Georgia on my mind

A billboard in Latvia sells summer in Georgia
A billboard in Latvia sells summer in Georgia

Georgia will be my first South Caucasus destination and appropriately a Georgian theme develops while I am still far from those parts.

On the eve of my departure for Riga, I dine with friends in a Georgian restaurant in Kensington. We eat Georgian mezze and drink Georgian wine and witness a touching scene of Anglo-Russian friendship.

Two tables placed at a right angle have English speakers along one length and Russian speakers on the other. They have gathered to celebrate the 40th birthday of a Russian woman called Zhenya. A succession of guests rise and give toasts in English or Russian, heaping tributes on Zhenya, who sits centre stage and beams happily. It is by all accounts a good party!

A few days later, in Riga, I have the chance to listen to one of Georgia’s leading singers, Nino Katamadze. She is a big-hearted woman with a voice to match. She and her band play to a full house at the Riga Congress Centre.

In the Latvian capital, just one country seems to stand out in terms of advertising its charms as a tourist destination. No prizes for guessing which country! The marketing slogan on billboards in Riga’s streets is “Summer in Georgia”.

One thought on “Georgia on my mind

  1. Summer in Georgia – fabulous!! I was first there in June/July 1996 and it was SO beautiful. Can’t wait to hear your impressions, Stephen!


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