Winter Break

To be honest, I was counting days till my arrival back home. It was a first time for me spending some much time away from Georgia, living independently, without any of my friends or family members. I had huge plans for my comeback, tried to make every single day from my vacation memorable and pleasant. That’s exactly what happened.

Reunion with my hometown was nostalgic and full of emotions. Days went by so quickly, I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. As it wasn’t enough, me and my friends took off for Svaneti – a wonderful, mountainous ski resort in Georgia. That was the very first time when I learnt how to ski. It was marvelous. I was skiing for 5 days straight, non-stop and even though I was new at this and my muscle pain was killing me, I couldn’t say no to that amazing feeling.

I will, most likely, never forget this trip and the astonishing memories that will haunt me for the lifetime!

After spending some quality time with my friends, it was my family’s turn. At the end of January, we left for GREECE – a country of sun and warmth. We visited a very small town called Kavala and properly relaxed for 5 days. I can’t really say straight if it looked more like Positano (Italy) or Monaco (France), but the city was calm, beautiful and full of seafood!

 

Here are some more badass pics from the very cool app I tend to use quiet often, called HUJI.

 

If you are into exploring new places, visiting non-touristic cities and enjoying adventures, Kavala should be your new destination!

Now, I’m writing all of this from the city of Budapest, instead of actually doing my homework and feeling a little bit nostalgic. But stay tuned, new trips are along the way 🙂

 

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2017 RECAP

My life has never been this eventful so far. 2 years ago, if somebody told me that one day I would be able to reflect on my year with a whole blogpost, I wouldn’t believe it. 2017 was very complicated, with its ups and downs. Starting it very stressful, but ending it with amazing memories, managing to reach my goals and live my life fullest.

I made my dream come true! I’ve got Hungarian scholarship and I left Georgia to study abroad in Budapest for free. I chose the major I was really interested in and I’ve found my path in terms of successful career.

I learnt how to live independently in completely new environment. I made a lot of new friends and some of them very special ones! 🙂 I’ve mastered to be responsible for myself and to be in charge of my life.

I traveled in Milan, Venice, Vienna and explored Budapest every second of my being there.

I met my Italian family in Milano and enjoyed our evening at Lake Como together.

I came across to my very dear friend in Venice and talked whole evening about different stuff.

I went to Vienna with my playmate, who has visited me in Budapest for 10 days.

In December, my Italian family visited me for the weekend and we spent quality time together.

2 weeks ago, I came back to Georgia and realized what an amazing people I’ve left behind. I’m thankful for each moment, good or bad, thus these are the memories that stay with us forever. I’ve already planned exciting things in 2018 and I barely can wait for it!

Happy new year!!:)

24 Hours in Wien

I don’t even know from where to begin. This was my very first trip organized independently, just by me and words can’t even explain how excited, nervous and pumped I was feeling before arriving in Vienna. Luckily, I wasn’t alone and I could share this excitement with my friend, who was probably more excited than I was, as far as she had everything planned beforehand – all the sightseeings, important places, museums and buildings we were supposed to check out.

Our adventure began in a very oddly way. First, our bus was 15 minutes late, but it was not a big deal, however broken bus and being stuck in the middle of nowhere for 2 hours was much of a problem. We departed from Budapest and we hadn’t even left Hungary when our coach just broke down. After all another bus picked us up, but as long as we had a transfer in Bratislava, nobody waited for us because we were late. Luckily, my friend and I and all the other passengers managed to negotiate with the agency and we took next bus leaving for Vienna. So in the end, instead of arriving at 1 pm, we got there at 3 pm. Of course, reaching our apartment took a lot of time so the earliest we left our place was 4:30 pm and it was already slowly getting dark. But this majestic city was spectacular even in the darkness.

Walking around the touristy streets of the city was amazing! Everything looked so rich and fancy, we decided to go to expensive shops and enjoy. First, we went to the most famous sweets shop/cafe Demel, it was breathtaking! Design, colors, vibes, everything was just on point.

Next stop turned out to be Chanel, then Prada and Yves Saint Laurent. I can imagine how funny we looked, just exploring, touching, staring at clothes.

