Learning the Georgian alphabet: letter ა

Georgiაns cაll their country Sაkაrtvelo (საქართველო). They აre Kაrtveliაns (ქართველები) in their own lაnguაge cაlled Kაrtuli (ქართული).

The foreign nაmes like Georgiა/Georgien mაy hაve something to do with the populაrity of St. George აmong Georgiაns. Or mაybe not. The predominაntly Slაvic nაme Gruzij (აnd similაr) comes from the Russiაn word Gruziyა.
(აbkhაziა აnd South Ossetiა do not wაnt to be ა pაrt of Georgiა, but officiაlly still აre, to most people. This is ა serious problem, so don’t go there. Check whაt your Ministry of Foreign აffაirs hაs to sაy on the topic.)

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Georgier nennen ihr Lაnd Sაkაrtvelo (საქართველო). Sie selbst heißen Kაrtveli (ქართველები) in ihrer Sprაche Kაrtuli (ქართული).

Fremde Nაmen wie Georgiა/Georgien hაben eventuell mit der Populაrität des Heiligen George in Georgien zu tun. Vielleicht აber აuch nicht. Der Ländernაme Gruzij (und ähnlich) in den meisten slაwischen Sprაchen stაmmt აus dem russischen Wort Gruziyა.
(აbchაsien und Südossetien wollen nicht zu Georgien gehören, sind jedoch offiziell nაch wie vor Teil dაvon, nაch der vorherrschenden Meinung. Dაs ist ein ernsthაftes Problem, weswegen mაn die Gebiete meiden soll. Es bietet sich აn, zu prüfen, wაs dაs eigene აußenministerium dაzu zu sაgen hაt.)

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Gruzinci svojo držvo imenujejo Skrtvelo (საქართველო). Smi sebi rečejo Krtveli (ქართველები) v svojem jeziku Krtuli (ქართული).

Tujა imenა kot Georgi/Georgien so mogoče povezაnა s populაrnostjo Svetegა Gregorjა v Gruziji. Mogoče pა tudi ne. Ime Gruzij (in podobno), ki se uporაbljა v večini slovაnskih jezikov, izhაjა iz ruskegა imenა Gruzij.
(აbhაzijა in Južnა Osetijა ne želitა pripაdაti Gruziji, vendაr stა urაdno še del te držაve, po mnenju večine ljudi. Gre zა resen problem, zაto se je teh področij trebა izogibაti. Vsekაkor je priporočljivo preveriti, kაj o tem meni lაstno ministrstvo zა zunაnje zაdeve.)

Last Words: What Else To Know About Georgia

Georgians call their country Sakartvelo (საქართველო). They are Kartvelians (ქართველები) in their own language called Kartuli (ქართული).

The foreign names like Georgia/Georgien may have something to do with the popularity of St. George (the Dragonkiller) among Georgians. Or maybe not. The predominantly Slavic name Gruzija (and similar) comes from the Russian word Gruziya. (Abkhazia and South Ossetia do not want to be a part of Georgia, but officially still are, to most people. This is a serious problem, so don’t go there. Check what your Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to say on the topic.)


 Georgians are nice. Very nice. Continue reading

Birdwatching In The Land of Birdkillers – ბათუმი

“I have only one question: will we encounter bird shooting while watching birds?” “You will.” J. says. “That’s why you are here, this is a part of the plan.”

It surprises me we, the eager birdwatchers wanting to observe raptor migration in the Batumi bottleneck, famous for HUGE numbers (October 2 2014: 280.000) of birds of prey migrating south, should be prepared for some of that infamous bird shooting, too. While it is clearly forbidden to kill birds of prey in Georgia, one can hear quite a lot of shooting going on in high-lying villages around Batumi (ბათუმი) year by year, we are told.

But what the NGO “Batumi Raptor Count” (BRC) does against it is actually quite interesting: instead of simply criticising, they are conducting survey on the reasons for the raptor carnage occurring on such a large scale. “One of the hunters said if he had a Gameboy he might consider stopping shooting – the others said they did it for food or fun. Those hunters, they are all very friendly and eager to talk about their shooting and the different reasons for it.” R. is our guide in the Mtirala National Park and ready to talk about his research a bit. “So, have you ever been in a very … depressing situation?” I wonder. “Yes, when you see all those birds lying around, dead or dying …” “I see.” I don’t want to think about it too much. Continue reading

Lost In Batumi. Or So.

When I return from the toilet, there’s noone there. Not my husband, not the group of birdwatchers we have spent an hour with laughing and feasting on all that lovely Georgian food.

The next second I am angry. What on Earth was I thinking and even more, doing?!?!! My inner answer dropdown list contains only one answer: “Damn nothing.” Like, I have no contact data of the others. No idea how to get anywhere – their office, our guesthouse, anywhere. No lari, just a few euros. I don’t know why everyone has left, either. OK, the group has forgotten all about us, but my husband? Continue reading

The Georgian Military Road to Gergeti Trinity Church

Let us start with the end this time: Mount Kazbek (5034 m) was hidden in fog and could not be photographed well enough.

But the Gergeti Trinity Church (2170 m) in the Greater Caucasus could. We had to drive there for we didn’t have enough time for hiking. The highest point we had reached by car was almost 2400 m.

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Kdo bi si mislil … Danes zjutraj sem bila hvaležna, da nas večina Evrope zamenjuje s  Slovaško:

“Slovaška kandidatka za podpredsednico Evropske komisije je svoj nastop pred parlamentom opravila slabo in bo najbrž zavrnjena.”

Uplistsikhe, but not Stalin.

“It depends on what you like.”

The nice American willing to share his taxi with us is grinning like hell.

“So what’s your job?!?” My flat joke lands on the floor of the old car and freezes there.

“Did we learn anything useful in the museum? No, we didn’t. Many texts and photos, but nothing interesting, no criticism. Now, the cave city, that’s a thing to see! Beautiful and interesting – I’d go there again any time.”

His friendly Thai wife is nicking.

“But Stalin museum? Loss of time.”

So we skipped the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori and visited the nearby cave city in Uplistsikhe instead. It has been there since the Bronze Age and was used by different people for different purposes. Our American acquaintance was right: it’s really great.

2_cave city Continue reading

თბილისი. The Warm City.

Once upon a time there was a king and Vakhtang was his name … During a hunt in the woods his bird of prey caught a pheasant, but then they both got their goose cooked in a hot spring they fell into after their passionate encounter and so it came they got the king’s full attention.

Now, here’s the thing: King Vakhtang liked the spring. He liked all that hot water. Maybe he could already envision himself enjoying hot sulphuric baths on those long days when One’s strength has long gone, together with other non-mentionable appendices and attributes …

Vakhtang must have told his successor and son how much he liked the hot waters found in the middle of nowhere, for Dachi made the next logical step (as you would) and moved the capital of what was then Eastern Georgia (aka Iberia) from the lovely Mtshketa to the lovely Tbilisi, the latter word meaning warm location in Olden Georgian.

Unfortunately, many other kings desired the hot location as well, which is why for centuries they came, conquered and went … erm – got sent packing: Roman Emperors, Persians, Arabs, Byzantine Emperors, Mongols, Khazars, Seljuk Turks, Russians … Leaving their traces before being discharged by their bath eager successors – cleanliness being known for its proximity to goodliness even then.


It has to be said the hot baths district, Abanotubani, is quite a photogenic one:

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Tbilisi: Like Paris, Only Much Better. Trust Me.


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Tbilisi Street Style


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