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This year it was quite hard to find a travel destination for late summer that is not overrun – but we found it – Georgia. The country is located at the black sea between Russia and Turkey. It has about the size as Bavaria so it is kinda small. The border to Russia is in the middle of the Caucasus. Only one road is leading through the mountains, and every truck is taking it… The road is going up to 2500m on small roads in pretty bad shape – but no way round. At the border to Russia there were massive truck queues – 100s of trucks waiting already kilometers away…. We stayed at the last big town before the border –  Stepanzminda. It is very famous for the Trinity Church, sitting beautiful in the mountains. Also the volcano Kasbek can be seen from the city and being >5000 it dominates the area. Highlight was a trip into the Truso valley. The first kilometers we had to drive through a small valley, the road was a bit bad and 4WD with high clearance is recommended. After that part the valley opened to a wonderful area with springs with interesting colors, a monastery and an old castle at the end. Highly recommended.
A bit calmer is the area of Svaneti im the North-West of Georgia. Mestia is the biggest town. The whole area is known for the many towers. It is a good place to hike and offers some great landscape. Highlight was a day (and night) in Ushguli, espacially in the morning when the “day tourists” from Mestia have not arrived. The road used to be quite bad, but they are already preparing it to be paved. Also from the other side (Zagari Pass) the road is being build – this is the way we took to Kutaissi. Partly the road condition was a bit bad but overall ok to drive.
The only real town were we have been was Kutaissi. There are some sights in and around the city. The Bagrati Cathedral that has lost the Unesco state (due to some construction work) is still impressive and offers great views of Kutaissi. We liked the marked and the very old amusement park with the gondolas going up there – very interesting. Nothing the German TÜV would be happy about…
The food experience was great. Food is cheap, everything is freshly prepared, nothing deep frozen and very very good, however very fatty. A lot of cheese and bread.
Overall we had no issues to drive, sometimes it takes a bit longer, the roads are often not in good conditions. Chinese companies however build a lot of new ones. It was impressive to see the highway in construction between Tbilisi and Kutaissi through the moutains… Europeans Tourists are still a bit exotic, communication was sometimes a bit hard – seldom someone speaks English. But is definitely a great destination a bit off the beaten track.

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