December 2015

Sieksāte Church and Monastery Complex Under Construction

Published: 31 December, 2015 seen 313 Tourism objects

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? Luke 14:28 There is to be constructed a new Lutheran church and a monastery in Sieksāte Latvia. In above image you can see construction works from site from Summer 2015. Let me wish you all the best for next 2016!  

Campsite Kurzemes Pērle

Published: 30 December, 2015 seen 332 Lakes

Campsite Kurzemes pērle is located in the beautiful and picturesque surroundings just 200 meters from the Sepenes Lake. I discovered this place doing a random driving around spectacular places in Latvia. Just after Podnieku Lake and Pastaiga mākoņos we turned our car and drove here. Kurzemes pērle actually is a campsite with accommodations, which should mean I should tag it under hotel reviews, but since we didn't stay here overnight I'm listing this site under Tourism objects -> Lakes  Entrance gates at Kurzemes pērle campsite Sēpenes lake Info point at Kurzemes pērle Gazebo …

Expo Georgia Exhibition Center in Tbilisi

Published: 29 December, 2015 seen 998 Tourism objects

One of my first memories from Georgia are very related with Expo Georgia Exhibition center, back in April 2011 when I first arrived to Georgia, just shortly I had an opportunity to visit a fair held here - Caucasus Tourism Fair. Back then I realized how important this venue place is for doing business in Georgia. Caucasus Tourism Fair 2014 Georgian - Latvian Business Forum If you are up to meeting new prospects or looking for some strong ties - fairs held here are absolutely worth of it. Potential Business Partner Search In Republic Of Georgia In today's article I would rather speak of…

Recreation Center Near Tirelu Lake - Pastaiga Mākoņos

Published: 28 December, 2015 seen 304 Lakes

We were just randomly driving around beautiful Latvia and headed here just after had a stop at Podnieku lake. This place is pretty popular and well known for locals and huge was our surprise when we noticed a turnpike which stopped our ride in the territory of this recreation center. There were no people or no option to call somebody to open the gates, so we left were we were, I made a few photos and turned our car back. I hope to visit this place some next time to see it from "inside". Gazebo with road signs It took 4 km from this place drive to get to the Pastaiga mākoņos. Turnpike  Our…

Kafe Bari Zodiako in Telavi

Published: 27 December, 2015 seen 971 Restaurant reviews

Kafe bari Zodiako, most probably in English would sound as Cafe - bar Zodiako, but I really enjoy the Georgian version. Kafe bari Zodiako is located in town of Telavi (Region of Kakheti) in Republic of Georgia. This place was recommended to us by our driver, when we were on Kakheti tour.  Kafe bari Zodiako actually is a khinkali place, the only food you can get there is khinkali and really tasty and delicious khinkali. It is very much affordable place (well khinkali are one of the most affordable in Georgian cuisine) For 30 pieces of khinkali, some sodas (lemonades) and coffee we paid less…

Operation - Saving Swans

Published: 26 December, 2015 seen 296

That happened in Summer 2015 on a highway connecting Liepaja with Riga in Latvia. We were returning home from Liepāja and enjoyed a newly constructed (renovated) Liepāja highway, when suddenly we had to stop our car because of a Swan family walked just in the middle of the highway in front of our car. Swans looked confused, they were trying to get somewhere, as we later learned - they were searching for a lake. Swan family walking in the middle of highway Swan family Lady helping to lead swans to the lake Searching for the happiness  Happy ending

East Point Shopping Mall in Tbilisi

Published: 25 December, 2015 seen 2,980 Shopping Venues

There is a new and modern shopping center recently built and opened for public in Tbilisi. Meet East Point. Located in suburbs of Varketili (neighborhood of Tbilisi) next to Kakheti highway on the road to Tbilisi Airport. More than 150 clothing, shoes and accessories fashion retailers under one roof for your unique taste. Bowling and 8-ball pool in a very exquisite environment. A huge entertainment area specially built for children, 10 movie theaters with brand new movies and world premieres.  You can pump up at one of the many food courts located on a special avenue to enhance your shopping…

