Take a holiday to Georgia and you will find a populace fiercely proud of their country, and for the visitor this translates into an open-armed welcome as outside Tbilisi you will find yourself staying in family-run guesthouses and local homes. Ramble through the narrow cobbled streets of Tbilisi, where balconies almost touch, peer into tiny courtyards and check out the sophisticated shops, clubs and restaurants.
Travel along the Georgian Military Highway through the dramatic Caucasus Mountains, home to stone watchtowers and villages where life has changed little. The infrastructure may not be up to much but the stunning scenery as you follow mountain trails past lakes and waterfalls is compensation enough. Try the mineral water in one of the health spas and maybe learn the secret of why so many Georgians live to be over 100 years old.
Georgia's most famous son was Stalin, so pay a visit to his home town of Gori where you will be frankly astounded at the flattering museum dedicated to his life. Make time to explore the 3rd century BC cave city of Uplis-Tsikhe and then join the locals for some wine tasting and indulge in some waist-expanding home-cooked food.
If you're looking for souvenirs to bring back from Armenia, we recommend bartering for hand-made jewellery, obsidian chess sets, carpets, abstract paintings etc at Vernissage in Yerevan - it's a huge weekend open-air flea market, centrally located on Pavstos Biuzand Boulevard - just follow the crowds!
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