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Georgia & Armenia 21st September
Post: #1
Just back from this fascinating and eye opening trip.  Roger covered a lot of the useful stuff in his review so I will only add a few personal observations.  

Some of the feedback from the first trip has been listened to as the itinerary on the first day was substantially changed with the city tour of Tbilisi being split between day one and the last day which was a relief after an uncomfortable flight on Georgian Airways.  I agree with Roger that the inflight food was horrendous and not even a blanket or pillow for an overnight flight. We did get to Uplistskhe and it was fantastic - so sorry the earlier trip missed out on this.  However we also did not get to Sighnaghi as apparently there was not enough time on the day.  Personally I would happily have missed out on the cooking masterclass at the winery but apparently even this would not have allowed enough time to visit the village so I have to wonder if this is ever going to happen on any trip.  On the trip to the caves, we were not given the option to leave by boat and only found out at the end that this has to be selected at the ticket office at the beginning which was disappointing.  

The itinerary was constantly changed, sometimes to good effect and sometimes not e.g the dinner at Saragumo winery was changed to another venue but we still went to the winery for a tasting session which seemed superfluous since we had already had a wine tasting at Kharuba winery earlier in the week.  At neither venue was there opportunity to purchase altho I did manage to buy a bottle of cha cha at Saragumo but was obviously holding things up by doing so.

Road closures were also a feature of our trip.  When we were leaving Tbilisi to drive to Armenia it was discovered that the roads in Tbilisi were closed for the annual Tbilisi marathon, something only the police and the runners seemed to be aware of.   Arriving in Armenia, we could not visit Alaverdy as the road was closed for roadworks.

Cost of living is higher in Armenia and I spent as much in 3 days as I spent in a week in Georgia but still only spent about $200 overall.  The food and drink were of a high standard with only one restaurant falling down on service for which the local agents compensated us with free drinks.

As I said at the start this trip was an eye opener.  I loved Georgia but I fell in love with Armenia.  What a gutsy little country, stunningly beautiful and surprisingly to me far more switched on to tourism than Georgia.

Our local guides, Tamara in Georgia and Elya in Armenia were brilliant,  passionate about their countries, knowledgeable & approachable.  The drivers were amazing, moving the coaches around incredible hair pin bends etc with ease and Lashla in particular executing seemingly impossible 3 point turns when items got left behind on a couple of occasions.  No names, no pack drill but it wasn't me!!
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Post: #2
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your review, I visited both countries last year with another company and had a wonderful time.   I think both countries are really gutsy and so proud of their heritage!  I'm so glad you loved your time there as much as I did.

Best wishes,

Bob
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Post: #3
Hi Chris

Thank you for your review. I would love to visit both Georgia and Armenia one day. It will be when I have tired myself of long haul trips!

Regards

Jaya
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