Georgia is an ancient country bursting with history. Domination came and went, but the culture of the Georgians has remained. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, hidden between the higher and lesser Caucasus lies the land of the Kartvelians. Monasteries, fortresses, rock dwellings and ancient cities. But also skyscrapers, glass bridges, street art and modern gondolas. The contrast is undeniably great at times, but it makes Georgia unique. You will find almost everything in the field of everything. This sounds vague, but once you’ve been in the country you know what I mean.

With Turkey and Russia as neighbors, Georgia has always known outside pressure. Due to its strategic location between the two Caucasian mountain ranges, it has a natural protection. Traders traveled the Silk Road from China to Europe. Traditionally, the country has an important transit function from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, but also from the Middle East to Russia. The North Caucasus offers one of the most spectacular alpine landscapes in Europe. Peaks reach above 5000 meters. In Abkhazia (an apostate region seeking support from Russia) the mountains even extend into the Black Sea.

The climate varies enormously from region to region. The further east, the drier it generally gets. Especially the mountains around the Black Sea receive a lot of rainfall. However, the temperature is also more moderate there. Inland it can get quite cold during the winter, but you cannot speak of a real continental climate there. The Caucasus Mountains keep out polar cold from Russia and the Lesser Caucasus prevents dry, hot desert air from advancing north. In addition, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea provide a unique effect on the climate. The mountains have a typical alpine climate and the snow certainly does not melt above 4500 meters.

Georgia has a lot of alpine terrain

The Georgians are a unique people with typical European characteristics. Yet the writing, language and culture emerged independently. Bone remains of the oldest European man have been found, wine culture dates back more than 4,000 years, and Georgia was the first nation to introduce Christianity. Today 85% of the population is descended from Kartvelians (Georgians). Large minorities Azeri live in the country, they mostly adhere to Islam. You will also encounter the necessary descendants of Armenians and Russians. The political situation in the apostate region of Abkhazia remains complicated. All Georgian residents of this region have been deported and several wars have ensured that Russia has an increasing influence. The same is true to a lesser extent for the Tsinvali region, known to most as South Ossetia. The inhabitants who now live here are mainly Abkhazians and Ossetians.

Trade has always played an important role in Georgia’s economy. Even before the time of the Silk Road, Georgia was a crossroads for merchants. Today, that trade has been modernized. New roads are being built and in 2018 a railway line was opened from Azerbaijan to Turkey (via Georgia). The pipeline also runs from the Caspian Sea via Georgia to Turkey. Apart from Russia, Georgia maintains good relations with its neighbors. Many neighbors have to go to the enemy via Georgian territory. For example, Turkey and Armenia keep their borders closed and Armenia and Azerbaijan do not want to have anything to do with each other. Strangely enough, Armenia is seeking a lot of support from Russia. Which does not improve relations with Georgia. It is sometimes a big soap opera in the Caucasus.

Today, agriculture and livestock are increasingly important for the country. The fertile soils provide a large harvest of fruit (wine), nuts and vegetables. The livestock also produces large quantities of milk and meat. Two important ingredients of Georgian cuisine.

In 1999, only 100,000 foreign tourists came to Georgia. In 2019, this number will pass 7 million. The facilities have improved enormously and the accessibility has improved in giant steps. Especially in the period of Saaskasvili, a huge number of foreign investors were attracted to boost tourism. Batumi was founded in 15 years, ski areas have been developed, historical centers have been renovated, monuments restored, highways built, castles rebuilt and new airports opened. It is almost impossible to keep up with what has happened in recent years. The country has so much to offer that it is not inconceivable that growth will continue unabated. Wizzair and Ryanair start connecting to Europe and it won’t be long before Tbilisi is the new Prague of Eastern Europe. Come as soon as you can if you want to experience the raw sides.



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