We left Tbilisi Monday morning in the comfortable air conditioned van 👍, heading northeast from our hotel to Sighnaghi, a town of about 900 people in Georgia’s easternmost region. Although it is one of Georgia’s smallest towns, Sighnaghi serves as a popular tourist destination due to its location at the heart of Georgia’s wine-growing regions, as well as its picturesque landscapes, pastel houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Located on a steep hill, Sighnaghi overlooks the vast Alazani Valley, with the Caucasus Mountains visible at a distance. We walked along the town’s Main Street, through its central square on top of a hill and through a small shaded park. Along one side of the park, below the town’s art museum we saw a stone sculptured mural with the names of Georgians killed in World War I . . . over 300,000.
Farther down the cobblestone street we stopped to take in the views of the valley, then followed a smaller local street through the stone-arched gateway to the ancient stone perimeter wall that was built to protect the town from its Caucasian neighbors to the north.
For lunch we headed to a private residence where we ate lunch outside under umbrellas, with spectacular views of Sighnaghi. Everything served was grown and prepared by the owners, from the red and white wine to the dessert cookies. We were served cucumber and tomato salad, hot fresh bread, a bean dish, fried potatoes, beet salad, barbecued pork, and cookies and tea. The food was great and the setting perfect, with a very welcomed breeze cooling us off from the mid-90s temperatures.