Tbilisi, Georgia: The Cat Woman of Old Town

Trip Start Jul 28, 2013
Trip End Feb 06, 2014

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Flag of Georgia  , Tbilisi,
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If nothing more the night train from Batumi to Tbilisi was a glorious 7 hour sleep. Even with fellow companions in our cabin, no one snored and a restful sleep was had by all.

Arriving in Tbilisi at the bright and breezy hour of 7am we headed straight to our hostel "Art Hostel" and were pleased to discover we were able to check into our private room there and then so did so and slept until noon. Don't believe everything you hear, backpacking is hard!

Our next few days were spent exploring this beautiful city built in a valley along a river. Like Batumi ultra modern buildings are visible but Tbilisi's roots seem more engrained with the old far outweighing the new. Above the city sits the beautiful Nariqala Fortress so we caught a cable car up there, ignoring the wind which would surely have shut down any European one, and enjoyed the magnificent views across the city and snaking river.

Our Hostel was situated opposite Old Town which comprised of two main streets merging into one past a church and Cat Woman and into another restauranty area. No complaints on the hostel, bar the fact it only had two showers, in the one room facing each other so basically one shower. The bars and restaurants were trendy cool with wicker furniture, colour cushions, organic cows, sushi, hookha pipes, waffles, Pad Thai's, German beer, Georgian wine etc all very good, they just lacked atmosphere and people. At most places, if not all, we were the only ones in there.

Amongst all the beggars, for which there are many, Cat Woman definitely stood out and that wasn't just because of the funky odour emanating as you walked past. Having made her home on two sides of the cobbled street which connects the two bar/restaurant areas in Old Town she appears to merrily spend her day cuddling and feeding kittens and cats with the odd dog or puppy thrown in for good measure. Always humming she seems happy enough, even when it rained she was curled up smiling with a wee ginger kitten tucked under her chin. That's one thing that definitely stood out though, the amount of beggars. You couldn't walk 10m without passing someone - old, young, women, men, nicely dress or wearing tatty clothes. The number was immense but at least you weren't hassled - they simple stood there muttering a few words whilst shaking their tin or cup.

We didn't have any nights out in Tblisis as getting rather bored of drinking - yes you heard it straight. Was excited to go to a shopping mall but discovered it was too far out so bailed that. Bought a headscarf in case we get our VISA's for Iran. Seeing me in that was probably the highlight of Sam's day. We will find out in Baku whether or not we can definitely go.
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