Kutaisi 2012

The next excursion that some members of #43 decided to take was to Kutaisi. Kutaisi is the second largest city in Georgia, next to Tbilisi.  As said before, first stop was McDonald’s!

We stayed at a Hostel again (surprise, surprise). It was called Hostel Kutaisi. Run, and I think owned, by a great guy named George. I recommend it. There are seemingly two Solomon Streets; Solomon Perveli and Solomon Meore. I’m going to rant again about taxis here. So at one point in the weekend, we need a taxi back to the Hostel. So we go to one with the iconic taxi light on the roof of the car. (Albeit, the car doesn’t LOOK like a taxi. But if you are going to have a taxi sign and do taxi things, you have to do ALL taxi things.) Our hostel is not more than five or six minutes away, but he doesn’t know where it is. Okay, I can understand that… not really. But he doesn’t even know where the street is… The street! He lives in this city and its five minutes from where he was washing his car at 2:00 in the morning. I don’t get it. I truly don’t. If I were a taxi driver in the second most populated city in the country and I knew my city had stuff that would draw tourists, I would be wicked sure that I knew where all the hostels and hotels were and all the touristy stuff.

Anyway, the hostel is on Solomon Perveli.

It was good as always to see the crew reunited again. From Ozurgeti, Brooke had gone the day before. So on Saturday morning Caroline, Jess and myself took the marshut’ka to Kutaisi. After reuniting with our group we went to Sataplia Nature Reserve.

I had told my host family that I was going to Kutaisi for the weekend, and they suggested that I go see the dinosaur footprints. Dinosaur footprints!?! You don’t have to tell me twice!

Sataplia Nature Reserve is an area to the north of Kutaisi that has fossil remains of dinosaur prints and cave structures of stalagmite and stalactite.  Some of the dinosaur exhibits were a little hokey, but I guess they had to add something for the kids to make it worth trekking up the mountain to see the few ‘markings’ in the rock.  One was a herbivore print and the other was a carnivore (I think a raptor). Pretty impressive.

The caves were intense and beautiful, too.

Sataplia Nature Reserve

Pictures of both are in the photo tab on the right. They have a skybridge on the Reserve, but it was too slippery from the rain. That was a letdown. But we were together and having fun!

The next day, some of the girls (Caroline and Abbey) were inspired to get some food from the market for breakfast, so we had eggs, sausage, bread and juice. It was really simple but a nice touch to cook together and hang out in the Hostel. I think a precedent has been set.  We journeyed out into what seemed like a beautiful day, but soon turned rainy again. We walked through the city to the pride and joy of Kutaisi, Bagrati Cathedral.

Bagrati Cathdral

The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral serves as an example in medieval Georgian architecture.

A landmark in the scenery of Kutaisi, the cathedral is on the top of Uk’imerioni Hill. It was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III(that’s why it’s called “Bagrati” Cathedral.

In 1692, it was destroyed in an explosion by the Ottoman troops, which had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the ceiling to collapse. In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral was included in the UNESC World Heritage Fund list as ‘dangerous’.  In 2001, the cathedral was returned to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is now of limited use for worship services, and attracts many pilgrims and tourists.

 

Although the trek up the “big hill” was intense, the destination was worth it.

After the Cathedral, we walked around a little more, found a café, then went back to the hostel to pack up.

It was a short trip, but good to see my peeps and a little more of Georgia and its history.

** This post demands two lyric entries. The second one in honor of Caroline.

“Soulja boy off in this hoe
Watch me crank it
Watch me roll
Watch me crank that soulja boy
Then super man that hoe
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)”

Crank That, Soulja Boy

“(CAROLINE!),
Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you’re never coming around
(CAROLINE),
Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears
(CAROLINE),
Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by
(CAROLINE),
Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes
Turn around bright eyes,
Every now and then I fall apart
Turn around bright eyes,
Every now and then I fall apart”

Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Bonnie Tyler

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