I arrived in Georgia for the first time seven years ago, in the winter of 2008, shortly after the tragic war in Ossetia and the devastating invasion of Russian troops into the country. We were bringing Czech development aid. Although I have travelled a lot and seen many countries, I immediately, unconditionally, and irrevocably fell in love with Georgia. And it will happen almost to everyone who goes there.
To be sure there is poverty in Georgia, but there is also an irresistible mix of natural grandeur, a friendliness and openness of the people, and a simple way of life. In these contrasts lies the magic of Georgia; nature mingles with beautiful architecture on the one hand, and uncontrolled recycling and crumbling slums confront you on the other.
Since my first encounter with the country, I have come to Georgia several times a year. Three years ago, I started to pair my work visits with traveling. I also introduced my partner, Thomas—a climber, paddler and alpinist, who specializes in organizing trips to the mountains and rivers across the EU—to the country. Georgia also excited him, and since then we have travelled through the whole country several times. Each journey delivers something new, some surprise, some delight.
That is the pleasure we would like to share with all of you who want to learn about this magical country. We offer our experience and knowledge to all who want to experience a wonderful and memorable vacation in Georgia, who want to meet the local and hospitable people, and to see beautiful sceneries and ancient monuments.
At the same time, we also want to help our friends in Georgia by bringing knowledgeable tourists who will behave with respect and sensitivity toward the people and nature and help to ensure much needed extra income for local people, especially in the mountains.
In 2015 we founded the Association of Friends of Georgia. We want to bring together all the friends of this magical land as well as those who do not know it yet so they can meet it. Our goal is to organize lectures, exchange experiences, share recipes and ideas, and bring together social events and trips to Georgia. We will show Georgia as it really is—without glitter, sometimes dirty or malfunctioning, but always warm, authentic and open to all. This is how we have experienced it over the years, and we hope you will too.