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.

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Pur Pur

This is Pur Pur, another magical restaurant In Tbilisi, Georgia.

A bit hard to find though – in the middle of this big construction site called – Tbilisi. Luckily there were some signs on the way…

…so, finally we found Pur Pur, in the old town area. Resting close to a peaceful park –

– leaning against another house, it was one of the last houses still standing. Just open the door, walk slowly up the stairs, enter the room, and you will be enveloped in its warm, rich and creative atmosphere!

Their food is delicious, and so is the Georgian wine. We got the blue table by the window, where we had our farewell dinner, saying goodbye to a very special country, a very special city and a very special people.

If you ever find Pur Pur while roaming the world – (it might not be found in the same house by then…) I do recommend you to drop in – and not only for the food and the wine. You will leave a richer person than you first arrived here.

 

 

Lens – Artists Photo Challenge #75 – Nostalgic

I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest.  – Robert Wyatt

Tina is hosting this week, and she wants us to be Nostalgic. This is a feeling that easily comes to me, touches me, just like tears do. Nostalgia is such a unique phenomenon because it fuses both positive and negative experiences and emotions.

The word nostalgia is a Greek compound, meaning ”homecoming”, a Homeric word, and ”pain” or ”ache”, and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Today its meaning is a bit different. So, my Nostalgic will be entirely about my own life.

I don’t have any digital photos of my grandmother, but my childhood was so much about her. My nostalgic memories always take me to her garden and the flowering apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, plum trees and …her sweet voice and contagious laughter.

I always make a distinction between nostalgia and sentimentality. Nostalgia is genuine – you mourn things that actually happened.  – Pete Hamill

After my grandmother, my first Lagotto, Mille, evokes my nostalgic memories. He was such an impressive dog who hit all your senses already in the first blow. You did not stand a chance. He will be forever remembered by everyone who met him.

Cattleya

Tropical Pointer

Can you feel nostalgic about one single flower? I can! Many years ago I had a fantastic favorite orchid – a Cattleya hybrid, ”Tropical Pointer”. I had it for several years and it came back again and again with a multitude of flowers. I think of it as a He – don’t know why.  He just flowered himself to death (if you can say it that way…). And like everything else in this world, you can never get the same thing twice. I kept searching for a new Tropical Pointer, in every garden center, in every country I visited, but new hybrids come every year – and the old ones are forgotten…

Nostalgia is a very human trait.  – Stephanie Coontz

My beloved apple tree – a bit of a warden tree for this house (about 100 years old). Nostalgia hits me when looking at it in its former glory. You who follow my blog know it is the same tree (but lying down, 2019) in the Creepy post.

Finally, we had some foreign guests in town when the children played in different orchestras, some 15 years ago.  A big meeting with other European countries brought a couple of young guys our way. They stayed at our house for some nights while the festivities lasted. This young man was an avid accordion player – every time I look at the photo, I can feel his love for music and for his instrument warming my heart.

In the header, one of the very few photos of my whole family together. Nostalgia over all those years we still traveled together, and how excited we were over reaching our dream – Tibet.

 

Thank you, Tina, for hosting this week instead of me! And, as always, Amy, Tina, Patti and I thank you for your continued support of our photo challenge.

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Hot Spot Fabrika

Fabrika, Tbilisi, ”Once a soviet sewing factory, has been revived and transformed into a multi-functional urban space bringing together enthusiastic individuals ready to stretch their minds with new exhilarating experiences.” This is how this urban hot spot describes itself to potential visitors – let’s have a look!

”With its striking “old-meets-new” attitude, Fabrika oozes genuinely cool soviet vibes blended with funky industrial elements.

It has become the symbol of renovation, recreation and reinvention.”

I loved the graffitti…

The spacious yard – not many there in the middle of the day, but, I could easily imagine the crowds on a hot summer’s night!

