David Gareja

It’s been a while since I slept in a real bed so we decided to sleep a little longer today. Around 11am, we start to pack our stuff for today. Now that we had a car, I suggested to Anush to visit one of the most known tourist attractions of Georgia. David Gareja. The David Gareja monastery complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face.

David Gareja is about 60km southeast of Tbilisi. We took the Kakheti highway to Sagarejo where we went right. Soon after the junction in Sagarejo you have to go left in from of a farm. (There was no sign available). There’s nothing but dry landscapes from this point except for two small villages.

The road is obvious and in a better state than expected. Tour buses take the same road as well. Just before reaching the monastery you’ll find another junction where big signs point you to David Gareja.

Behind the monastery, some paths go up the desert slopes. We walked up half way, but weren’t prepared for a long walk so decided to return to the car. You do get a nice view on the monastery and its setting from this point.

There is no cafe or shop to buy drinks at the monastery. At the entrance was a small plastic water reservoir. Unfortunately it was empty.

It was getting late in the afternoon already and we were getting hungry. Therefor we decided to stop and the only cafe in the region. It’s well worth to stop there even if you don’t need anything. The people at the bar are friendly and did a nice job on decorating this old building. The furniture exists mainly of reused wooden pallets with some cushions to make it more cosy.

The next day, Anush was going back to Yerevan already. So when we were back in Tbilisi, we had to go find a place where she could take a marshrutka to Yerevan. We first head to the trainstation, but they couldn’t help us. Trains were a little more expensive and took much longer.

We were finally sent to Metro Station Avlabari. The seems to be the Armenian quarter of Tbilisi. There are a lot of marshrutkas in the middle of the square, but those leaving to Yerevan are standing just next to the little park in front of the small church. This park opened actually very recent and is named ‘Yerevan Park’.

Another reference to Armenia can be found on the other side of Avlabari Square. There is a statue of a movie. Unfortunately, I forgot the link with Armenia. I’ll update this as soon as I know it myself again 🙂