As if Haute Couture wasn’t enough for spiritual provision, we visited Vienna State Opera House. And at this time, I really lost my ability to talk. Words can’t describe this beauty. Whats more, we managed to buy 3€ standing tickets for the show.

For the next day we had a lot on our mind, so we started our day early in the morning with a cup of coffee and croissant.

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Schonbrunn Palace was our first stop. This place was huge and marvelous! We spent almost 2 hours just walking around and exploring inner yards.

Just because we didn’t have a lot of time as our bus was leaving at 17:25, we rushed to see Belvedere Museum. By far, that’s my favorite sightseeing in Vienna! Everything’s very quiet, fancy, huge and more importantly, Klimt paintings are kept there, which we found out right before we were about to leave.

Of course, this place took more time than we expected, so we were kinda late for our bus. After endless worrying, phone calls to the agency’s call center, we somehow managed to arrive at the bus station 10 minutes early. (Have no idea how that happened)

In the end, we arrived in Budapest 1 hour early, because our coach literally flew its way back and we crashed my place all exhausted. To be honest, I’m still recovering from that trip, because we walked enormous amount of kilometers everyday. Anyway, I fell in love with Vienna, I’m full of amazing memories and emotions. I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ve visited that city.

For more pictures, you can check my instagram 🙂

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“You will miss your family, you will miss your friends…” – Everybody told me so before I moved to this amazing city and so far, I don’t feel homesick at all. Budapest feels like my hometown and I believe in my past life, I’ve been living right in this place.

Wide streets, beautiful architecture, somehow it reminds me of Prague, but still, it has different vibe. It’s more laid-back, quiet and life goes pretty slowly around here. People are chill, never ever rushing anywhere and most of the times, they are very friendly. I got wrong idea about Hungarians before coming here, as majority of foreigners characterize them as cold, unfriendly and rude. Well, for me, I’ve never met a Hungarian like that! Everyone is happy to help and try the best they can to communicate with you.

As I’m a student here, I have a lot of opportunities to explore this city in every possible way: parties, clubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, but more importantly – sightseeing! There is so much to see in Budapest, so much to explore. In the begining I remember walking 13 km or even more at the end of the day and every single step was worth it.

If you ever decide to visit Budapest and then go to see Buda castle, go there during night! The view is spectacular and completely different from what you can see during the day time. It feels surreal and like a fairytale.

Luckily, my dorm is right in the center of the city, so I get to explore this wonderful place every day, every time I want to. As you could’ve understood, I can’t stop taking photos, especially, if you find a partner in crime!:)

So far, this city has treated me very kind and we have 3 more years to go!

I post on my Instagram stories pretty much every day so follow up 🙂

The lands of Italy

After living in Milan for nearly 2 months, I fell in love with the city. So, at the end of summer, when I had to move to Budapest for my studies (about which I’ll talk in the next post), I encouraged my parents to visit Milano first and then go to Hungary. And… that’s what we did!

 

I’m can’t even explain what kind of amazing vibes you get once you step on Italian lands. Especially, Milan is very special place to me. I was eager to meet up with my host families I had back in 2016!

 

Atmosphere there is so friendly, cheerful, even the sound of Italian language makes life much more beautiful.

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Our apartment was located in the very center of the city – Navigli, which is famous with its restaurants, bars and entertainment. Nothing’s better than being part of Italian amusement. 🙂

 

If you are fond of Italian cuisine, forget about pizza, pasta, even tiramisu and try LASAGNA! That’s probably the most delicious thing you can eat in your lifetime. I tried the best lasagna in the restaurant near the Castello.

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After these 3 days, we couldn’t leave Italy without visiting Venice, the city of fairy tales! Everything about Venice is magical and inspiring. And sometimes coincidences make each travel much more interesting and in coincidences I mean staying in Venice for 1 night and discovering your friends are in the city too.

 

We also found huge shopping mall, which has amazing terrace on the top of the building and from that terrace you get to see the whole surface of the city! That was incredible!

 

But after all, we got so tired that couldn’t wait to arrive in Budapest and have some rest.