Why not step inside? Everything  so airy and colourful. Youngsters working or relaxing, playing games or just sleeping. Rather quiet at this time of the day…and no heavy music. – Which was much appreciated by me – generally there is too much music, all the time and everywhere in society. Sometimes I find it difficult to hear my own thoughts…

The hostel seemed popular, and the food was tasty. People dropping in and out every minute. Fabrika prides itself of being the creative center of Tbilisi –

…and I do believe it is. Maybe next time we will drop in a late evening for the joy of the creative process. The Georgians we met were very good at English, and I would not say no to a night of fruitful discussions on Life – over a cool drink. Before it is over.

We walked back through the streets, with the ”old-meets-new” feeling lingering all the way home. I wonder for how long Old Tbilisi will keep its ”Old” part.

Lens- Artists Photo Challenge # 74 – Abstract

It makes no difference whether a work is naturalistic or abstract; every visual expression follows the same fundamental laws. – Hans Hofmann

Patti is asking us to go Abstract – ”relating to or denoting art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but rather seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, colours, and textures.”

Over the last 30 years I have developed a taste for abstract art. But, something – ”that could have been painted by any child”, (said about a big blank canvas with a single red dot) as my mother would put it, will probably not hang on my wall.  But I am sure it will hang on someone else’s wall instead! That is one of the reasons to why art is so interesting. Now we are looking forward to seeing Your ideas of Abstract!

In the header, a work by a favorite of mine, Antoni Gaudí.

Colourful from our exhibition park in Wanås, Sweden. Much of the art exhibited here, it is allowed to climb on or walk into. Do you think some art/art forms are ”more useful” than others?

Glass from Kosta-Boda Art Hotel – a material very much ”alive”

The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract. – Ellen Key

People like abstract art because it makes them feel clever. –  James Acaster

The two images above are both examples of a mix of photographic art and architecture. The first one is a phone photo from Helsingborg trainstation, processed in several apps, and the second one was made by simply tilting the photo (and raindrops on the lens).

Finally, some of Nature’s own abstract art –

I used to wonder, How do artists think when they work with an abstract piece of art? Well, Pablo Picasso says that There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

– Sounds perfectly right to me.

We send our heartfelt wishes to all our Australian blogger friends who have experienced weeks of devastating fires. May the rains come soon and bring an end to the terrible fears and destruction.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Peace

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Peace

Non-Violence is a bronze sculpture by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd of an oversized Colt Python.357 Magnum revolver with a knotted barrel and the muzzle pointing upwards. Carl R. made this sculpture after singer, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon was murdered.

There are currently 16 copies of the sculpture around the world. An original standing outside the United Nations headquarters in NY.

This photo is from Lund, where I studied at the University for several years.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Fantasy

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Fantasy

 

Fantasy – a treasure for those who have it and use it creatively! For Frank this week.

Thursday Thoughts – The Harvest is In

We happened to land in Tbilisi the day before the annual October festival – two days of celebrating the grape harvest of the year. What luck! Follow me to the market!

The whole city on its feet, night and day. The first thing we noticed was the many ”braids” of candy called Churchkhela. Delicious! (Recipe in the link.)

They make long threads of mostly walnuts or hazelnuts, then dip them in boiled/cooked grape juice. A long process for several layers, but oh…the taste! We bough many with us home – all colours.

The lovely ”Tree of Life”, by sculptor David Monavarlisashvili, offers so much to discover for children – and grown-ups… It greatly reminded me of one of my children’s favorite authors, Shaun Tan, his books and movies.

And the nights were warm, slowly walking the Rike Park and Peace Bridge. The bridge stretches 150 metres (490 ft) over the Kura River to create a contemporary design feature connecting Old Tbilisi with the new district. The official opening took place on May 6, 2010. Architect, Italian Michele De Lucchi.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66 – Fill the Frame

Filling the frame offers a sense of completeness, clarity, inclusion, and comfort. We essentially “dive in” and experience the true essence of what the subject has to offer.

Lucas Martin

 

Last week Tina challenged us to share images of a special place or country. This week Patti is hosting, and she is asking us to fill the frame – what will You be filling Yours with?

Here are some of My filled frames, a variety of choices.

Wooden steps

An umbrella

A quarter of a stone circle

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Garlic

Leaves

A poppy

Princess of the Night