Georgia, where old and new unites together
Georgia is an ancient country bursting with history. Rulers came and went, but the culture of the Georgians has remained. At a crossroads of Europe and Asia, hidden between the High and Low 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 so incredible great at all times, what makes Georgia unique. You will find almost everything there, in the field of everything. This may sound a bit vague for now, but once you’ve been in the country you’ll see what I mean.
The protective geographical position of Georgia
With Turkey and Russia as neighbors, Georgia has always known oppression from other countries. Its strategic location between the two Caucasian mountain ranges gives it natural protection. Traders crossed the Silk Road from China to Europe. The country has traditionally played an important transit role from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, but also from the Middle East to Russia. The Northern Caucasus offers one of the most spectacular alpine landscapes in Europe, with peaks reaching over 5000 meters. In Abkhazia (a region seeking support from Russia), the mountains even extend into the Black Sea .
The climate varies enormously by region. The further you go, east the drier it generally gets. Certainly the mountains around the Black Sea receive a lot of rainfall. However, the temperature there is also more moderate. In the interior it can get quite cold during the winter, however, you cannot speak of a real continental climate there. The Caucasus Mountains block polar cold from Russia and the Lower Caucasus keeps dry, hot desert air from the north. Moreover, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea have a unique effect on the climate. The mountains have a typical alpine climate and the snow does not melt until above 4500 meters.
The Georgians are unique people with typical European characteristics. Yet, the language, scipt and culture arose independently. Bones of the oldest European man have been found, the wine culture goes back more than 4000 years and Georgia was the first nation to introduce Christianity. Today, 85% of the population is descendant of Kartvelians (Georgians). In Georgia, you can find large minorities of Azeri, that mostly worship the Islam. Further, you can find descendants of Armenians and Russians. The political situation in the “rebel” region of Abkhazia remains complicated. All the Georgian inhabitants of this region have been deported and several wars have ensured that Russia has more power in this region. The exact same thing, in a lesser extent, happened to the Tsinvali region, also known as South Ossetia. The inhabitants who now live here are mainly Abkhazians and Ossetians.
Trading as a passion
Trade has always been an important sector in Georgia’s economy. Even before the time of the Silk Road, Georgia was a crossroad for traders. Nowadays, trading has been modernized. Par example, new roads are being built and, in 2018, a railway line was opened from Azerbaijan to Turkey (via Georgia). Several pipelines also run from the Caspian Sea via Georgia to Turkey. Asides from Russia, Georgia maintains good relations with its neighboring countries. Many neighbouring countries have to get to the enemy through Georgian territory. With that being said, neighbouring countries seek another way to hate each other. Turkey and Armenia keep each other’s borders closed and Armenia and Azerbaijan want nothing from each other. On top of that, Armenia is looking support from Russia, which does not improve relations with Georgia. All with all, it is sometimes one big drama in the Caucasus.
Today, the agriculture and lifestock sector are becoming increasingly important for the country. The fertile soils in Georgia provide a large harvest of fruit ( for wine), nuts and vegetables. The livestock sector, on the other hadn, provides large amounts of milk and meat. The two main ingredients of the Georgian cuisine!
Tourism in Georgia
In 1999, an estimate of only 100,000 foreign tourists came to Georgia. In 2019, this number will pass 7 million!. Thanks to improving facilities and accessibility in a quick phase, this was possible. Especially in the period of Saaskasvili, a huge number of foreign investors were attracted to boost tourism. Batumi has been built in 15 years, ski areas have been developed, historic centers have been refurbished, monuments restored, highways built, castles rebuilt and new airfields were opened. It is almost impossible to keep up with everything that has happened in recent years. The country has so much to offer that it is imaginable that the growth will continue in this phase. Wizzair and Ryanair have already started connecting Europe and it won’t be long before Tbilisi is the new Prague of Eastern Europe. So do you want to experience the real deal? Come to Georgia as soon as you can!