A highlight of the trip was to stay with one of the very first local business partners of the Borjomi Kharaguali National Park – Guesthouse Nick and George, in the village of Atskuri on the edge of the national park. Arriving was an emotional time – it felt like returning to family. A simple clean comfortable house surrounded by a wonderfully productive garden and with a delightful outside kitchen – it is an oasis of serenity.
Maia, our host, is an excellent cook, preparing tasty Georgian dishes with ingredients from her garden and the village. The bread and khatcharpuri are cooked in a traditional Georgian bread oven, the smooth but potent wine comes from her vines and is made in the ancient Georgian way in a qvevri in the ground, refreshing fresh cherry juice is served in PAN Parks branded glasses and accompanies the tender shashlik grilled over charcoal. The small table is completely covered in plates and bowls, and just when you think it is safe to think the feast is over, another tantalising dish appears.
After dinner, you can stroll around this small mountain village in the company of Mickey the smiling dog. Everyone you meet will greet you with genuine warmth and amusement at the few words of badly pronounced Georgian you respond with.
Nick and George’s is an excellent base for trekking – in fact you can ride horses belonging to the family up along one of the trails and spend a night high in the hills in a tourism shelter belonging to the park. Sadly on this trip we did not have time.
Maia (originally trained as a lawyer in Moscow) is very proud of her quality of life and sharing it with guests, her hospitality is as huge as her heart and chances are you will arrive as a guest and leave as a friend. When we came to depart, both my wife and myself had tears running down our cheeks as we drove back on to the main road to travel to our next magical destination.
Many people I speak to ask if Georgia is safe - the only danger is that you will leave a part of your heart and soul there and be constantly drawn back.
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- Also Known As:
- Guest House Nick & George Georgia/Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park