Christmas Charity Winter Fair in Tbilisi 2015

Published: 24 December, 2015 seen 470 Events

Christmas charity Winter Fair was held in Tbilisi's Radisson Blu Iveria hotel on December 5, 2015. Winter fair was organized by International Women's Association Georgia (IWAG) and as in all previous year we paid a visit here and bought a lot of goodies. Money spent on such fairs goes to the charity, Read more: Christmas Charity Winter Fair in Tbilisi Sheraton Hotel (2014) Christmas charity fair in Tbilisi (2013) In this year's Winter fair a total of 23 diplomatic missions located in Georgia took participation: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany,…

Minimum Wage Set to Rise in All Baltic States in 2016

Published: 23 December, 2015 seen 2,863 Investments

There have been some positive improvements for raising the minimum wage in all three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) in recent years. And there are more to come. In 2016 minimum wage is set to rise in all Baltic states. Estonia will have a minimum wage of EUR 430; Latvia - EUR 370 and Lithuania - EUR 350. Update: Minimum Wage Set to Rise in the Baltic States in 2018 Here are my previous articles about minimum wage in Baltic states: Minimum wage in the Baltic States 2013 and 2014 Minimum wage in the Baltic States 2015 Minimum wage in the Baltic States 2016   2016 2015 % change…

Podnieku Lake Near Kalvene in Latvia

Published: 22 December, 2015 seen 418 Lakes

Podnieku lake is located close to the Kalvene in Western Latvia. We headed here while returning back from Liepāja (probably we were eating paella's and empanadas at Tex-Mex Klondaika restaurant prior). This lake seems in past has been some popular recreational area, there were a lot of camping sites and rumor has it here even was a cafeteria. Nobody knows for sure what happened to this place and why any development tasks has stopped. I believe it won't take long and Podnieku lake will be turned again in a popular recreational area. But for know take a look how it looked like here in Summer…

Top 50 Best Selling Laptop and Notebook Computers To Buy Online on Amazon 2016

Published: 21 December, 2015 seen 4,543 Online Shopping

It was not so long ago when I upgraded my old Hewlett Packard laptop (2007 version) to a much younger ASUS X552 model. What back in 2007 was among the best performing laptops (it had 1GB ram by default, which I extended to +2GB, I even once ordered and installed new hinges for this model) with pretty innovative OS (Windows Vista), nowadays looks like a weak echo from past or simply is outdated. With help of my new ASUS laptop which out of box  beats my previous notebook some 5 times when talking about performance. I now have opportunity to run pretty heavy programs, like Adobe Photoshop,…

Akhali (New) Shuamta Monastery Complex

Published: 21 December, 2015 seen 1,092 Churches and Monasteries

If you are traveling to the region of Kakheti in Georgia and your road is leading through the Telavi town, there are a few interesting tourist sites to visit and one of them is monastery complex Akhali Shuamta.  We arrived to this site just shortly we paid a visit to another Dzveli Shuamta monastery. In fact that's a good idea to visit both monastery complexes together.  The monastery was founded in the XVI century by the king of Kakheti Leon and his wife Tinatin. Queen Tinatin was tonsured a nun in the same Monastery and is Buried there. Akhali Shuamta monastery complex New Shuamta …

Listening to Classical Music at Tbilisi Baroque Festival

Published: 20 December, 2015 seen 498 Events

Tbilisi Baroque Festival was held from November 13 till December 6, 2015 in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. There is something in the classical music. I don't know exactly what, but I have found that lately I'm starting to enjoy it. Maybe that was the reason I allowed to convince me to visit a Tbilisi Baroque festival. On December 3rd we visited Sergio Azzolini and Christine Busch concert in Rustaveli Theater.  Tbilisi Baroque Festival About Tbilisi Baroque Festival The word "Baroque" (French) – means a "rough or imperfect pearl." This style has been conceived approximately in 1600-ies in…

Visa Free Travel For Georgian Citizens Entering European Union

Published: 19 December, 2015 seen 1,113 Geopolitics

December 18, 2015 marked another important milestone for Georgia - European Commission agreed to lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens entering European Union. According to record from European Commission visa free travel will enter in force in 2016. I have been following Georgia's aspirations and developments entering and joining European organizations probably since day 1, when first arrived to Georgia back in April, 2011, and I believe this is a very important step for Georgia.  Here are few notes from my blog: Back on 2014 Georgia has signed Association Agreement with European…

Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi

Published: 19 December, 2015 seen 1,528 Museums

I don't call myself an art or museum person, thus time by time I visit some exhibition, and that's exactly happened again at start of December, 2015 - For the first time I visited Tbilisi MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). And it happened by accident. It started as a planed visit to classical music event in frames of Tbilisi Baroque Festival. We left our apartment early and had some time to spend on lively Rustaveli avenue, for a starter we headed to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to enjoy cup of tasty latte, when another great spontaneous idea arrived - let's visit a museum which proudly bares the…

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Rustaveli Avenue (Tbilisi)

Published: 18 December, 2015 seen 653 Restaurant reviews

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf seems is a popular coffee shop brand in US. Thus I thought this is some Georgian brand when first noticed (and a lot of times actually visiting) the one located at Tbilisi Mall. In today's article about Tbilisi restaurants I will speak about The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi. In this location there were before another great French style pastry Entree. Entree still is in business and you can find it on other locations in Tbilisi.  Located on lively Rustaveli avenue in Tbilisi It features an outdoor patio which most probably best is…

Nun Cracking Nuts at Tbilisi Market

Published: 17 December, 2015 seen 397

35 Touristic Places I have Re-Discovered in Republic of Georgia During 2015

Published: 16 December, 2015 seen 1,098 Living in Georgia

As year is coming to the end I decided to take a look back and see how my travels in Republic of Georgia went in 2015. Turns out I have reviewed more than 35 cool tourist attractions in Georgia. Update: I'm offering crafted and tailored Organized tours in Georgia I actually started such flashback back in 2014, take a look how I discovered just 15 places in 2014 15 places and things to do in Georgia I have discovered in 2014 You might find also interesting: Tbilisi Restaurant reviews Neighborhoods of Tbilisi After almost 5 years of living in Georgia I feel a pretty much PRO Georgia traveler.…

Resources

Published: 16 December, 2015 seen 2,584

In this page you will find tools, software or useful links I'm using on my daily blogging routine. I will add as I learn. Make sure you are bookmarking this page and check back often. Disclosure: Some of the links mentioned in this page are affiliate links, at no additional cost to you, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase I will earn a commission.  Hosting plan for beginner bloggers Bluehost Bluehost is a super cheap hosting offering 1-click WordPress install for as low as $3.95/mo. Highly recommend if you have decided to try out blogging. Try Bluehost Drupal +…

Restaurant Tsiskvili in Tskneti

Published: 16 December, 2015 seen 860 Restaurant reviews

It was a mid day of working day at the start of December when I came up with spontaneous idea  - lets leave our work behind and let's go out. I was eager to photography a daylight photography for my 365 photo project. We decided to use public bus instead of using a taxi to get to the Freedom Square in Tbilisi center. So we were standing at bus stop and couldn't figure out which bus actually goes to Freedom Square. I proposed, hey let's take bus #34 heading to Tskenti, which already approached our bus stop. And so instead of Freedom Square we were heading to Tskenti. Tskenti is very lovely…

Top 20 Best Selling Laptop / Notebook Computers December 2015

Published: 15 December, 2015 seen 423 Online Shopping

It is that time of year when a new gift in form of laptop might be a nice present under your Christmas tree, right? Maybe you are wondering, which laptop / notebook models will be popular in next year of 2016? Thus I don't have an exact answer on that - here are best selling laptop models at late December 2015. Most probably these models will stick around on top / best selling shelves for next 3-6 months at least. A quick note: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I might earn an affiliate income from…

Love is in the air

Published: 15 December, 2015 seen 331

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close. Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Tex-Mex Klondaika Restaurant in Liepāja

