A guide to the New East

Wild abandon: I took an indulgent road trip across Georgia and you should too

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By now you’ve probably heard every major travel outlet wax lyrical about Tbilisi’s abundance of charm. Once you’ve wandered around the city’s eclectic architecture, tasted all the churchkhela and khachapuri on offer, and sought out the edgy young brands making their mark in high fashion, Russian photographer Dina Lün recommends swapping city views for quiet pastures. Only a few hours’ drive away from the capital, Georgia boasts a world of serene pastoral landscapes and rugged natural beauty. “There’s no denying that Tbilisi is a gorgeous city but I’d advise you to not stay there too long. Travelling around the country is both convenient and safe, so check out the surrounding area and go as far as you can from the capital,” says Lün, who took an epic road trip across Georgia earlier this year. “We visited the David Gareja monastery; passed through Gori, the birthplace of Stalin; dared to ride Chiatura’s strange network of cable cars; and wandered around the ancient caves of Uplistsikhe [...] The only valuable skill you might want to master is not over-ordering on food and drink. You can get easily get through a couple of litres of wine without noticing and not be able to get out of bed the next morning,” she advises. Feeling inspired? Just make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase for souvenirs of homemade cheeses, local wine and sweets.

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