Welcome to Georgia

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

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This morning a couple (and their baby cow) in a horse-drawn carriage slowed as they passed the tree we were sitting under for a break in order to hand us an ice cold beer and a handful of candies. Already this morning a man had approached us as we were buying our daily Georgian bread in order to hand us an enormous hunk of watermelon. By noon, we would be given a bag of fresh tomatoes, two bottles of homemade wine, walnuts, frozen sprite and orange juice (which on a 45C day is absolutely wonderful) and more cantaloupe, watermelon, and little sweet fruits (which I found out later were figs) than we could handle. Oh, and a room in someone’s house to nap in which turned into a two night homestay at the neighbors with a fun-spirited grandpa and his wonderful teenage grandchildren. Welcome to Georgia, a country which in just three days has lived up to its name as “one of the most hospitable places on earth.”

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Georgia: A Bit of History

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”

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If you are anything like me you can probably hardly even place Georgia on a map (to the east of Turkey, south of Russia, north of Armenia) unless you have already been there, so a little history lesson is in store before we enter into this beautiful country. As a small country of five million inhabitants Georgia is a predominately Eastern Orthodox Christian country which is filled with vineyards, beautiful old churches (due to the fact that they adopted Christianity very early on, in the fourth century), small farming villages, and mountains. The Caucasus, which run down from Russia, host a range of peaks over 5,000m and an array of different national parks and beautiful landscapes to go along with it.

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