the two-year anniversary of her arrival to Tbilisi, Dariko organized a small meeting in a local cafe to share her experience of living here as well as to give some helpful recommendations to the newcomers. As an active reader of her blog, after learning about this event, I simply could not miss the opportunity to get acquainted with this extremely positive, kind and interesting person.

geotv.ge
– Dariko, you can begin by telling us how it all started and why you decided to connect your life to Georgia.

– It all started in 2012 when I had my internship at the German Parliament. There I got acquainted with some very cool, intelligent and jovial Georgian boys and we quickly became friends. It was during my stay there that I learned my first words in Georgian from them – just for the sake of amusement. On September 8, 2012, I came to Georgia for the first time and stayed for two weeks. During this period I managed to see Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gori and Batumi. I enjoyed my visit immensely, and the idea of moving here popped into my mind. At that time I was living in Germany and writing articles about football for Berliner Kurier. During that period I traveled to Georgia several times and the more I saw, the more I fell in love with this country. When I was working at Deutsche Welle in Bonn, it was good but I felt so bored that I finally decided to move to Georgia and work as a freelancer.geotv.ge

“Tbilisi is my second home and whenever I feel homesick when I am abroad and my friends ask for which home, I answer ‘Tbilisi, of course’”

I lived in the Sololaki district writing various articles and making translations to and from all languages I knew. When the revolution in Ukraine began, the amount of incoming orders dropped, making it far more difficult to earn a living; luckily, my Georgian friends assisted me a lot in the time of hardship. Later the Georgian National Tourism Administration offered me to write articles about Georgia for them, since they were looking for a person who could write in several languages in an unusual and interesting way. I agreed and we started to cooperate; I moved to a new apartment and things went well, but in the meanwhile, the situation in my home city of Donetsk got significantly worse. I received offers from Deutsche Welle and a few other companies to work abroad, but I refused and preferred to stay here, because I think that here lies my “battlefield.”

Aside from introducing Georgia to foreigners and writing articles, my hobby is to guide the newcomers and tourists from different parts of world around the city and show them some of the more exquisite places that trip advisors usually do not mention. Actually, my dream is to publish my own guidebook and currently I am collecting materials for it. In addition, my friends and I have launched a new project dedicated to safe driving and road crossing in Tbilisi and the whole of Georgia named, “This is Zebra.” Since I am planning to stay and live here, I want to be sure that my kids will always cross the road safely. geotv.ge

– You have been around Georgia a lot and are well accustomed to its culture. Could you tell us about your favorite places and national dishes?


– My favorite region in Georgia is Svaneti. My closest friend is from Ushguli (a village in Svaneti, the highest inhabited place in Europe) and correspondingly, I have seen and learned a lot about this part of the country, its history and culture. I was fortunate enough to ride a horse and see some of the things that only locals know about. I like being in that area so much because here I feel so calm and relaxed. When looking at Mount Ushba, I think to myself about how long it has been standing here and how many things it has witnessed. Here I am, with my little problems, sharing my thoughts with this great mountain.

Looking inside a kvevri, in Napareuli, Kakheti
geotv.ge
Blue Abudelauri Lake

In Tbilisi I would single out the waterfall at Leghvtakhevi Gorge in the old part of the city, because when I feel bad, I often go there and just gaze at the water crashing down; I usually feel much better afterwards. Another of my favorite spots in the city are the sulfur baths, where I am a very frequent guest. If you don’t know what to do, either go to the sulfur baths or drink Saperavi wine.By the way, when I met the press officer and one of the club directors of Chelsea Football Club - Iam a big fan of theirs -I gifted them with Saperavi, introducing these people to a 8000-year-old tradition of Georgian winemaking. Long story short, Tbilisi is my second home and whenever I feel homesick when I am abroad and my friends ask for which home, I answer “Tbilisi, of course.”
geotv.ge
Chelsea's press officer Steve Atkins and one of the club directors, David Barnard

As for the food, sometimes I even joke that I came to Georgia because of my love for coriander and eggplant with walnuts. As I am a vegetarian, I prefer dishes made from herbs such as pkhali (spinach with walnuts), khinkali (big dumplings) with mushrooms and spicy eggplant. I also love ghomi (cornmeal) and dambalkhacho (moistened curd), but they are too fatty to consume every day. Churchkhela (Georgian candy made from grape juice and nuts) is yet another sweet temptation that I cannot resist. I can eat at least 10 or 20 of these delicious national treats in one go, especially if they are fresh. I usually buy very fatty and soft ones at the local market from a lovely elderly couple.

geotv.ge
Making khinkali
geotv.ge
Ushguli, Svaneti
geotv.ge

“If you don’t know what to do, either go to the sulfur baths or drink Saperavi wine.”



