tour juta kazbegi

When I first came to Georgia ten years ago I was struck by something odd. The tradition here is to make hyperbolic toast after toast, and much of it is predisposed on how amazing and beautiful and glorious this country and the people are.

All well and fine, but what stuck me as odd was how little of the country most people had seen. I noticed immediately that the people making the longest, most flamboyant toasts often hadn’t even been out of their region or even village their entire life. Nationalism and pride often works that way though, even in the United States.

Which is a pity. The country of Georgia does have a lot of immensely beautiful things to see. I’m not going to lie and say it’s the most beautiful country in the world (especially when beauty is a generally subjective thing), but it definitely ranks up there, and it’s certainly one of my favorites.

juta

a common scene in Georgia

There were some legit reasons though. Mostly like for people anywhere, travel takes time and money. And in Georgia, it also takes a lot of confusion, patience, and a low risk aversity.

It takes time because the transit system is at best designed by a three-year-old armed with Hot Wheels and a Godzilla toy. Many of the larger tourism destinations aren’t easily reachable by public transit, it might go just once or twice a week (time), and to fit it in your schedule you might have to hire a taxi (money) that costs some 200 to 300 lari while your monthly income might barely be over that.

The best way to see the country is

to rent a car from Discover

One of my biggest arguments when complaining about the transit infrastructure here isn’t that it’s just bad for tourists, which it is, but also bad for Georgians, and that tourism should first be looked at in the spheres that it crosses over with improving the life of the residents of the country.