Day 12 – Georgia III (Tbilisi centre)


I wake up and look for a towel to use after shower. The bathtub is small with preformed seat for half of it. The boiler is over the taps and there is no place to stand. I shower seated. When Tamo wakes up, she prepares breakfast with cheese and eggs, and accepts that I take Sisi, the dog, for a walk. The lift does not work, meaning 8 floors down and up. She works from 10 to 19h, it is somehow the office working hours here.


I’m at the meeting point of a walking tour, but nobody shows up. I see there is another tour starting on the other side of the Liberty square – the center point of Tbilisi. This time the tour guide is there. The tour is ok, going around the old town Tbilisi. Like in Skopje, stray dogs follow the group and bark to other people getting nearby. The weather is not cozy at all: windy, rainy and cold. The tour ends at the sulfur baths and as I’m freezing, I go inside to the public bath.

Upstairs I pay to an unfriendly woman at an old guichet while she is on the phone. She gives me a paper receipt to give downstairs. I enter the men’s section and two dunk guys in front of a  table with a mess of food and empty glasses are there. I give my ticket and 3 Lari to rent a sheet that will be to cover and also serve as towel at the end. Inside the baths the people are naked. There are several showers in the middle to clean oneself – I don’t have soap or scrubbing glove… -, the sauna is next to the toilet (which is hot like a sauna), there is a small pool of very hot sulfur water and few marble beds to lay down. It is a mix of Turkish hammam with Japanese onsen in a Soviet environment and state of degradation. I do circuit from one element to another. Some people try to talk in Georgian to me. When I go back to the changing room, as my sheet is completely wet, I wait to naturally dry. The drunk guys offer glass of tea to other people. After a while they also offer me (they have only 3 glasses that rotate). It is not tea, it is schnapps – Chacha, I learn. I say I’m from Portugal and he makes me a canapé with some paté. A bit later another glass, this time with sprite. I ask for a photo and they want I do with one of them.


The cold is much more bearable after the bath. I stop in a café, take banana shake I quickly go to see the cathedral before heading back home. Tamo is doing some home work and cooking. I try to decide about the rest of the trip and the options to return home.


After diner I do the dishes and then we play Codenames. It is not easy to play this English word game, with some ‘lost in translation’, as each of us has a difference reference for words definitions.