In the beginning of June 35 adventurous youngsters from 7 random European countries managed to find their way to gather at from the world hidden place in beautiful Georgian country side. As they were turning from strangers to closer and closer friends day after day, they had no idea that there awaits for them an adventure only life can paint for you.
The first day
It was almost 1 in the morning, when British team reunited solid on the Georgian ground, and started our few hours – middle of the night wait for the bus to take us from Kutaisi to capital. But the bus never showed up… And so we decided to set a little camp on the artificial grass of the airports glass house and spent the night wrapped in our sleeping bags.
When the morning arrived and we were still looking forward to an adventure, we agreed that waiting another bunch of hours for the bus and that way missing the day, is pretty much unacceptable, so we got ourselves a taxi that took us to the city center. There we equipped ourselves with Georgian money Lari, some food for the road and caught a mini bus marshrutka to Tbilisi. Riding trough the vivid country side, we still spend most of the journey sleeping, so that we finally arrived to the capital with some new energy and elan.
Previously googling what is there to see and admire, the area of the city we ended in wasn’t by any chance that picturesque. Still, we didn’t want to miss our chance to explore, and headed to the nearest park, dragging all our luggage along. As neither the park was that much impressive, we were soon back at the station, to find our way to Rustavi, where we were meeting the rest of the crew. Tired and disappointed over public transport, we got ourselves a pretty good taxi bargain, and were finally crossing trough the nicest part of the city in style.
Despite some further complications with finding right location, we still, more or less successfully arrived to Rustavi, in a pretty much very happy mood after this unforgettable messed up day.
On the second day we made our way to our camping site in north-east Georgia, where most of the participants were divided in few big tents.
So there we spent about a week, disconnected from the outer world, but totally connected with the nature and each other. The days went by doing different sport activities, learning about each others cultures, getting some scout skills and simply enjoying life and each others company. But the major event we were all looking forward to, was the hike by the beautiful mountain river.
We actually started ‘practising’ for this with a shorter night adventure, when, in the dark, we crossed trough the woods and some rivers, and ended up in a meadow on top of the hill, far from all the city lights, where we could enjoy the stars, so shiny and bright, that you could distinguish different constellations and see the milky way.
The big hike was a bit different than planned, due to the heavy rain, that made river we were going by quite hard to cross at the certain parts. Despite that, it was still truly beautiful experience. Making our way up by the wild mountain water, crossing and climbing over different barriers, we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful Georgian mountains and their fauna. Our final destination was supposed to be the waterfall, but about kilometer and half before, we reached the point of crossing river, where stream was to deep and wild due to rain. After some time of trying to find the solution, we’ve decided that it will be the safest to call it a day and return. Despite this we still had an amazing day, spent surrounded with beautiful nature in a beautiful company.
On our way back to Rustavi, right after breakfast, we’ve stopped at the Kindzmarauli winery in Kvareli. After a short trip around the property, during which we learned about old and new ways of local wine making, we were given a special tasting of their most popular wines. This certainly granted the whole group happiness for the rest of the day.
On the last two days of our staying in the country, we gave capital the second chance. This time we were taken to the old city center, where every corner turned out to be a candy for our sight. We made our way to Dzveli waterfall behind the sulphur baths (finally, we saw ‘waterfall’ that brought us all the way to this side of Europe).
We continued by walking to the Narikala fortress on top of the hill (and found an amazing mulberry tree by the way). There we got ourselves a little lunch, with a spectacular view over the city. We’ve enriched our journey getting down by cable car and then randomly walking around the old town, admiring architecture of random houses with pointy windows and beautiful balconies.
We finalised this day with traditional Georgian dinner, where we were able to taste so many things, from ‘khachapuri’ filled bread and ‘khinkali’ dumplings to ‘badrijani’ eggplant rolls, different meat, veggies and mushrooms, and of course some good Georgian wine, while enjoying performances of traditional music and dances.
On our last day we gave ourselves a special treat and visited one of the traditional sulphur baths. Used to more European shared spas, we felt very unique, getting the whole room with a sauna, hot and cold pool, massage table and chilling area just for ourselves. Beside amazing relaxing experience, the bath itself was also striking, all crowned with colourful and shiny mosaics.
We continued our day by visiting the botanical garden, where we were able to admire yet another beautiful waterfall.
Day ended by getting a big ice cream in a waffle, some traditional Georgian soup and a nice long walk around the enlightened city at night, which took away most of our sleep before leaving it at the sunset on the next day.