A long weekend looming in the distance, and Son away with
Grandma, the vaccinated Diplomat and I thought it would be a neat idea to go
somewhere in an attempt to pretend that all was like before. There were several
perfect flights leaving on a Friday night and coming back on a Monday night –
The trip started really well. The airport in Kyiv is about 25 kms from downtown, and it usually takes about 40 mins to get there, which increases to an hour and a bit during Friday afternoon traffic. Cleverly anticipating this, and counting on stopping by the VIP lounge to grab an early dinner and glass of bubbly, we left a whole lot earlier than usual (much to the constant consternation of the Diplomat, I am one of those people who always leaves at the last moment to go to the airport since I detest waiting aimlessly there, so leaving early was a big deal). 15 minutes later, we dove into interminable traffic. It turned out that the Kyiv municipality had waited until Friday peak traffic to begin an enormous reconstruction of one of the key bridges taking folks towards that part of town where the airport is located. And not only that, but it decided to couple that with a profound road construction of the entire highway leading there, cutting 4 lanes to one. After some creative driving (I am pretty sure at some point, the cab driver drove through the fields), two hours later, disheveled and highly irritable, we burst into the airport with about 20 minutes to spare to boarding. I am a planner. If I had decided that I would go to the lounge for a light snack and bubbly, then by golly, I WILL go to that damn lounge and have my (sad looking) snack and bubbly. And so I did. And I even packed a spare (sad looking) sandwich for the plane, just in case. All of that in 7 minutes! Ha!
3 hours later, we descended into the balmy night air of
We arrived in style at the majestic
The next morning, we set off to explore the beautiful city under the blazing sun. Since we started at 11 am, we soon felt like we should nosh on something to tie us over to lunch. So, nosh we did, coupled with a few glasses of fresh, homemade rose. Then we killed a couple of hours checking out architecture, until it was time to lunch in style at the magical Keto & Kote. Perched on a high street in old town, the restaurant has incredible food and fantastic view. Few bottles of wine later had us taking an afternoon nap at the hotel. We had to prepare for dinner, after all! Dinner was much simpler, at a wine store aptly called 1000 Vintages. It seems the place has two locations and we ended up in the more underwhelming one, without a full-fledged restaurant but still serving amazing meat platters. Meat and wine. Hello! We went through a rapid 12-wine tasting only to deduce that neither of us felt strongly about the traditional Georgian style of wines (they are kept in clay pots, which leaves a distinctive aftertaste). We did feel very strongly about the ones that were done in the classic style and to prove it, bought ourselves a whooping $50 bottle of red for dinner (that is expensive for Georgia but we were feeling reckless after tasting 12 wines in under 10 minutes). I don’t remember much of it though since, well, you know, the 12 wines…
sulguni and bread, she brought out a large box of salad which was apparently her own lunch and insisted we finish it all, while cutting more and more bread. Her cup of joy was not full, however, until she pulled out a plastic bottle of home wine from the fridge and filled out a giant plastic cup of wine for each one of us, including herself. For the next hour, we ate a kilo of cheese, two breads, a salad, and drank 2 liters of a most delicious, light white wine.
A visit to
The rest of our stay was more walking, more heat, more gorgeous architecture, smiling and helpful people, and more delicious food and wine. We capped the weekend with a long and saturating visit to a wine store, which allowed us to bring back 15 bottles of wine and cognac. What a great country!