You will LOVE this Georgian town! Kutaisi medieval cathedrals, soviet mosaics & futuristic buildings

You will LOVE this Georgian town! Kutaisi medieval cathedrals, soviet mosaics & futuristic buildings

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Hello everyone! Welcome to my new video, today  I'm traveling to the city of Kutaisi. I came here just to enjoy and explore this town, I am going to visit some places that I noted on my Google Maps. Let's begin! But even when you carefully plan your trip, you often can't predict everything. And the most interesting discoveries  are unexpected. I didn't know that my experience in Kutaisi would be so diverse. In this video we will see medieval Cathedrals and futuristic buildings,   take buses and some other modes of transportation,  and my favorite part delve into the local street art scene:   from graffiti to USSR era mosaics. 

I'm so excited to share my Impressions with you! I came here by train from Tbilisi, and the  journey took about 5 hours. And a friend of mine  told me that the railway station is actually located far from the city center. And there's literally just a field and a cow, and I would have to order a taxi.

I was worried about that but then it turned out that actually this train was taking me exactly to the city center. I just walked 15 minutes from the train railway station  to the hotel, so yeah it was all right. I'm kind of not in a mood now because another  very simple and basic thing that I proved   today is that it's important to have a good  sleep, and uh today I woke up at 700 a.m., I was unprepared for this train ride, now my  head hurts... wow I see the piece of the river here.   Here's the river and I hope that tomorrow we will see it closer.

Here it says 'ezoshi Biboa', I looked the word 'Bibo' in the  Google Translate and probably it is just the dog's name. So yeah, it's funny, Bibo is in the yard. Now I'm returning to the hotel, maybe I will even have a nap there but I'm also planning to go out in the evening. Right now I'm walking in the historical part of  the city, in the old town, and I enjoy it a lot.   But if not for the cars because a lot of cars is parked here.

And probably in some European cities this situation is solved by making this only pedestrian area. But anyway I would say that  this historical city center looks very European, and it seems that the architecture is preserved here. This restaurant is called 'Debi', Sisters,  and I really enjoy the interior This building  has very high floors, I'm trying to measure it with my eyes, it's like 5 m high. And it has this wooden floor, really love it. I ordered here lobiani which is a pie with beans.

I ordered the smaller one but it was so big so that I asked to pack it, yeah it was delicious. And now I want to go to another place, it's called the arch. Mon-Plaisir it's called, and here's some big children excursion to that place. This place has very authentic artworks, and  I read in the news about this one.

It is a graffiti by actually a French street artist, but as you see it was spoiled by other people who think that their art is better than the previous one, but anyway it's on their conscious.  When I travel, I always like to explore local street art, and in Kutaisi I found so many interesting pieces. My curiosity led me to an unexpected discovery. I'm surprised to see here some graffities in Russian, for example this 'ты все знаешь', 'you know everything'.  And I saw another inscription , it was saying 'у мужлан нет прав', it is a popular phrase in the feminist TikTok. 

It's rather a meme phrase it means like 'men don't have rights' in a derogatory meaning. And it looks like these things are written  by people who live here and speak Russian.  This is interesting because I thought, on the contrary, in a smaller town there will be more monolingual population.   And indeed according to census data, 97% of Kutaisi population is ethnically Georgians.   Seeing this rare Russian signs surprises me  so much, because in Tbilisi there are none at all.

Unless it is some kind of handmade retro sign. But still the older generation in Georgia speaks Russian very well. And in Kutaisi, I was able to speak Russian, also English with the younger people and sometimes I even manage to say something simple in Georgian. I noticed that magazines in Russian are even sold here, here's a magazine called 'Podruga', for example.  

But I am interested in this children crosswords. I feel so proud of myself that  I managed to say this phrase. Yes, I didn't understand the price the first time, and I also mispronounced the word 'fifty'.  But anyway, I was so glad because  the main goal is to be understood. I continued walking in the old town, and then I visited the Kutaisi State Historical Museum.

