This is the third time in 10 years I’ve been to Tbilisi, Georgia. I stayed near Avlabari metro station close to New Orthodox church a great base for our crew of five. Tbilisi is a great walking city some very fine old buildings mixed with the new. The city and country is screaming out for serious European investment.
Must see sites include the castle via cable car, the Parliament and the main museum detailing political history of Georgia. Day trips to Gori, Jvari, Mtsketa, and Uplistsikle Cave Complex. Trips were done with a private driver from our hotel very reasonably.
Tbilisi has some fine bars and restaurants such as Bernard bar at Liberty Square, the Hangar bar, and the Barbarossa Georgian restaurant. The city has a decent metro system, buying a metro card allows multiple users to get to the stadium close to the main railway station.
52,000 attended an uneventful game with few chances for both sides.
Kutaisi was next port of call, staying at the Max Comfort Hotel 3km from the city centre. Kutaisi is a little run down functioning city. The Parliament moved there 4 years ago in a bid to attract investment. We hit the small city centre dominated by a beautiful park and opera house theatre. Dined in a lovely restaurant called Baraja. The next morning we departed Kutaisi on a 4-hour Wizz Air flight to Basel.
Basel Airport is in Mulhouse France, a 20 minute train ride to Basel (which was free with a valid hotel reservation). We dined in a very nice Turkish restaurant called Anatolia near Market square. We proceeded onwards to Geneva by train.
Geneva is definitely first world. The day of the game was extremely wet. Our Ibis Hotel in Lancy was close to stops on no 14 tram line and airport bus 23 line – very convenient. The game itself was a disappointment in terms of result but the team tried very valiantly. I thought the stadium was poorly attended by the locals, just 24,000 people. For such an important game the pitch was a disgrace, the local club Servette have a lot to answer in terms of ground preparation. The grass was very bare in many areas.
Geneva is extremely expensive, 20 Swiss francs will get you two coffees and two sparkling waters. Sights to see: with the free transport go to the United Nations, Red Cross buildings; a lovely walking city visit the shores of Lake Geneva, the Old Town near the University. We took an excellent boat trip to Hermance and back. Crew members: John A Reidy, Paul Coffey, Pat Scott, Dave King, Kevin Madden. All five of us agreed we had a wonderful trip.