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Georgian Food: A Culinary Travel Guide to the Republic of Georgia

Georgian food

Georgian food is arguably one of the world’s most underrated cuisines, featuring flavors from Greece and the Mediterranean, as well as influences from Turkey and Persia. This Georgian food guide is drawn from experiences traveling across the country — visits to local markets, meals in family homes and restaurants, and even an impromptu cooking course. It offers an extensive list of traditional Georgian dishes as well as tips on what to eat and drink when you visit.

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Travel in Central Asia and the Caucasus: Best Sights, People and Scenery

From mosques and mountains to hats and limousines, the often unusual sights and scenery of the Caucasus and Central Asia always kept us guessing. Here are some of the more memorable landscapes, religious buildings, cultural artifacts, animals, and people that we encountered during the five months we traveled across these regions. If you check out the categories and keep reading, you'll see why this is a unique part of the world and travel experience.

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Marshrutka Monologues (or, Why We Travel the Way We Do)

I thought Americans liked to travel in comfort. I don’t know why you take a marshrutka.

You should take the marshrutka. There you will meet the real people.

— Two competing local views on whether or not we should subject ourselves to long-distance rides on marshrutka minivans, the dominant form of public transport in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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Reflections: Crossing the Caspian Sea

Your trip across the Caspian may provide some of the scariest and most fulfilling moments of your entire journey.

— A veteran journalist we met in Tbilisi, Georgia who had seen it all in the former Soviet Union.

Although we are posting this from Pingyao, China, we dial back a few clicks to the beginning of our journey in Central Asia in an attempt to adequately address the images in our mind and the notes in our journals.

Oddly shaped like a damaged index finger or a distressed plume of smoke, the Caspian Sea pumps out oil and caviar in the midst of the surrounding desert and extreme landscape.

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Lazing in Lahic: Caucasus Hill Towns

Lahic was the last of the Caucasus hill villages we visited and it reaffirmed that hill villages often have the most to offer in terms of scenery and real life experiences. They are generally hard to get to and usually involve boarding a Soviet-era school bus that should have been retired 20 years ago.

Lahic Elder - Lahic, Azerbaijan
Welcoming committee in Lahic, Azerbaijan

Winters in these remote villages are difficult – roads get snowed out and access to the rest of the world and its goods is limited. Locals reflect their accumulated years of difficulty with an outwardly rough exterior, but they usually soften quickly upon engagement. Even a “hello” in the local language will bring smiles, invitations for tea (or vodka), and possible induction into the extended family.

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Visiting Shaki, Azerbaijan: From the Khan’s Place to Local Conversations

While visiting the village of Kish just outside of Shaki, the Azerbaijani long weekend getaway of choice, we struck up a conversation with a newlywed couple – a young dentist and his wife – as they gave us a ride back into town.

Azerbaijan Travel, Khan's Palace in Shaki
Khan's Palace in Shaki

The situation with doctors and dentists is really bad in Azerbaijan. My salary as a dentist is only $30 per month.

“How could you afford a car like this on $30 per month?” Audrey asked, as she sank back into the deep plush seat of his Mercedes sedan.

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