Tbilisi (+ Baku)
From Moscow we flew to Tbilisi, Georgia. Unfortunately, we had a 6 hour layover both ways. Fortunately, the layover was in an unexpectedly beautiful place: Baku, Azerbaijan. On the way there, we didn't leave the airport because it was the middle of the night, but that didn't stop us from realizing what an incredible place we had stumbled upon!
Tbilisi is a small city filled with an ample amount of fantastic little crevices. Upon arrival, a friend of my mom's greeted us with a short tour around the city and a traditional Georgian meal.
Throughout the next 5 days, we wandered the city, took tours near and far, stuffed ourselves full of khinkali and khachapuri, melted away in a hot sulfur bath, watched a traditional Georgian dance performance, rose above the city in a cable car, and made a number of new friends. Since we could speak Russian everywhere, we felt pretty comfortable amongst the people.
What I found interesting about this city was that there was such an abundance of both colorful traditional architecture and large modern structures. The Bridge of Peace was one of my favorite spots.
On our way back to Moscow, we flew through Baku again, but this time during the day. We had several hours to explore what we could only imagine to be luxury based on the airport. And we were right! Baku is a city filled with white buildings, what look like marble gas stations and underground crosswalks, and unique modern structures. Next time we'll have to stay longer than 4 hours!