– What would you advise the tourists and foreigners who come to Georgia?

– First and foremost, they should make Georgian friends. The locals can show you the city in all its glory; also, it is crucial to visit the regions because people there are totally different from each other. Definitely pay a visit to the sulfur baths, wine cellars and see some of the old churches in the capital as well. Sioni is my favorite, for instance. The first time I went there was my birthday. I prayed to God to help me to find a job, and as soon as I came home I got a job interview invitation from Georgian National Tourism Administration.


Author: Lika Chigaldze

Related stories:

Tbilisi’s sulfur baths is exactly what you need on a cold rainy day – Ukrainian blogger

Rtveli: Ukrainian blogger’s 5th Season in Georgia
Print
Other Stories
Places to chill out in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is not a huge city, but there are lots of places to chill out there. But which one to choose?
10 things to do in Tbilisi - recommendations from a blogger
www.lifeinexcess.com published an article about Georgia. The webpage belongs to a traveller and “a lifestyle blogger” kirsty.
Culinary Tourism – Discover the Imeretian Cuisine
It is not surprising that one of Georgia’s biggest attractions is its cuisine. Colourful Georgian dishes prepared with rich, aromatic spices and herbs attract all food lovers.
Discover Samegrelo – beautiful part of Georgia in the country’s west
Samegrelo is in the western part of Georgia. Its unique nature, cuisine and language must be experienced whilst visiting Georgia.
Discover must see places in Kakheti
Kakheti is located in the eastern part of Georgia. There are a variety of places for visitors to go in Kakheti:
Discover protected areas and national parks in Georgia - Part 4
Georgia will surprise visitors by the variety of its landscapes and nature. This small country has everything for all kinds of visitors.
Shaitan Bazaar and cuisine in old Tbilisi
Georgian cuisine has always been a part of the Georgian identity. It has been influenced by both Europe and Asia.
Discover protected areas and national parks in Georgia- Part 3
There are numerous places to rest, organize picnic or have adventures in Georgia. Here are some of the venues to check out:
Alternative tourism in Georgia
Alternative tourism is the opposite of mass organized tourism. Georgia is a perfect destination for the alternative tourism
Discover protected areas and national parks in Georgia- Part 2
Georgia preserves unique nature and here are some of its examples:
The Washington Post writes about a Georgian dish - Ajapsandali
Georgian cuisine is becoming more and more popular in other countries, be it in neighbouring ones or further afield.
Explore festivals and holidays in Georgia - Part 2
To truly experience Georgian culture and its many traditions, you must attend a few of the festivals held both in the capital and throughout the country.
Discover protected areas and national parks in Georgia- Part 1
Georgia is a small country with a variety of flora. There are twenty protected areas and national parks in Georgia.
Discover places in the vicinity of Tbilisi
Tbilisi is surrounded by interesting and attractive places to visit.
Explore festivals and holidays in Georgia - Part 1
Lots of tourists are attracted by Georgian nature and cuisine. However, to truly experience Georgian culture and its many traditions, you must attend a few of the festivals held both in the capital and throughout the country.
Discover Batumi
Batumi is the second-largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black Sea in the country'ssouthwest.
Discover Samtskhe-Javakheti
The administrative centre of Samtskhe-Javakheti (Georgia’s southwestern region) is Akhaltsikhe.
Summer Dream in Beshumi
“If you drink local milk for 25 days, even if you are a blind, you will see the stars in the sky at midday”.
Swords discovered at Lado Gudiashvili Square in Tbilisi
The renovation of Lado Gudiashvili Square (in the old part of Tbilisi) is presently in progress. The process is under archeological monitoring.
The oldest citizen of Tbilisi tells how people lived decades ago
Tbilisi has always been a city with a specific culture and life style. Today this is not as evident as it was at the beginning of the 20th century.
Fresh snow in Kazbegi in mid-August
Ever wondered whether does it snows in the Georgian mountains in summer or not?
Discover Kutaisi
Kutaisi is one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in Georgia.
Discover Borjomi
Borjomi is a district of Georgia, in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Borjomi is one of the most popular resorts, famous for its mineral waters, health, unique nature and abundance of historical monuments.
Bakuriani – a place to visit in summer and in winter
What Georgia can really boast about is its mountains – literally in every part of the country there are mountains, some covered with snow throughout the year.
Discover amazing Tusheti
Tusheti is a mountainous region in the northeastern part of Georgia. It is one of the most popular hiking venues in Georgia. The Locals are generally sheep and cattle herders.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
24.09.2018
25.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6216
2.6226
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
3.0868
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
3.4416
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340
3.9814