Kutaisi, Georgia

Georgia‘s second largest city lacks much of the charm of Tbilisi but is a handy stopover heading west. The city itself was worth a quick wander around, primarily for the relatively new fountain (President Saakashvili was a big fan of them), the covered market and a few nice buildings including the Opera House and theatre. It is also located in a scenic setting along by the Rioni River.DSC07139DSC07146 DSC07122DSC07118DSC07117 DSC07126 Opera House DSC07152 DSC07144DSC07092DSC07134DSC07030Recently parliament was relocated from Tbilisi to this strikingly modern building on the outskirts of Kutaisi.DSC07221

Bagrati Cathedral, though heavily restored (so much that it lost it’s UNESCO status) is worth an explore.DSC07051 DSC07055

A short distance outside of Kutaisi lies the obviously touristic but relatively unvisited Sataplia Nature Reserve. Home to dinosaur footprints (underwhelming), a glass bottomed walkway jutting out of the cliffs (scarily scenic), walkways through the forest (pleasant, and welcome shade from the Georgian summer sunshine), architectural pavilions (my favourite) and LED lit 300m long caves (very accessible if nothing special), it makes for a diverting couple of hours.DSC07161 DSC07168 DSC07198 DSC07203 DSC07196 DSC07194 DSC07186The astonishing Gelati Monastery is also nearby and well worth a visit.DSC06932 DSC06950

Author: jontycrane

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