I want to visit as many places here in Georgia as I can before winter sets in. This past weekend, I wanted to see some castles and fortresses. Fortunately, Kakheti is full of such places. I wanted to visit the town of Gremi based on the cool photos I have seen. It is easiest to get there from the city of Telavi, so I decided to stay the night in Telavi and visit Gremi from there.
Telavi is an eerily pretty city/town. It is obvious that it has had extensive upgrading. But the eerie part is all the storefronts are still empty of shops and stores. I thought Telavi would be a good destination because of the 2 for 1 factor. The city of Telavi has one of the few intact fortresses of Georgia. Telavi was the capital of Kakheti back in the day.
When we explored the fortress, it was hard to figure out how to get in and where to go exactly. We actually walked the wrong (or most inconvenient) way. We entered one entrance only to find a school inside and no access to the rest of the fortress grounds. We continued walking around the castle on the side not intended for tourists.
Finally, we got to where we were supposed to be only to find the way barred due to renovations. All in all though it was still an impressive site. I was prepared to pay the museum fee, but we couldn’t find it. There were no signs except road signs pointing in the direction. But when you walk in that direction for just a little while, you find a road sign pointing back in the direction you just came. Don’t have time for that game.
The guesthouse we stayed in, Eto’s Guesthouse, was super cute! It was comfortable and Eto was as nice as can be. She served us homemade wine, both white and red. And the breakfast the next morning was tasty. So shout out to Eto!!! If you are traveling through or to Telavi, try it out.
The highlight of the trip however, was Gremi.
Gremi was also a site of the ancient capital of Kakheti. It’s down in the valley from Telavi. Upon approach you see the beautiful architecture of the church and tower.
The entire site of ancient Gremi was easy to walk to and it has been well preserved (renovated). The church still has the frescos, the adjacent tower also serves as the museum. On the grounds are hot baths, and smaller churches.
I highly recommend visiting Gremi.