Mention the place Georgia, and a few things come to mind. Peaches, the city of Atlanta, UGA the bulldog from the University of Georgia. Wait, this isn't about the State of Georgia in the southern part of the United States. No, this is about the country of Georgia.

There's a country of Georgia? Yes, as a matter of fact, there is. Found technically in Asia, Georgia was once part of the Soviet Union--but really has a European feel to it. And it was once a getaway for some of Russia's elite looking to get away from it all.

They came for the delicious wines and brandy, the ceramics and embroidered goods. You can get all that, plus enjoy yourself at Georgia's theaters and Folk Theaters, its bars and restaurants.

What's truly remarkable about Georgia is its all encompassing welcome of guests. Their motto is along the lines of "guests are gifts from God", and Georgians really take that to heart. Let someone overhear you're from someplace else, and you'll be bombarded with welcomes, drinks from just about everyone. It may seem a bit overwhelming, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the Black Sea Coast with its seaside resorts. And perhaps this is why the the spa towns like Borjomi are so popular.

Of course, if you're looking to get away from just about anyone and everyone--head to the Caucasus Mountains that run from the Black to Caspian Seas. Winter or summer, it doesn't matter, because here in the mountains you can do everything from heli-ski at the ski resorts to hiking the mountain trails in summer.

Georgia's highest peak, by the way, is Mt. Kazbek at 16,554 feet.

Over at Lake Tabatskun you'll find a 60-meter high waterfall. And while you're out there trekking around, look for any and all of Georgia's 360 bird species. Georgia has its natural beauty, but its also got its architectural beauty as well. The Daba Monastery dates back to the 12th century, while the UNESCO designated Svetitskhoveli (a Cathedral) was said to have been built on the site over where someone brought Christ's Crucifixion robe back in 328. Narikala Fortress is just about as old, even though this current structure came along in the 17th century--its original one goes back 13 centuries before that.

Religious sites don't end here, the Ateni Sioni Church, near the town of Gori, offer the chance to see frescoes dating back a thousand years. If you think that's old, consider how ancient the pre-Christian graves found here are. With all this sightseeing the Sulphur Baths, with 19th century Bathhouse no less, is always a brilliant idea. And speaking of baths, the Turkish Bathhouse in Batumi is quite famous. The Ajarian Museum and Botanical Gardens are located here, too. It doesn't take rocket science to realize why those who could, would want to visit Georgia. The Spring and Autumn are truly the best months to enjoy it all--unless you're into the whole winter sports thing--then by all means, come when the snow does.

Don't even worry if you don't speak Georgian, Russian, or Azeri and Armenian--you'll get along fine. Who cares if gifts from God don't speak the same language, a gift is a gift no matter what; and Georgia is always glad to you.

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