Republic of Georgia
September 8-16, 2020
"The Republic of Georgia captures the attention of those with a spirit of adventure and a thirst for discovery. Come visit us and we promise that you will return home with unforgettable memories!"
Georgia, located on the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is a unique blend of cultures and traditions. The country offers an amazing variety of heritage, religions and fascinating landscapes from snowy peaks of the Caucasus mountain range to the fertile lowlands; semi-deserts to wetlands and subtropics.At every step you come across the profound evidence of flourishing culture and centuries-old traditions that are still alive.
Officially recognized as the birthplace of wine-making, Georgia keeps producing great variety of wines in its unique and ancient way – fermenting the grapes in clay jars buried in the ground. Georgian Polyphonic singing and folk dancing culture is another highlight. This culture is still vibrant and visitors are often treated with improvised concerts and shows anywhere they are in Georgia – because and as the saying goes “every Georgian is a Singer and Dancer”.
But perhaps no other part of Georgian culture reflects the nature of its people as the cuisine and feasting habits associated with it – a diversity of tasty dishes from various parts of the country that have been influenced by many cultures that passed through.
Days 1 & 2 – Arrival & Tbilisi: Capital and largest city of Georgia; established in 5th century, Tbilisi is the best example of Georgian hospitality and diversity. Churches stand alongside mosques and synagogues, ancient buildings mix with modern architecture, and apart from tasting delicacies of local cuisine one can enjoy food from all corners of the world. Tbilisi has a truly cosmopolitan ambience, yet has maintained its own unique spirit.
Days 3 & 4 – Kakheti Region: The center of Georgian wine-making, Kakheti is also home to countless historical monuments and stunning landscapes. Here we will enjoy visits to wineries, ancient cultural monuments and breathtaking views of Caucasus Mountains. One overnight stay in Telavi and, on day 4, evening return to Tbilisi.
Day 5 – Imereti Region with overnight stay in Kutaisi: Imereti is arguably the champion of cuisine, especially when it comes to preparing dishes from vegetables and dairy products. Kutaisi was once the capital of Georgia and has more than 3,000 years of history.
Days 6 & 7 – The Black Sea Region is a special part of Georgia with lush green forests and subtropical climate. The major city of Batumi is an interesting blend of 19th century architecture and ultra modern structures; one of the largest botanical gardens in Europe is also here, as well as a Roman Fort from the 2nd century.
Day 8 – Return to Tbilisi.
Days 9 & 10 – The beauty of the majestic Caucasus Mountains is best observed here in the Kazbegi Region. The ride from Tbilisi transports visitors back in time through tribal lands and amazing beauty. Stay overnight in Kazbegi with an evening return to Tbilisi.
Day 11 - Departure. Bring home all those memories.
We will visit several YMCA Georgia operations throughout the trip. The YMCA here was established in 1991 and is one of the first and still active non-governmental organizations operating in Georgia. The YMCA has enjoyed steady and regular growth and from one sports program in 1991, it now includes a National Association and four local YMCAs. The YMCA of Georgia is a member of European Alliance of YMCAs (YMCA Europe).
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What Will It Cost?
The cost of this excursion is all-inclusive of in-country transportation, all hotels, all meals and entrance fees. The cost has just been reduced from $4,225 to $2,475 er person thanks to an anonymous benefactor. Transportation will be comfortable motor coach and hotels have been chosen by YMCA leadership for their location, standards and comfort. Round-trip air fare and travel insurance is NOT included and may be booked directly through GO TRAVEL.
Your YMCA Alumni Hosts:
Your hosts on this tour are Bill Hooson and Teri Key-Hooson of the Weatherford YMCA Alumni chapter. Bill Hooson has been working with the Republic of Georgia since it seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991. He has traveled throughout the country and helped establish YMCAs in Batumi, Kutaisi, Tbilisi, and Telavi.
He helped develop a successful program for teaching teens about democracy using the models of Youth in Government and Model U.N.
Bill continues to work closely with Gela Chikhradze, National Secretary of the YMCA of the Republic of Georgia. Several concepts they conceived in the early '90s have incubated into reality and are moving forward with success.
Bill loves the hospitality of the Georgian people and their rich culture and traditions and is looking forward to sharing this beautiful country and its well-earned reputation for welcoming visitors with YMCA Alumni.
Click on the GO TRAVEL logo above to learn more. All trips must be booked through Go Travel. GO TRAVEL can also book your air and trip insurance.
You may also email Bill Hooson or call Bill or Teri at (770) 786-8096.