 

However, Venice left us speechless and amazed. This should be the top destination for every travel-lover!

Concepts of Tbilisi

Because of the recent spotlight on Georgia, because of Demna Gvasalia and because of a lot of becauses, Tbilisi gets more and more concept stores, which basically means our citizens can get their hands on any international brand. I would allocate two main concept stores here – DOTS and CHAOS.

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DOTS – store under Materiel Tbilisi and Materia portfolio is located in the very touristic center of Tbilisi – Kote Apkhazi street. Right around the corner of Georgian traditional food, wine and delights, you can have a look at sophisticated, modern clothes.

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Despite the fact that most of these pieces are from designers, prices remain still acceptable. Anything you see here can be bought at the same cost as in any other shop. I guess that’s the most attractive concept of the store, other than the interior, which clearly leaves anyone beyond inspired.

“Dots unique know how, craftsmanship and more than 20 years experience in Georgian fashion industry of already well-established family brands Materiel Tbilisi and Materia, guarantee of high quality. Company is vertically diversified (own factory) and controls all levels from production to sales.”

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Not only you can buy clothes here, you can also taste some delicious coffee, chill out and listen to the music. Because I was in a little hurry, couldn’t check the cafe out.

 

CHAOS – very modern, urban, provocative and hella expensive! Located in the corner of Rooms Tbilisi, maintains the status of “desired by the tons of youngsters”.

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In case you didn’t know, Chaos is talked about everywhere, anywhere, even in W MAGAZINE saying that “Chaos Concept Store, Tbilisi’s Coolest Shop, Has Its Own Skate Ramp”. It’s much more than a shopping destination. The group’s mission was also to create another space they felt was missing from the city, a mecca for the city’s like-minded, fashion and art-following youth to hang out, and exchange their more out-there ideas.

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Yet they don’t own the online-shop, so the only way to own a piece from chaos is to go by yourself there. You will be surprised by the atmosphere and vibes – a minimalistic space with white walls, wooden floors, and windows stretching nearly floor to ceiling, putting the focus on their stand-out additions like the mattress.

 

Right at the exit, the spirit of rebellious youngsters shows off the most, basically, by the neon lights saying “sometimes we watch porn”.

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I guess, other than a lot of places you can visit in Tbilisi and explore independently, there are some destinations anybody is supposed to see in order to fully understand nation’s vibe. Especially, if it’s connected to fashion.

DOTS and CHAOS are two must see concept stores of Tbilisi! 🙂

Comme des Garçons in Soviet Georgia

Recently, I came across the post about Brian Griffin’s photo shoot for Comme des Garçons, which took place right here in Tbilisi, back in 1989. The creative director Rei Kawakubo was beyond inspired by the paintings of Niko Pirosmani, gathered her crew and traveled over the world just to visit old Soviet city – Tbilisi.

“Rei was inspired by the clothing in Pirosmani’s paintings.” says Griffin.

Clothes in the photo shoot were absolutely unique, combining Georgian traditional pieces with materials from Comme des Garçons. Models were random villagers and a lot of them were wearing Chokha.

 

Now, 25 years later, with the help of the up-and-coming gallery Project ArtBeat, Griffin has returned to Georgia to exhibit the prints for the first time at Tbilisi’s Museum of Modern Art, a project which launched during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi.

“Georgians are happy to see them. I obviously am delighted for their responses, all of the power of these images has happened because of time [past].” he says. In one of his interviews he described the trip to Georgia, where Rei’s crew, including Brian was under a strict surveillance. There were lots of meetings in the dark on street corners, and people were destroying statues of Stalin.

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Now, the photographer is planning another Georgian project, similar to Kawakubo’s. He wants to take the clothes of Georgian designers and style them on locals throughout the country.

Couple days ago, when I first read the article on W Magazine about Rei Kawakubo’s visit in my hometown, which happened about 20 years ago, I was left absolutely surprised. Nowadays, whole fashion industry has all the attention towards Georgia, because of obvious innovations by Demna Gvasalia, but back in 1989 one of the most creative person’s interest towards Soviet country is remarkable, when nobody even had an idea where Georgia was!