Friday, December 2, 2011

Kutaisi Part 2

Sunday morning we woke up on our own, and I remembered why I love traveling with other travelers. We all slept as long as we liked, and then , around 9:30, we all noticed that the others were waking up. Then, by 10:00 AM, we had all done our respective morning routines, and at 10:30 we were standing outside a restaurant we were told had great crepes (sadly it was closed and we needed to walk to an open restaurant. They didn't have things like tea and coffee, so, in turns we all went across the street to a little market to beef up our breakfast). The original group of five who came to Kutaisi together had been joined by another seven TLGers, all on their way to the Prometheus Cave. We realized that instead of taking two marshutkas and walking all over the place, we might be able to charter a marshutka to take us straight to the cave and take us back to the McDoland's, instead of the local marshutka station. It worked, and for 40 Lari, twelve of us had a great and confortable time getting to and from the cave. The Prometheus Cave is a national park, and I think that was the reason it was free. Either way, they told us to wait for the English speaking tour guide, and, for their statistics, tell them how many of us were from where. So we split up into the two Brits, two Ausies, two Kiwis, and six Americans. Sorry Canada...
The walk down to the cave was beautiful enough with much more green than I see in Poti. There were these white rocks that made a very sharp contrast with the green, it was all so beautiful. Then we entered the cave.
Every time I see a cave I have to remind myself that we are still on planet earth. It is really otherworldly. This cave had walkways and lights all over the place making neat shadows and effects.

I learned a whole lot about caves because another one of my friends went to school for Geology. We went through the different halls and saw amazing formations. When we got to the second to last big hall the tour guide asked us if we want to hear more, and we said “sure”. Suddenly the theme song to Titanic is playing and all 12 TLG volunteers fell SILENT! We just stared at each other for a minute or two to trying not to laugh and then the light show started and, well, I will never be able to think of anything else when I hear that song. It was an experience!

When we got out of the cave, I realized that there was no mention at all of Prometheus and was SO disappointed. But then I realized that the cave wasn't even discovered until recently, so alas, this is not the cave that led to the Prometheus myth...
But the whole trip was a whole lot of fun, and when we got out of the cave, I was thankful that we had chartered the marshutka because all we needed to do was walk right back to the van and next thing we knew we were back at McDonald's and spending way too much money on the food. Seriously, why is it that in America, there is a dollar menu, but in Georgia, the cheapest item is an apple for 3 lari. It costs me 3 lari to take a taxi across town! I understand why it costs so much here, it is the only fast food in Georgia, it is American, and because we will pay that much for a piece of home, even if it makes us feel greasy and unclean for the rest of the day. But I need to go out for a big meal at a real Georgian place soon, because I can't go home knowing that I spent more money in a McDonald's than I did on any other meal.
Great day, great friends and one amazing time.

PS, thank you to Ben for letting me use his pictures from the weekend. 

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