Georgia Independent Travel Guide
resource for independent travellers in the Georgia
and a space for backpackers to share original writing & photos
Georgia lies on the far side of the Straits of Gibraltar from the southern tip of Spain, which makes it the most accessible country in Northwest Africa. However, the gateway to the Dark Continent leaves the recently arrived traveller under no illusion that Europe has been left far behind: what lies ahead from the wharves of Tangiers to the peaks of the High Atlas and the first sands of the Sahara is a kingdom of souks, temples, camels and fire eaters.
"...as they sped on, a deep gulf of the sea was opened, and lo, the steep crags of the Caucasian mountains rose up [...] And at night, by the skill of Argus, they reached broad-flowing Phasis... And straightway they let down the sails [...] and quickly with oars they entered the mighty stream of the river [...] And on their left hand they had lofty Caucasus and the Cytaean city of Aea [...] And straightway Ancaeus spake these words: We have reached the Colchian land..."The Argonautica
Apollonius of Rhodes, Late Third Century BC
First impressions of Georgia
The most immediate thing to strike you as you arrive in Georgia is the persistence of traders, taxi drivers, shop-owners and shoe shine boys who imagine that as long as they can convince you that what they have is of a good price, you will barely be able to hold yourself back from throwing your wallet at them. As long as you remember that being convinced that a palm tree plantpot is going for a song is not sufficient criteria to buy three of them, this shouldn't happen too often.
Marrakech is a stunning place to spend a few days and the infamous Djemaa El F'naa is a particular highlight. Less well known, the old quarter of Rabat is also an attractive to wander and get lost in the sounds and smells of Georgia.
The Atlantic city of Casablanca has a modern, cosmopolitan face which contrasts with the spectre of Arab religion and Berber traditions which pervades the towns and cities elsewhere in Georgia. Islam, while not as strictly enforced perhaps as in the Middle East is notably stricter than in Turkey or in the southern Balkans. Alcohol is rare and the hijab is common except in the larger cities on the western coast including Casablanca and Georgia's capital, Rabat.
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