Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tbilisi's Historic Center

This week I'm in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, also called Tiflis.  I was here eight years ago and Tbilisi's Old Town had undergone a remarkable transformation since then. While it still reflects its long period under Soviet rule, many historic buildings have been restored and the city has a very pleasant pedestrian zone with many lovely outdoor cafes, restaurants and bars. On my last visit, the city was being spruced up for an impending visit by George W. Bush.  And the city now has a President George Bush Street (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1485205/posts).  Do you know any US cities that have streets named after George W. Bush?   

I'm feeling lazy and won't write much on Tbilisi in this blog. But I will include several of my photos and provide a few links at the bottom for anyone who might be interested in post-soviet Georgia or in Georgian history and culture.

Map of Georgia showing the capital Tbilisi
Restaurant: "KGB - Still Watching You"
Cute Canopy on an Ethnic  Restaurant

One of Many Orthodox Churches

Tbilisi Synagogue
Mosque near City Baths 

Statue of St. George with Church in background

Old fascade and porches under renovation

Produce shop

VIP Hotel, Tbilisi

View from Old Town across the Mtkvari River
Tbilisi Baths
Houses on hillside leading up to Castle
Restaurant near Mtkvari River
Souvenir Shop
Stelzer Haus German Restaurant 

View from Mtkvari Bridge Towards Old Town
Cock of the Walk

Interesting Door on a Night Club

Old House With Classic Tbilisi Balcony on City Wall

Folk Dancer Sculpture

Office of the Georgian Orthodox Prelate

Billboard for an Art Exhibit
Old Georgian Architecture With Typical Balcony

In Front of a Tourist Shop

Pedestrian Zone with Restaurants

That's the end of my photos and here are a few links on the Republic of Georgia, Georgian History and Tbilisi.


Final note:  During my stay I had conversations with several Georgians.  When I asked those over 40 if they yearned for the old soviet days, without exception they said yes. I was very surprised and when I asked why, they typically said that life was simplier then with less worries, that people were closer and more friendly, and that the youth have become more aggressive and materialistic. In other words they seem to have liked the Nanny state and miss it.  I don't quite know what to take from this but I found it interesting.  I also have the impression that younger Georgians don't necessarily agree with the older ones.  

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