Exploring

Prague by foot

With Gena on the Charles Bridge, Prague.

We spent our week in Prague with friends from the States, Gena & Chris. It was really nice exploring a place with other people for a change! Gena had found some walking tours of Prague online before she arrived so we followed a few of these which was great as they took us to slightly random places we might otherwise have missed, for example the John Lennon Wall & the Piss Sculpture. I kid you not, nearish the Charles Bridge on the Castle side there […]

Cool libraries in Prague

Theological Hall, Strahov Library.

Although I had already been to Prague twice there were several places we visited this trip that I had not been to before. When googling a few days before our arrival I came across a recommendation to see a few libraries in Prague. I wasn’t sure what to expect but decided it sounded like something a bit different to the usual churches and castles. First up was a visit to the Klementinum complex. The Klementinum complex includes the Mirror Chapel, Baroque Library Hall, Meridian […]

Jewish Prague

We wandered around the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River in Prague. Jews have lived in Prague since 970AD but were persecuted in the 11th and 12th centuries, many fleeing to this area by the river, seeking safety in numbers. In the 13th century Jews were ordered to leave their own homes around the city and all live in this area. Over the centuries Jews were banned from living elsewhere in Prague and Jews expelled from other areas […]

Prague Castle

We headed to Prague at the end of September 2016 to meet with our American friends who were going to be in the city for a few days. I had visited Prague twice before (in 1995 & 2006) so was mostly looking forward to hanging out with our friends rather than sightseeing. But I have to say the city really impressed again! In a city full of fantastic architecture and magnificent buildings, Prague Castle dominates them all with its place on the hill overlooking […]

Kakheti – Georgia’s Beautiful Wine Region

Alaverdi Monastery, Kakheti

Along with beautiful snowy mountains, vineyards and friendly Georgians, Kakheti is home to a few interesting monasteries. I’ve mentioned one already in the workaway post. On our last day at the Sanavardo Wine Hostel (workaway place), we went with our lovely host Ucha to Nekresi monastery a bit beyond Kvareli. It was positioned on a hill and the only access was by the monastery bus which went up the steep one lane road. A church has been here since the 4th century! One part […]

Borjomi

After Akhaltsikhe & our trip to Vardzia we had a couple of days in the small town of Borjomi, situated in the valley of the Mtkvari River 48 kms from Akhaltsikhe on the way to Tbilisi. Borjomi is famous for its salty-sour, fizzy mineral water which we didn’t think too much of, but it’s pretty popular in the former Soviet Union. Aside from the mineral water, the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is the other main attraction that brings tourists here. It was October when we […]

Vardzia

Vardzia Cave City

Vardzia is listed as one of the highlights of Georgia in our guidebook. We made it here on our second trip to Georgia, in October. Basing ourselves in Akhaltsikhe, we got a driver for the day to take us to the old cave city and other spots along the way. Although it is only 60km to Vardzia we spent an entire day away. The journey from Akhaltsikhe is along the Mtkvari River and the scenery was just gorgeous with canyons, green valleys and also […]

Akhaltsikhe & Georgian Food

Rabati Fortress, Akhaltsikhe

We took a marshutka from Kutaisi to Akhaltsikhe and when we got off we were admiring the cars set up as hardware shops and were trying to work out which way to go to get to our hotel when a bustling woman approached us offering accommodation at her guesthouse. We had already booked a room a hotel so politely declined her offer. Not giving up she offered home cooked meals and a husband who could drive us to Vardzia and other places of interest […]

Kutaisi, Georgia

Wizz Air flies in and out of Kutaisi from all over Europe for very few euros so it’s likely the budget traveller to Georgia will fly via this city rather than Tbilisi. Our first visit to Georgia saw us finish in Kutaisi where we then flew to Warsaw. Our second visit had us arrive in Kutaisi from Munich and leave from there to Budapest.  Kutaisi it turns out is more than just a place for budget airline arrivals and departures. The town has quite […]

Stunning Svaneti – Georgia

Wahoo!!

One of the highlights of Georgia for us was our trip into the mountainous Svaneti region. The beautiful snow covered peaks of the Greater Caucasus and the picturesque alpine villages rival New Zealand scenery any day. We visited in April, basing ourselves in the small town of Mestia which was at 1400m elevation. After a couple of days of rain and foggy conditions, the skies cleared for us so we headed off for a half day hike up to a cross 900m above Mestia. […]