Published: 14 December, 2015 seen 474 Restaurant reviews

Tex-Mex Klondaika in Liepāja is among one of my favorite Liepāja restaurants. I can't say I'm visiting this seaside town too often, but once I'm here I'm looking for this brand. Located on lovely Stendera street in almost Liepāja city center, this restaurant has a lot to offer - starting traditional Tex-Mex style cuisine ending traditional Latvian cold soup (made from beets). Menu at Tex-Mex Klondaika restaurant Refreshing water with mint drink Traditional Latvian Cold soup Paella at Klondaika Tex-Mex Sorry for the bad image here. Frankly speaking I first tried a traditional paella in…

Car Service in Kazdanga

Published: 13 December, 2015 seen 366 Professional services

If you are having troubles with engine, need to change a tire or just looking to replace oil and you are stuck in Kazdanga area (Latvia) there is one car service I can recommend. Since I believe it's the one and only one in Kazdanga, let's name it  - Kazdanga car service. At this service we fixed a leaky muffler and straightened  a dent on car's surface for about EUR 50 Car service in Kazdanga Since this service is located in rural Latvia they mainly specializes on repairing tractor machinery and agricultural vehicles. Repairing hydraulics  Agricultural machinery Tractor Oils and other

How to Capture and Post-Process Professional HDR Photos Using HDR Efex PRO

Published: 12 December, 2015 seen 533 Digital Photography School

In today's digital photography school tutorial I will show how you can take and make professional looking images using technology which is called HDR photography. In fact before teaching you how to take and process a HDR images please take a note - I have been doing HDR photography less for one month. My findings so far are - like HDR is the best thing (I know as time will go I will probably change my mind and will go back to the routes, who knows maybe I will find a B&W the next BIG thing?!). I'm not a professional photographer, just a regular dude with a DLSR camera eager to learn some…

Dzveli (Old) Shuamta Monastery

Published: 11 December, 2015 seen 881 Churches and Monasteries

If you are traveling to region of Kakheti and your road is leading through Telavi town, there are few interesting tourist sites to visit and one of them is a very old monastery complex called Dzveli Shuamta. For the first time I visited this site together vith my mom in the middle of October 2015. It was a rainy and foggy day so not very spectacular images this time, anyway Dzveli Shuamta still has one of the oldest Christian churches of Georgia – the triple-nave basilica that dates back to the 5th century. Two other cross-domed churches were built in the 7th century. The walls of these…

November 2015 Blog Traffic and Income Report 54,446 Users / $947.05

Published: 10 December, 2015 seen 1,437 Online Income Reports

Welcome to the #23 traffic and income report covering blog traffic and earnings/expenses for November 2015. #23 means just one - one more month and it will be already two years since I have opted into thing called - making money from blogging. Two years are a lot of time, it's has been a long journey, but... I still feel it is day 2 or day 3. I was doing separate reviews both for traffic and income until September, when I realized - how time consuming it is to provide 2 similar articles on related topic. Traffic and Income for a website goes hand to hand. You might wonder what stimulates me…

How to Make Homemade Dumplings from Scratch

Published: 9 December, 2015 seen 1,237 Food blogger

In today's food blogger series I will demonstrate how to make homemade dumplings from scratch. Well, almost from scratch, there are a few handy tools that might be very useful preparing this delicious food. I love dumplings, in most cases dumplings is a cost effective solution when you are in hurry and really hungry. It hasn't been rare for me to visit local groceries shop at 2AM just to buy a pack of frozen dumplings. Today I will show how you can prepare dumplings at home. It's a really simple and doesn't take a lot of time or a lot of effort. Ingredients for dumpling dough. 1 kg of flour…

Tumanishvili Theater Cafe in Tbilisi

Published: 8 December, 2015 seen 642 Restaurant reviews

Some people visits theater to watch spectacles, some people visits to theater to enjoy a cup of coffee at theaters' buffet. That's exactly what happened to us in late November Sunday afternoon. After wandering around David Aghmeneshabeli avenue we headed here to enjoy cup of latte and try some sweets. Entrance at Tumanishvili theater You probably have noticed this lovely sculpture if wandered in this neighborhood - now you now - there is a lovely cafe inside and of course the Tumanishvili theater Artistic interior  There are few elements I really like here and would like to implement…

