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Georgian facts & trivia

Find here some of the facts and trivia I liked the most about this little but so interesting country from the Caucasus!
 

Georgian language

  • The Georgian is a totally different language from the major ones surrounding it: Russian, Turkish, Armenian and Azerbaijani.
  • The origin is still unknown, and in fact some studies relate it to Euskera, the language spoken in the Basque country.
  • It has its own alphabet, which again, has nothing to do with the ones of its neighbors.

 

EU vs Russia

  • The older generation speaks nostalgically about the USSR, they miss those days. In contrast, the younger generation sides more with the European Union and USA, and have much less appreciation for Russia.
  • Therefore, adults and seniors all of them speak Russian, while the younger ones speak much more English.
  • There are European Union flags everywhere, including government buildings and even police stations, even if they are not part of the union.

One of the many police stations with the EU flag hanging next to the Georgian one.

 

  • Even with all the diplomatic problems that Georgia has had in recent decades with the Russian Federation, including a war in 2008, Russian citizens continue enjoying free Georgian visa. And it actually makes sense, after all, Russia is by far the country that sends them more tourists per year.

 

Separatism

  • In Georgia there are two de facto independent regions: South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  • Even if they declared its independence more than 20 years ago, none of them is still recognized by the international community.
  • They are only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru. And also by the breakaway republic of Transnistria (Moldova) and Nagorno Karabakh (Azerbaijan).
  • Georgian citizens are banned from these two independent regions.
  • Foreigners can enter them both, but asking for the visa in advance and paying a fee.

 

Trivia

  • Tiflis was the former name of the capital, nowadays called Tbilisi.
  • The typical food par excellence are the delicious Khinkali.

The most typical: Above left Khachapuri, in the right Khinkali and down Lobiani.

 

  • The typical drink is Chacha, which is basically a brandy made from grape pomace.
  • Wine production in this country dates back to 5.000BC.
  • There are many second-hand imported cars purchased from the UK, so they have the steering wheel in the opposite direction than they should.
  • In very old buildings, elevators still work paying 0.05GEL (0.02€) each time you want to use it!
  • The crime rate in Georgia is one of the lowest in all Europe.
  • The city-museum Mtskheta, World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city.
  • Tusheti region is undoubtedly the most isolated of Georgia, since due to the large amount of snow is only accessible in the summer months.
  • In the region of Svaneti, there is an ethnic subgroup of Georgians who, still nowadays, speak their own language which is totally different from Georgian. They use this language only to talk to each other, and since they are bilinguals, they all write in Georgian.
  • Also in the region of Svaneti, Ushguli community, who are at 2,400m altitude, is one of the highest areas still inhabited in Europe. Clearly, this is also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

 

Tourism

  • The museums are really cheap. For example, the National Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi costs 5GEL (Around 2€).
  • The subway in the capital city too. Each trip costs 0.5GEL (0.20€).
  • All road signs usually are in both Georgian and Latin alphabet.
  • The tourist offices are amazing. You can find maps of all regions, detailed information and great customer care. For mountain areas, there are even topographic maps and walking routes with different difficulty levels. All for free. They also have free Wi-Fi and plugs, that when you travel with a backpack is always very helpful.

 

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