|Morris E. Gatsby, Esq.|
Today, however, I wish to blog about a subject of great importance. Namely, my attempt to get from my home (near the baths) to the phenomenal, Beardsley-themed art nouveau Near Opera cafe off Rustaveli Avenue, my favorite place for Uzbek pilaf and slightly warm iced coffee. Back in the very beginnings of my time in Tbilisi, I lived at 1 Rustaveli Avenue, making my sojourn reasonably simple (continue down avenue, do not trip over makeshift boardwalk, avoid the surprisingly strong clutches of the resident child-beggar, do not get mistaken for a prostitute.) Now, however, due to the labyrinthine nature of the Old Town, my options are more varied, and infinitely more interesting.
Note: map in no way resembles actual route.
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Option One: Via Betlemi
If it's a bright, sunny, and otherwise lovely day, I may decide to take the ostensible "shortcut" through the renovated hillsides of Betlemi, where I will suffer through exhausting ascents in order to end up in one of the loveliest hidden gardens near the Betelmi church. It's a paradise of a hidden garden; however, I have a 50% chance of getting lost and ending up either at the foot of a Zoroastrian Fire Temple located conveniently in someone's backyard or, alternatively, at the top of the Narikala Fortress. From the stairs near the Lower Betelmi Church one can descend into Asatiani Street and continue to Freedom Square via the controversial Gudiashvili Square. At this point I'll get distracted by the pretty Ottoman-inspired architecture and end up going to Pur Pur instead.
Option Two: Via the Old Town
|Renovations are, however, |
still in process.
Option Three: Along the River
However, Caravan is often inexplicably closed and/or without electricity (around 50% of the time, including most of the summer and winter, and including on the days in which they are set to "reopen"), which means that I may be inspired to head all the way to Rustaveli Avenue and walk down to the opera house.
And thus, approximately one in every six times I attempt an outing to Near Opera for wonderful khachapuri and/or mojitos, I actually succeed. Given the various circuitous twists and turns, the 2.5 kilometre walk takes me about an hour from the baths.
Let this be a lesson unto you, O readers. There is no direct way to get from point A to Point B in Tbilisi.