Tbilisi was just amazing. I have written about the capital of Georgia in my last blog. I had only planned eight nights there, nine days, it was not enough. I extended by three more nights, still not enough, but as time is slipping away from me, I decided to move on to the next town, Mtskheta. Most people, just go there on a day trip from Tbilisi. I like to spend some time in a town, to wander, dream and explore.
My last day in Tbilisi I treated myself to a sulphur bath after I visited the amazing sculpture by the Tbilisi sea. The sculpture is made by Zurab Tsereteli. I had seen the video of how it was made and put together, in the museum of modern art. I asked the girl where this was, as I really wanted to see it in real life! Awesome, just absolutely awesome. I can’t remember all the details of the sculpture, but I am sure people who are interested can just google the artist.
I had planned an early start to go to Mtskheta, but due to the lack of sleep, this didn’t happen! I itched so badly during the night, even three showers could not take the itch away! I wonder if it was sulphur bath? Or the scrub? May be the massage? I had quite an experience with a vertically challenged Babushka. Did she scrub me! It felt like my skin was coming of! Afterwards a massage, with hands like sledgehammers, beating upon my poor back! At one stage she pulled my head forwards, between her enormous mammary glands, nearly choking me to death! It was not pleasant to say the least! Moments like that I wish I could have a real proper massage , with my friend Jenny! Anyhow, the reason for the sleepless night is totally unimportant, I ended up with a very late start to the day.
I arrived in Mtskheta about one o’ clock. I had been unable to make a booking, so first things first! Coffee!! Next door to the cafe, was a small hotel. I knocked on the door, and yes, there was a room available. I booked three nights! When oh when will I learn to start with one or two and just add to it when needed?
Anyway, it is lovely but about one day too long. Mtskheta was the first capital of Georgia. It is also the spiritual heart of Georgia, since Christianity was established here in about 327. It holds a near mystical significance in Georgian culture. It was the capital of most of Eastern Georgia from about 3rd BC to the 5th century AD, when King Vakhtang Gorgasali switched his base to Tbilisi.
The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is still the setting for important ceremonies of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The cathedral dates from the 11th century, early in the golden age of Georgian church architecture. According to tradition, Christ’s robe lies buried beneath the cathedral. It works many miracles, apparently. The word Svetitskhoveli means ” life giving column”. The King Vakhtang Gorgasali is buried here as well.