We have travelled all the way to Tbilisi, Georgia for our wedding. A few years ago, when Brian reconnected with his birth mother after over 50 years, he found out that he was a quarter Georgian. After WW1, his grandfather fought with other British troops alongside the White Russians, against the Bolsheviks. He met and married Olga Gritshook in 1919, firstly in Georgia, then during the journey home, and a third time back in Hartlepool. During a drunken moment, we decided it would be a great idea to do try to repeat the story and have three weddings….so here we are! Wedding 1 is the official ceremony, and takes place on 02.05.15 at noon, after a very stressful few weeks trying to get all the documentation in place.
This is the first blog of our trip so far. We travelled down to London on Monday, and had a meal with Cidalia, a friend from Portugal who we met in Sintra when we got engaged there a couple of years ago. She is now nursing in London.
On Tuesday, we flew out to Tbilisi from Gatwick via Kiev. What were the odds of getting seated next to a guy who had got married in Tbilisi and got married three times?!! Ian, who is American, and his Georgian wife, will be attending our wedding tomorrow! On arrival late in the evening, we discovered our room had a balcony, and our joint reaction to the view of the floodlit city was “wow.”
Our driver and guide, Irakli, has been a fountain of knowledge. Our introductory tour of the old town on Wednesday, was a fascinating insight into this historic and religiously tolerant city, which has a wide range of architectural styles reflecting the various city conquerers of the time.
Thursday saw us depart for two days in the east of the country, with the snow covered peaks of the Caucasus mountains ever-present as a backdrop. Highlight was spending time with a family in their homestead for a traditional lunch with home produced wine and music. We stayed overnight at Telavi, having visited Bodbe monastery and the hill town of Signagi. Today we journeyed back to Tbilisi via Alaverdi Cathederal and the Tsinandali Estate museum. We finished our day with a trip on the Tbilisi cable car at dusk, returning once everything was floodlit.
Sakartvelos gaumarjos! (cheers to Georgia!)