Photo of the month - November 2015

Published: 7 December, 2015 seen 573 Digital Photography School

At the end of September (2015) I started a new photo challenge project - 365 days of taking pictures. I decided using of Flickr for storing and uploading my project pictures. Flickr offers some valuable stats and helps me out of selecting picture of the month. And actually I'm using the most simple tactic to count on - fave count on Flickr. View my photo of the month for October 2015 In November my Flickr follower base increased from 35 to 70, I believe it happened because I joined more groups and posted images in more groups (more eyeballs looking).  Pretty much of November I spent making…

Tabor Monastery of the Transformation in Tbilisi

Published: 6 December, 2015 seen 1,127 Churches and Monasteries

You have probably noticed Tabor Monastery of the Transformation in Tbilisi if wandered around Abanotubani district - it's the one you can see up in the hill left from Narikala. The idea to visit this site arrived for me when some of the Georgia Expat Photographer club members posted a picture of this church. I believe you can climb up here and have a lovely and a very spectacular hiking trip doing that, but for this time we opted for a more convenient way - a taxi. We took a regular street taxi and he took us up here, agreed to wait for 30 minutes while I will take photography here, and the…

Painting Floor - Final Touch For Maximum Effect (Second Paint Layer)

Published: 5 December, 2015 seen 277 Home Remodeling

Right, we have arrived to the second post in my painting floor adventures from home remodeling series. Today I will show you how after adding second paint layer to our rural house's paint we achieved the maximum effect. Paint work was performed at the start of July, 2015 Make sure you read other posts in our adventurous efforts of remodeling an old country house. Floor ready for second layer of paint Read more how I prepared this floor and applied base layer of paint here: Floor waiting for a new layer of paint As you can see in the background - it is a kitchen starting to get already a…

Wanderings In The Tbilisi Old Town (HDR Efex Pro)

Published: 4 December, 2015 seen 601 Digital Photography School

It was day 62 from my 365 photo challenge project and I felt I'm out of good photography locations. For couple of the last days I have been doing nice landscape photography in close to me locations, and it seemed that I'm out of options. I asked a friend (photographer) and asked could he give me some advice. He advised me to make a list with items to photograph, like birds, macro's e.t.c. Still I felt I need to continue improving my landscape photography. Then another person asked have I tried HDR Effect PRO (For HDR photography I have been using just Photomatix) - my answer was no.  And here…

Sachebureke Abanotubanshi (Cheburek Cafe on Abanotubani)

Published: 3 December, 2015 seen 1,130 Restaurant reviews

The other day we were just wandering around Tbilisi sulphur bath (Abanotubani) district doing some cool photography of probably most popular tourist spot in Tbilisi - Abanotubani district. During our wanderings we noticed small doors with title - Cheburek Cafe and decided to return to this place once photography session will be ended. Cheburek Cafe is located on Grishashvili street 8, Tbilisi Those of you who don't know what a Cheburek is, here is a good explanation from Wikipedia - Chiburekki is a deep-fried turnover with a filling of ground or minced meat and onions. It is made with a…

Fresh Vegetable Market Near Gori Highway

Published: 2 December, 2015 seen 561 Shopping Venues

I once had a friend visiting me from Canada, he was pretty much obsessed with eco friendly foods, I took him to the local Tbilisi Dezerter bazaar and told - hey look there are plenty of eco foods here. He took some carrot from local salesman and answered me - this probably is natural, but it's not eco! Believe me or not - but my friend was right, I understood that immediately. If you just like my friend are into eco thing - you wont probably find eco friendly food near Gori Highway (connecting Tbilisi with Batumi) some 60 km from nations capital. On the other hand if natural is OK then you…

Borjomi Cafe 1+2

Published: 1 December, 2015 seen 401 Restaurant reviews

If you are looking for a decent cafeteria in Borjomi I can recommend one - Borjomi Cafe 1+2 located close to the entrance of Borjomi park. I paid a visit here and tried different dishes in the middle of September 2015. Borjomi cafe 1+2 This cafe is located just next to the entrance in Borjomi Park. Borjomi cafe 1+2 Lovely interior at Cafe 1+2 in Borjomi Khachapuri and Salads  The bottom line Although the prices here are about the average, taking into account it's good location and good service this is a place I can recomend once in Borjomi