What interesting was in that museum, yeah,  as usual, there were crafts, armory, pottery. And it's so striking to realize that Kutaisi is one of the all this continuously populated cities in the world.   It was founded somewhere in the the 6th Century BC, and it used to be a capital of the Colchis.  It is a country from that Greek poem about Jason  and the Argonauts, and I told you about that poem   in my vlog about Batumi, because Batumi is also  located on the territory where the Colchis existed.   And this is so unusual for me because this town is not large, it's 150,000 people. So I tend to compare it with the familiar places with the same population, for example, I'm sorry the city of Ussuriysk close to my hometown in the Far East of Russia, and I made a video about it as well.

But what??? It's not even comparable because Ussuriysk is like 100 years old, is an industrial city founded by the Soviets... Well, not the Soviets but by the Russian Empire when Russia was is settling Siberia and the Far East, or rather conquering. I feel so... that I don't have a right even to speak about history of this place because...   Well because I'm not a local, this is what I'm also struggling with. Because I looked up some other vlogs about Kutaisi, to see what people film what might be interesting, and almost every video about every tourist location is called 'hidden gem of...' insert the country. And it's so funny because... well, it's true, every place is a hidden gem in a way, but you know, these clickbait titles...

I think if you watch YouTube, you understand me, and I don't want to be like this. But I'm also referring to this story aboutJason and the argonauts... Maybe I don't have anything else to tell you because I am not  from this place.

And I feel that my words are less valid than if I was a local Georgian girl. And I feel this is the disadvantage that I have compared to other bloggers who stayed in Russia. Because when I lived in Russia, I told you about my hometown or the cities that I have more cultural connection with.

Cultural code whatever, historical memory... But anyway I've just noticed that there is a palm, and that's what I wanted to note. It's that in Tbilisi there are also palms but there are more of them in Kutaisi.  

So it was unusual to see them  here once in a while. And finally we approach the river. It is a little park next to the river. And now I'm going to embark on the journeyin a cable car.

The cable car took us to Paris or to the top of the mountain with this amusement park.  The Lion King was my favorite cartoon, I was like a fan of lions when I was a kid. What? are these bananas? But they are so small, like tiny.

Maybe it's some other froot. This place needs some renovation. But the good thing is that we can listen to different birds.  

There is abundance of them in Georgia. Hello! You know, I like how every amusement  park I visit looks abandoned. And it's better for filming horror films if you choose some particular angles and location. Hello! I really enjoy spending time in in such atmosphere. For some reason I grew to love public transport, especially buses, and I started to take them in Tbilisi more often.  

I usually use the taxi because it is relatively cheap in Tbilisi. Well, probably not so cheap for many local people, but for me it was okay. When I use buses I feel that I create less risky atmosphere on the road making the chance for some car accident lower.     Eavesdropping to what some Georgian grandma is saying, understanding three words.

I don't know, it's just ecological, it saves up my money, it saves up the road traffic. And I decided to take the bus here, because now I'm going to one of the far away districts of the city to film some Soviet mosaics, are you excited? I am!    Yesterday when I posted an instastory with some Kutaisi street, I got a reply from a guy who said,    'I grew up on this street, but now I live in Berlin, and it is so crazy to see that you're traveling there.'   And I remember I got another comment like this from a guy who used to watch me since I lived in the Far East, but he moved to the United States from Georgia, and now it is so crazy to see that I moved from the Far East to Georgia.     Yes this is how sometimes life turns out. Imagine you live in this house and every day you look out of the window and see these mountains.   Well, in real life they look better.  

Hello, how are you? Can you tell me something interesting about this street? Do you like living here? Here's some retro plate, it says 'sabavshvo bagi', kindergarten, wow I don't know   I don't kniw if it's functioning because today is Tuesday, so they should work but maybe they have a sleeping hour.   And palms again. And a cat. I thought it's pumpkin. What a fence! It's grapes.

Yeah, that's what I was saying, some smart people turn their houses into guest houses and... And here we are going out to some busier street. Here's some lux bus. Wow I didn't expect that  this thing will work.

And it says that my bus, 1L, will arrive in 7 minutes. And here is the bus. You know what places I call authentic? It's when it is some outskirts of the city, there are a lot of car repair and wash services,  and the only small cafe where you will find the best khachapuri because anyway you will not find anything else in this area. Also there are Georgian man playing backgammon, and a priest passing by...  Why I like this aesthetics, it's really looks  like my hometown. And probably many cities that had common industrial Soviet past share this features.  

