Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (37). Dad, husband, options trader(premium seller), drupal developer, drone enthusiast, globetrotter, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian). I trade stocks, take photographs, work out at the gym, and an ex-pat living in Georgia since 2011. Here I write about travel, finance, and other things that interest me.

Latest articles

Buying a car in Riga

21 March, 2022 seen 124

A few years ago I wrote an article on how to buy a used car in Georgia, now it is time to write about our experience buying a used car in Riga Latvia.

For the past couple of years, we were using mostly car rentals and enjoyed it a lot - I mean no headaches about servicing the car, someone brings your car to the airport, you drop it at the airport. Quite nice, also quite expensive. It was agreed we could buy some used car and use it for some two years to come and then let's see what happens. 

A few years ago we had a reliable Honda CRV car here in Latvia, we used it a lot during the Summer months and the car suited well during winter months too, unfortunately, the investment the car asked for was too high and in the end car…

Diaries from Tbilisi or Fun Friday with school, office, options trading and flying

Living in Georgia 18 March, 2022 seen 96

The day started with a lot of snow here in Tbilisi, yesterday we parked our VW Touareg at Archi Tower paid underground parking (paying about GEL 200 / month), and decided to rely on taxi service until Friday's flight to Riga.

A few days ago my personal Driver David refused to make a trip to the QSI international school and back to our apartment for GEL 20 (roundtrip). Well what to do, now we need to rely on BOLT or drive ourselves. Sad our area is not served by school bus. 

We dropped kiddo at school and drive to the office in Vake. I installed one PC with Windows and MS products, had a nice chat with office personnel, and at the end of the day talked to Shorena, a smart Georgian girl helping us with PC equipment. I…

Gudaleti Monastery Complex

Churches and Monasteries 15 March, 2022 seen 71

Gudaleti monastery complex is located in the village of Gudaleti on an elevated spot, on the edge of a high gorge on the river Gudaleura. The church is located about 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from Tbilisi. The complex includes the Church of the Assumption and a tower fortress.

We discovered this church by chance while driving through the village of Gudaleti to visit a friend who has bought a house in the same village.

Gudaleti church

Seems the church is under renovation and is being completely rebuilt (2022)

The Church of the Mother of God is a cross-domed building, built at the turn of the XIII - XIV centuries, built of cut stone, cobblestone and bricks are also used. 

I was able to find some…

How to Open Investment Brokerage Account in Georgia (Galt & Taggart)

Living in Georgia 14 March, 2022 seen 228

The other day I received a cold call from my bank (Bank of Georgia) offering to become a prime customer at their SOLO banking. I listened to what they have to offer, was not very interested in access to 1,200 airport business lounges, but instead decided to give it a look on their investment banking account.

For the first time in Georgia, with Bank of Georgia Investments, you can buy full or fractional shares on NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange, available directly in the mobile banking application.

As I'm already a bank customer I was able to apply, open and fund my new brokerage account in less than 5 minutes - all online. Wow. 

Screenshot from Solo.ge website

I opened a brokerage account with less than $…

How to Setup XTRF with Apache HTTP server as a reverse proxy and SSL from Let's Encrypt

Servers 11 March, 2022 seen 74

XTRF is a Polish translation management system available to install as SAAS or on your own server (both Windows and Linux). In today's article, I will keep notes on How to Setup XTRF with Apache HTTP server as a reverse proxy and SSL from Let's Encrypt

The company I'm assisting in server works has been using the XTRF translation management system since 2011 (if not earlier). A few years ago I helped to perform a major upgrade (from version 2 to version 8).

How To Install XTRF 8 on Ubuntu 18.04

The system was launched over the internet, but recently the latest Google Chrome update stopped supporting the system saying: ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH


XTRF runs on some…

Bristol Hotel and Spa Bakuriani

Hotel reviews 8 March, 2022 seen 98

Bristol Hotel and Spa Bakuriani is offering accommodations in Bakuriani. The property provides ski-to-door access and ski storage space, as well as a restaurant and a bar. The hotel features an indoor pool, sauna, karaoke and a 24-hour front desk.

We booked Bristol Hotel and Spa Bakuriani hotel at the end of January 2022, for a two night stay, paying about $250 (breakfast included)

Breakfast at Hotel Bristol

When visiting such hotels it's always about personal, not interior or location (which both are great for this hotel). 

