06.01.2015. It’s become a family tradition in recent years to slip away over New Year to somewhere not too far away – no point in spending too many hours on a plane – yet a place that offers markedly different attractions from the UAE. For four years, we’ve chosen Istanbul, for its architecture, for the delights of a Bosphorus cruise and, of course, for the shopping.
This year, we opted for something entirely different and went to Georgia. Once our friends realised that we weren't flying all that way across the Atlantic for a mere three or four days, their response was mainly one of curiosity. Nestled in the south-western Caucasus, this small country clearly has a long way to go in attracting tourists from the Emirates, despite direct flights from Sharjah and Dubai. That said, we were happy to find some other UAE citizens and expatriate residents in the hotel we had selected.
A quick internet check told us some of what to expect: mountains and river valleys and a n abundance of ancient castles, churches and monasteries, for Georgia is overwhelmingly Christian, the religion having arrived there in the 1st century AD. Indeed the Georgian alphabet is said to have been created in the 5th century for the purpose of translating the Bible into the Georgian language.