Many Georgians seem to sing the word Borjomi, THE Georgian mineral water and spa town, with a longing in their voices and a hands over their hearts. What we learned is that most people haven't visited in 20 or 30 years…some things have changed since the time when Borjomi was one of the most famous spa towns in the Soviet Union, a place for the elite to drink the waters and recover from all the drinking, smoking and poor eating the rest of the year.
Our stay in Borjomi was short, just long enough to wait in line with the locals and drink the famous mineral water directly from the source. Difficult to gulp down, the water tastes faintly of iron filings, but is supposedly the equivalent of “drinking a pharmacy,” (not something we're certain we want to do) according to Marina, our homestay host in Borjomi.
Georgians hold water dear to their hearts and believe that if you drink enough, you might just wash away the effects of all your vices. We're not so sure.
Borjomi Travel Tips: Transport, Accommodation and Food
- How to get there: Marshrutka from Didube station in Tbilisi – 7 Lari/person.
- Where to stay: Marina Abugadze, Kovtava 17 (267 2 09 30). A simple homestay in a courtyard walking distance from the park, train station and bus station. Marina doesn't speak English, but others in the courtyard do. She is a very sweet host. 10 Lari/person.
- Where to eat: The train station has two restaurants in its vicinity. The bakery right next to the bus station serves up heavenly bread (perhaps the best tonis puri we'd tasted in Georgia).
- What to do: Drink the waters directly from the source (don't forget your own water bottle). Hike in Borjomi National Park. Check yourself into a sanitorium to cleanse all your ills.