During our stay here we faced several issues, which luckily where solved, but I was left wondering why they even happened first hand - like, they have little nice indoor swimming pool…

Spice and Herbal Garden No7 near Bentota, Sri Lanka

Shopping Venues 7 March, 2022 seen 190

Spice and Herbal garden No7 is located next to the Galle - Hambantota - Wellawaya Hwy near Bentota in Sri Lanka.

We visited this place during a day trip from our hotel (Taj Resort & Spa) to Madu Ganga river when returning back to our hotel. We didn't have any special plans to visit this place, but our driver (s) just took us there. 

Spice and herbal garden near Bentota, Sri Lanka

Once here I didn't understand how this works and thought - oh, nice we are enjoying a nice excursion at the spice and herbal garden which indeed was nice, but at the end of the tour we were taken to the shop and they tried to sell us some expensive things we really didn't need or we could get for free back in our hotel.

I kindly…

Hiking trip near Turtle Lake

Living in Georgia 4 March, 2022 seen 70

Hiking trip near Turtle lake in Tbilisi, dining with Rapunzel and other fictional Disney characters near the Svan Tower, meeting real South African and Georgian friends near Bazaleti, tracing numbers and bitcoins back in Tbilisi. enjoy and thumbs up!

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka

Farms 3 March, 2022 seen 38

Kosgoda Turtle Care program aims to protect sea turtle eggs and increase hatching rates.

I had a chance to visit Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery in Sri Lanka at the start of January 2022, during a day trip from our hotel at Bentota. After returning from the Madu Ganga riverboat safari our guides took us to the Turtle hatchery. 

At the Kosgoda Turtle care hatchery, Sri Lanka

Arriving on the site a guide come made a littlec excusrion on the site, telling the story how turtles are rescued, hatched and released back to Ocean.

Turtle in the pool

It was said they are also treating disabled Turtles and the weak ones. Also it was said that their staff patrols the beach all night looking for mother sea turtles that come…

Daytrip to Gori (and not because of the Stalin's museum)

Travel guides 1 March, 2022 seen 58

At the end of January 2022, after just returning from Sri Lanka we decided to take an easy weekend trip to Gori in Georgia.

I have a good friend David living in Gori. After a quick WhatsApp chat, we agreed to have some nice dinner at Villa Park Gori restaurant with a home wine, also David recommended staying at the fancy Georgia Gold hotel.

Day trip to Gori and nearby vicinity

On a Friday evening, we took our daughter from the school and straight went to Gori, there we checked in at Royal House hotel, ordered a taxi from Bolt picked up my friend and went to the Villa Park Gori restaurant where we enjoyed some of the tastiest foods, live music and a lot of homemade wine from David's Marani.

Back to the hotel…

Bentota Beach in Sri Lanka

Tourism objects 28 February, 2022 seen 103

Bentota is a small coastal resort town, about a 2-hour drive away from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

We visited Bentota and Bentota beaches at the start of January 2022, while staying at the 5-star resort hotel Taj Bentota and Spa

Bentota beach near Taj Resort & Spa hotel in Sri Lanka

It is said that Bentota has been the water sport capital of Sri Lanka with the hoteliers in the area actively promoting water sports from adrenaline filled speed boat and jet ski riding, wind surfing, boogie boarding, water skiing, kite surfing, to a leisurely ride on a banana boat for the family & kids.

During our stay here we both built sand castles, surfed and anf course get some tan at the lovely white sand beaches of Bentota…

And drones fly at Pasanauri

Living in Georgia 25 February, 2022 seen 52

'Un droni lido Pasanauri '- or another strange but awesome weekend has been in our tapes - it was planned to visit Gudauri, but 16km from the skiing resort the road was blocked, we turned our car around and visited Ralph Schmidt in Gudaleti, with nice views toward Mount Kazbek instead. 

Bandaranaike International Airport / Colombo, Sri Lanka

Airports 24 February, 2022 seen 179

Bandaranaike International Airport,  commonly known as Colombo International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka.

It is named after former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and is located in a suburb of Negombo, 32.5 kilometres (20+1⁄4 miles) north of the nation's longstanding capital and commercial center, Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd and serves as the hub of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, and domestic carrier Cinnamon Air. The other airport serving the city of Colombo is the Ratmalana International Airport, primarily serving domestic destinations.

Colombo airport Sri Lanka

We first visited Colombo airport at the start…

Villa Park Gori

Restaurant reviews 22 February, 2022 seen 129

If there is a reason to visit Gori in Georgia, then a visit to Villa Park Gori restaurant in Georgia would be at the top of my priorities.

Villa Park Gori is an elite-class restaurant in Gori, with comfortable spaces and a variety of dishes. Located on Tskhinvali highway a few kilometers out of the Gori town.