But anyway, I came here to show you this picture I wanted to film how fascinated I was looking at that decorated facade, but the driver was like I don't care. Anyway, what will this image tell us about?  One of the goals of such mosaics was to celebrate the victories of the Soviet economy . This shows scenes from a glass factory. Another topic was the folklore and different stories from Russian, from Georgian folklore. But of course, these mosaics existed not only in Georgia but in Russia as well.

And all over the Soviet Union you can find them in the Baltic states, in Central Asia... It is sticked very firmly here. But somewhere as you see it is already peeling off.   Such objects need preservation.

This is probably shoes repair. 'Pekhsatsmelis sheketeba', yes, repair. Cool marketing. And then I went in search of another mosaic in this area, it is located on the building of a former knitting factory.

I already see the mosaic behind the trees.   It spreads for the whole building, let's come closer to it. Here it is. Wow! This is a place of my  dreams, I love car junks. Hello, doggy! Unfortunately, it's not in a good state...

The worker of this place called me, and I  already prepared that he would say that   it's prohibited to film, and I should not be here. But he just pointed out that there is another mosaic to the side of this one. I don't know maybe it was a polite way to make me to leave the working place but anyway... And here is the continuation of this mosaic. I don't know what it is devoted to, but it seems that they're holding candles. And there are also small houses and churches in the fields.

I wish I had more time to explore this probably abandoned factory. And unfortunately there's a lot of trash in this area. The times of the USSR are behind us. Georgia is an independent country that is striving for the future and the European integration, But unfortunately now this process is artificially slowed down due to the law the Georgian parliament is trying to pass.  

It is called a 'foreign influence law' but the Georgian  people nicknamed it as the 'Russian law'. Because the similar thing existed in Russia since 2012, and it's believed that the local authorities are under Kremlin control. When I was sitting at the bus stop, I saw a poster about this law, claiming that in fact it is not repressive at all.    But these excuses look so ridiculous, and Georgian people are very outraged.   Large scale peaceful protests have been going on in Tbilisi for a months now. And I'm also against this law because I know that in Russia the similar law has simply destroyed the civil society, and has resulted in charities and activists now being deemed so-called 'undesirable' or listed as terrorists and extremists.  

So I'm very sad that this is happening, and I hope that Georgia will not lose to authoritarianism.  Anyway, speaking of the government I want to tell you one more interesting fact. To do this, we again need to go to the outskirts of Kutaisi.

If you are wondering what is that unidentified object behind me? This is a former building of the Georgian Parliament. The story is the former president of Georgia Micheil Saakashvili wanted to transfer the parliament from Tbilisi, the capital,  to Kutaisi, so he built this very unusual facility.   And from 2012 to 2018, Kutaisi was the seat of the parliament.

This was done in the effort to decentralize the country. But after the rule of Saakashvili, in 2019 the new authorities moved the parliament back to Tbilisi. And now this building just stands in the field, surrounded by some other governmental buildings that are also empty.  And by the way in Georgia, especially, I guess this was done during the times of Saakashvili, there are many buildings that look so unusual, for example, the House of Justice in Tbilisi, or this small airport in Mestia, so it's cool. So probably it was bad for the city's development when it was returned to Tbilisi. But anyway, there is one more thing that, I think, really helps this city.

It's the Kutaisi International Airport, many European lower coasters fly there.   Yeah, from Tbilisi you also can fly to some European cities. But probably Kutaisi is supposed to unload the traffic of Tbilisi airport somehow.   It is one of the three international airports in Georgia. This is some old plate and it's already rusty It says 'The Palace of the Parliament and 'The official pass office', and now here's something else, but the project was cool. The nature is fighting it back.

I decided to go to the city center by bus again, and I looked the routes up in the Yandex Maps actually.   It is a Russian app, that is for some reason better to use in Georgia if you want to find correct pedestrian routs and bus...    Oh my God it's my... it's my bus!

What I was going to say, surprisingly this Russian  app, the Yandex Maps works better, if you want to   find a correct more accurate pedestrian route, like  a hiking route or if you want... Hi... If you want to find a pedestrian or hiking route or a bus schedule, it's better to use Yandex because Google just doesn't show any schedule here.  But when it comes to looking for places to eat, reading reviews, looking at the menu pictures it's better to use Google.  So this is how I differentiate it for myself. But I'm not trying to pretend that I was using bus every time here in Kutaisi because   actually yesterday, after filming those Soviet  mosaics, I felt sick probably for several reasons.   Well, firstly probably because there was  an outside wooden toilet next to that building,   and someone was spraying paint, and maybe because  I had not a good breakfast, I don't know, but yeah,  that time I decided to order taxi, and what made  me to like Kutaisi more is that delivery works here.

