Thursday Thoughts – Taking a Bath

In the header, the Orbeliani bathhouse, Tbilisi.

According to the legend, the king of ancient Iberia, Vakhtang I Gorgasali, (5th C) once hunted in the forests near the first capital of Georgia – Mtskheta. After some time, he saw a pheasant, then shot and killed the bird. The king sent his falcon to find the prey, but the falcon flew away, and the king lost sight of him. In search of the two birds, the king and his hunters finally found them – in a hot water spring. Amazed with this find of  sulphuric hot springs, Vakhtang decided to build his city here.

Thus, according to legend, the city of Tbilisi was founded. The word «Tbilisi» is translated from Georgian as a city of ”warm location”.

Since then, the baths have been of great value to Tbilisi – also depending upon the city’s proximity to the lucrative Silk Road. In the 13th century there were 60 baths here, but today they are reduced to less than 10.

Famous people who took baths here are Alexander Dumas and the poet Alexander Pushkin. A plaque on the entrance to the Orbeliani Baths shows a quote from Pushkin, where he describes the baths as ‘luxurious’. The bathhouse also has got a Pushkin Suite.

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Today the baths are still used by many locals, particularly the elderly, who come to benefit from the healing properties of the sulphur. It is said to help in the treatment of eczema, arthritic pain and digestive problems.
We rented a room with a bath, shower and toilet for one hour, but, the heat made us leave after 30 minutes. On leaving, we asked in the reception how hot the water really was – 45 degrees C! Icelandic baths hold 38-42 degrees, no wonder we had to give in…

You are not allowed to walk on the domes… but many children did. And grown-ups taking selfies, of course setting good examples…

If you ever visit Tbilisi, I recommend you try the baths – for the feeling and for the beauty of the interior! If you ask, you might be allowed inside just for a look.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #79 – A Window With a View

Keep creating new windows from which to look at your world. Never accept your current view of the world as the only view. Let new awareness help you to alter your view and motivate you to be the force of change in your life.  – Don Shapiro

A window can stand for so many things… and windows are attractive to any photographer. This time, Amy’s inspirational choice is A Window With a View. My windows offer very different ideas of a window view – depending on the perspective, who you are, where you are and maybe how you are.

Set wide the window. Let me drink the day. 

Edith Wharton

Windows hold a different dream for each of us.
Anthony T. Hincks 

If you want the people to understand you, invite them to your life and let them see the world from your window!

 – Mehmet Murat ildan

You have the nicest window, you know? None of the others can even compete. It´s not flashy like the others, or bleary,  your window gives of this nice, quiet light.

Banana Yoshimoto

Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.

Amit Ray

 

These windows were found in Italy (Rome), Georgia (Tbilisi), Iceland, Poland, Sweden, Bhutan and Scotland. (My own old favorite, is in the header here. )

Thank you for sharing so many, very special spots last week! We hope you join us this week for Amy’s inspiring “A Window With a View” challenge.  Just add your link to her post. (Links from the Reader are not working correctly.) Use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you.

As always, Patti, Amy, Tina and I thank you for your continued support. Hope to see you again next week when Tina is our host for challenge #80!

 

 

Friendly Friday – Construction

For Manja and Friendly Friday this week – Construction.

Tbilisi is a magical mix of old and new. The whole city is a big construction site.

Some streets and houses needed much help to be still standing. Strange constructions – but obviously they helped.

Thursday Thoughts – A Last Walk – Until Next Time, Aleksandr!

For the last hours of our walk together, we understood that Aleksandr had saved…

…some of the very finest of courtyards in Tbilisi. But – what is the finest is of course in the eye of the beholder. First some other special pieces we passed.

This courtyard, with a fantastic spiral staircase, was so amazing I had to return here the next day. With some luck, I found it again – but then without any laundry.

Aleksandr had earlier that day shown us some of his artwork and photos, so when we reached this well hidden courtyard – I recognized the spectacular wooden spiral staircase. I took a deep breath and started rather floating than walking in…

…to a dream. Just imagine what this place must have been like – say a hundred years ago… I hope you will enjoy this courtyard gallery of images from different angles – just could not stop myself. We stayed to talk some with the lovely family who lives here now.

They had restored the houses indoors, but the majestic staircase was for the authorities to restore…which unfortunately had not been done. I asked if they still used the staircase – the answer was Yes, and a moment later a man came running down those steps! It did Not look safe. I do hope they will save this architectural treasure for future generations. In Georgia they still have the skills and knowledge – but they should not wait too long.

I hate goodbyes…and with Aleksandr’s passionate soul, this time it was really hard for me. We had to leave him here with his exhibition in his favorite street, next to his favorite balcony. A very special man whom I am very grateful to have met.

Thank You, Aleksandr, for your warm and generous sharing of Tbilisi ♥

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Stone

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Stone

Frank, of dutchgoesthephoto, challenges us to bring him stones this week – here are mine! Also from Ireland, and I think one of the broadest stone fences/walls I have ever seen.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rectangles

For Franks weekly challenge – rectangles! Harpa, Iceland. Look closely and you will find the top of Hallgrimskirkja too.

 

Thursday Thoughts – The Reykjavik Concert Hall

Harpa is the name of the concert hall and conference center in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The structure consists of a steel framework clad with geometric shaped glass panels of different colours. The distinctive colored glass facade was inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland.

 

The opening concert was held on May 4, 2011. As this unfortunately was our last day in Iceland, we could not attend any concert this time.

Harpa was designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in co-operation with Danish – Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

The building is the first purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavík and it was developed in consultation with artistic advisor Vladimir Ashkenazy and international consultant Jasper Parrott of HarrisonParrot. It houses the Iceland Symphonic Orchestra and the offices of The Icelandic Opera.

Needless to say, I was deeply impressed and in awe. The Icelanders are so aesthetically perfect, and so skilled at every possible art form.