My friend David took us here at the end of January 2022

Restaurant Villa Park Gori

Tasty Georgian and European cuisine. Live music. English speaking staff. Awesome.

Badrijani at Villa Park Gori

We spent here a few hours drinking red wine David took from his home. Trying many dishes, badrijani, lobio a lot of mcvadi. The Bill? Under 100 GEL.

If you happen to be in the area - I highly…

Cinnamon Island, Sri Lanka

Tourism objects 21 February, 2022 seen 294

Cinnamon Island is situated in Bentota in Sri Lanka. This is a little, but a charming island that offers a few fun activities for you. Here you will be able to learn about cinnamon cultivation and if lucky will meet a monkey or at least a dog.

We visited Cinnamon Island at the start of January 2022, during our trip to Sri Lanka, and in particular during the Madu Ganga River Boat Safari.

Little temple on Cinnamon Island, Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Island is situated in the Southern Province in Sri Lanka. This is the place where you will be able to learn about the cinnamon harvesting and even the whole process of cinnamon cultivation. You can even visit this place with your friends and family as this is a very informative…

Sri Lanka, Colombo, Benota and Galle

Travel guides 18 February, 2022 seen 54

Sri Lanka, Colombo, Bentota and Galle. A lot of Indian Ocean, even more, infinity swimming pools and exotic fruit, fish curry and milk rice, elephants and varans, tuk-tuk drivers and some Budha. Jeffrey speaks Latvian and +38C. Where? Sri Lanka. January 2022


Taj Bentota Resort & Spa Hotel Review in Sri Lanka

Hotel reviews 17 February, 2022 seen 108

Taj Bentota Resort & Spa -  is located in Sri Lanka's Galle District, offering breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Pampering spa services, an outdoor pool, and 5 dining options are provided.

We booked this 5-star hotel for a 3-night stay at the start of January 2022, while traveling near the Ocean in Sri Lanka. For a 3 night stay here we paid about USD 580.

King size bedroom with a balcony and Ocean view

The room seemed a bit small at the first glance, but after all it was quite perfect (as most of the time we did spent near the Indian Ocean or at the swimming pool)

Swimming pool at Taj Bentota Resort and Spa hotel in Sri Lanka

The property's well-lit rooms come equipped with a minibar and…

Royal House Gori

Hotel reviews 16 February, 2022 seen 30

The Royal house is said to be a 4-star hotel located in Gori, Georgia.

I booked this place for a one-night stay at the end of January 2022.  The pictures on Booking.com and reality are totally different.  Luckily the price I paid was just GEL 64 (that's about EUR 20) and the stay was only one night.

Now, the so-called hotel is decent, there is a bed (a lot of beds) heating, shower. Just hard to call it a 4-star hotel, more like a hostel or a guest house.

Bedroom at Royal House in Gori

As we had a lot of wine that night, the stay was OK. 

Room at the backyard at Hotel Royal House

ideally suited for backpackers or you get what you paid for. Really I was hopiing to get a 4-star hotel for 20 EUR? LOL…

Galle Face Green

Tourism objects 15 February, 2022 seen 20

Galle Face is a 5 ha (12 acres) ocean-side urban park, which stretches for 500 m (1,600 ft) along the coast, in the heart of Colombo, the financial and business capital of Sri Lanka.

The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by Governor Sir Henry George Ward, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green was initially used for horse racing and as a golf course, but was also used for cricket, polo, football, tennis and rugby.

i had a chance to visit Galle Face green park at the start of January 2022, during our 11 day trip in Sri Lanka. To get here I was using the tuk-tuk service.

Tuk Tuk in Colombo

We our Tuk - Tuk driver at Gangaramaya…

Sulfur Bath N5 in Tbilisi

Health & Wellness 14 February, 2022 seen 151

Sulfur Bath N5 is located in the Tbilisi Bath district of Abanotubani. 

We have been heading to these bathhouses a lot in the past (back in 2011-2013), since then we have changed our location, visiting other, not so fancy ones on Kyiv street, but lately again, we have started to visit sulfur bathhouses in the old town district.

Chreli Abano Sulfur Bath in Tbilisi

This time we visited Bath house N5

Bath house N5 in Tbilisi

The bathhouse is located near the Heydar Aliyev park

Sulfur bath in Tbilisi

We got this small but deep sulfur bath for about GEL 70. 

Drinking tea with jam

Tea with jam after or during the bath. 

Place seems bit neglected, but also price for private…