You can order food from restaurants or groceries,  or what I needed yesterday, pharmacy. So I ordered  some crackers and activated carbon, and I'm so  thankful to my body for recovering just overnight.   And thankful to these working services like the  taxi and the delivery in this city. I had a worse opinion about this city, I thought that there is no delivery here.

I also wanted to add about the buses, and I watched the video about mini buses, or how they called marshrutka in Russian or route taxi also, basically it is a small bus, but  it operates like an independent business. So it's  not controlled by the municipal authorities,  and from that video I learned that such mini   buses or marshrutkas are not good for the city public transport system. And the owners of these small taxi buses don't care about people, mostly they care about more gain, But one interesting thing is something in the middle between normal big buses and the route taxi,    that is a mini bus which is included into the municipal system. It is just a smaller version of the bigger bus, but at the same time it's not marshrutka.  There you can pay buy card all the money  goes to the municipality, so they are also bro.   And marshrutkas are not bro.

And these municipal mini buses are good for the situations when there is not so many people using this route. That was my story about city public transportation. And here I found the map of the city. Surprisingly, I already remember the places where I was yesterday.  

So this is where we are now, my hotel is somewhere, this is that cable car that we were taken over the river.  From that park I then hiked to the bus stop somewhere here. And then the bus took me to this area because I remember I was crossing the railroad. And somewhere here I filmed those Soviet mosaics.

Also today I was somewhere here near the former Parliament building. Another place I'm going to visit is the Bagrati Cathedral and the Botanical Garden. I notices that some people are taking their shoes  off here, so I decided to do the same because... Well, because it is a nice grass field and what is nicer  is this one thousand years old cathedral. So this is the Cathedral of Dormition, and it was built in the early 11th century. And it is a great example of Georgian medieval Orthodox architecture, it's very massive.

Overall, this place is so peaceful, I enjoy it a lot. And from here you can see the view. I looked it up on the Google terrain map, and first I thought these mountains are located on the territory of Turkey.  

But then I noticed that there are some other mountains but closer to Kutaisi. Either way, it is just amazing to see it. And now I'm going to another landmark, the Kutaisi Botanical Garden.

I'm going to hike there from here, it's about 15 minutes Wow I like this art object, as a kid I collected such caps but then I threw them away. It just so enjoyable to walk here. Exploring Kutaisi made me tounderstand more about Georgia, and it made me to love the capital more,   because obviously Tbilisi is more developed, there are more events, services. What I didn't like is that somewhere there were poor areas, not even poor, but you can see that the city authorities probably have not taken care of these places.

But what I liked is how the city is so old, and how rich its history is. I would be so proud if I was born in Kutaisi.  Also I saw a lot of potential for the tourism industry development, because there are already  so many restaurants where they speak English, and I saw many tourists during my time here.   

And actually, in a few days there is going to be a big celebration of the city's birthday or Kutaisoba.   It is also an amazing time with all the food festivals, dances, performances and so on.  And there is also many places of interest outside of the city, for example, caves. For example, the dinosaur cave, I actually visited it last year.  

And there is a beautiful lighting,  just amazing how they did that. Also what is interesting is the Tskhaltubo town not far from Kutaisi. And Tskhaltubo is a graveyard of Soviet sanatoriums.

There are many videos on YouTube where people explore the deserted buildings. And if you're interested in that there is also a good thing to visit. And you know in the beginning I said that I'm embarrassed by the YouTube titles 'oh, Kutaisi is a hidden gem!'   But now I prove that it is indeed the hidden gem because well in terms of tourism, if you want affordable prices and a place that is not that touristy you should come here. Because at least now, like I'm alone in this garden.

Maybe more people will come for the Kutaisoba celebration.    Anyway I would recommend you to visit Kutaisi, it is a great place. So anyway, thank you for watching this video, press the like button, subscribe to my channel,   and write in the comments what part  of Kutaisi you like the most. Goodbye, poka-poka!

2024-05-18 11:17

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