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Tbilisi: Worth the Detour?

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I am continuing with my research for places I may try to visit this summer and I stumbled upon Georgia. I was surprised that the country looks so, well…Western. Sure, I saw in the images relics of Soviet occupation as well as some Ottoman influence, but nonetheless, places like the capital, Batumi and Kakheti's provincial capital all seemed to have a strong Western air to them. It appears as if the government is using its oil revenues to build/rebuild a newly independent Western nation with efficient public transport, new architecture that resembles old European architecture and etc. In short, I am impressed. Does the country feel mostly Western or am I being fooled by the photos?

Anyways, Tbilisi would definitely and TOTALLY be out of the way, logistically speaking. However, I do not want to miss out on an impressive sightseeing destination. In that part of the world and related to Georgia’s history, I’ve been to Istanbul and Moscow and was impressed by both-but I doubt either of those cities can be compared to Tbilisi.

To be honest, I generally do not find impressive those ‘Ottoman’ style Asia Minor towns. I find them to have too many ugly buildings surrounding the pretty stuff. Perhaps I am making this sound too complicated. Let me put it like this-Is Tbilisi uniformly pretty or are there only relatively small sections of the city pretty while these areas and the outskirts are basically surrounded by faceless concrete-looking buildings? Think Istanbul (mostly pretty) versus Athens (some pretty areas surrounded by mostly unattractive areas). Do you think Tbilisi is a pretty sightseeing destination onto itself?

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