Welcome Party is indeed one of the most important parts of the conference such as ICPS, as it defines expectations for the whole event. The Culinary Academy of Georgia (CAG) has offered to serve delicious Georgian food right from the beginning of the opening ceremony. The quite exquisite amphitheatre infrastructure of the university allows for such overlap (Free University Tbilisi (FUT) hosts an early reunion for the alumni with an approximate amount of 700-800 students). You can take a seat in the huge outdoor space of the university, while we welcome you to our event.
Alumni Reunion at the Free University of Tbilisi. [Photo provided by the staff of the university.]
At the end of Monday we are planning to organize Game Night. For this, we have contacted two board game clubs for help. You should expect a whole variety of intellectual games and exciting prizes for each one of them.
Night life in Tbilisi is very active. On Tuesday we will go for a much craved pub crawl. Those who would instead taste some of our finest wines, will definitely be able to do so too! We plan to book bars and restaurants in advance so that we are certain our participants have an amazing time. Splendid atmosphere and good local music is guaranteed.
Wednesday will offer Free Night (let’s face it, AGM will still be going on...). Since our planned social activities barely scratch the surface of what one could do in the capital, we would like to inform the guests about different kinds of available activities in Tbilisi, such as: exploring several hiking trails, lakes in the mountainous city of Tbilisi, walking in the Old Tbilisi cobalt streets full of old buildings with unique architecture, relaxing in hot springs spots, shopping in huge malls or in small local bazaars, enjoying the wonderful scenarios from Mtatsimnda park, raving in famous Bassiani night club till the morning and many more. It’s worth mentioning the crowded places like Fabrika, Wine Factory N1, Stamba that once were soviet factory buildings and later have been repurposed into bars, cafés, and cultural hubs for young people. During the conference, we plan on providing the participants with a huge list of amazing locations for them to visit during their free evening(s).
On Thursday we will the Nations Evening. The Culinary Academy of Georgia has agreed on letting our participants use one of their huge kitchens. The kitchen includes 8 different stations with their own table, sink, stove, and oven. The evening itself will be held outdoors in the backyard. The CAG has proposed to rent tents so that every NC has their own cultural space. The costs for this are in the budget.
FUT has an amazing auditorium magnum, which quite often serves as theatre. If you have hidden talents (except for being an exceptional physicist, of course...), be sure to sign up, get on stage, and knock people out of their socks! (Oh, yeah... we will also have prizes for that.)
Similarly to the welcome event, CAG has offered to host the closing ceremony in parallel with a farewell party, where they will serve professionally prepared BBQ along with a wide variety of delicious food, different treats, and drinks.
Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory
Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, the first alpine astrophysical observatory, was founded in 1932 on the territory of the former Soviet Union. It is located on Mount Khanobili, around 240 km from Tbilisi, and 30 km in the north-west from Akhaltsikhe, at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level.
Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory. [Copyright: Overlando [Abastumani].]
Batumi Botanical Garden
Located at the distance of 9 km from the center of Batumi, occupies the area of 108.7 hectares of approximately 1 km stripe of Southern-Western section of the coastline located between the river Chakvistskali estuary and the Green Cape, being spread to the height of 0-220 meters from the sea level, which not long time ago was totally covered with Kolkheti type forest (beech, chestnut, linden) and evergreen sub-forest . Currently, the garden consists of nine floristic sectors, those of Caucasian humid subtropics, East Asia, New Zealand, South America, the Himalayas, Mexico, Australia, and of the Mediterranean. The garden collection comprises 2037 taxonomic units of woody plants, including 104 of Caucasian origin .
The Prometheus Cave
The Prometheus cave is a stalactite cave located forty meters below the sea level in Kumistavi, Georgia. Its length is 1.8 km and is about 60-70 million years old. Even though there were found 22 different halls in the cave, only 6 are available to visit: Argonauts, Kolkheti, Medea, Love, Hall, and Iberia. It approximately takes 45 minutes to explore all these stunning and magical halls full of stalactites, stalagmites, underground lakes, rivers and waterfalls. The tour is accompanied by divine classical music, which with the modern lighting system, makes the experience much more enjoyable and unforgettable. The last part of the path through the cave can be travelled on foot or on a boat along the underground river, Kumi, which is only additional 15 minutes to the trip.
Adjarian Wine House
Here one can explore the vineyards, the wine factory, cellar and enotheque decorated with ethnographic elements. One can also engage in various activities such as wine tasting. The Adjarian Wine House presents alcoholic drinks of 28 denominations: white, rose and red wines produced in two factories. Visitors can also participate in various traditional activities, which include :
- the Qvevri opening ritual,
- making of Khinkali,
- Churchkhela dumping,
- bread baking and cheese making,
- rape stomping and Chacha distilling,
- wrapping Georgian cigars.
Shekvetili Dendrological Park
Located in Georgia’s western Ozurgeti municipality, with over 200 giant trees of unique species, 58 species of birds from all continents and bamboo grove is ready to receive visitors. Dendrological Park is spread over 60 hectares and units thousands of species of local and foreign exotic flora. housands of different exotic trees have been imported in Georgia from five continents over the past years. While approaching the unique trees, an electronic, sensor sound system will turn on, and a virtual guide will let visitors know the name, size and information about the tree. Amongst endemic species visitors can find Japanese Raisin trees, Camphor trees and different types of Cedar. An artificial lake located in the centre of the park is about about six metres deep. The depth is tailored to the needs of the birds that live near the lake. Visitors can find pink flamingos, pelicans, storks and over 50 species of birds .
Rafting on the rivers Rioni and Tskhenistskali
These rivers are most famous in Georgia and flow in the Racha-Lechkhumi region, as well as Imereti and Kvemo Svaneti. Many rafting routes from beginner level to expert level available here. Conducting rafting on these rivers is possible for one or a few days. And the best part is that you can raft along Rioni all year round. Let’s take a closer look at these rivers.The most famous river is Rioni, with the nearest settlement of Kutaisi (located 2.5 hours from Batumi, 3.5 hours from Tbilisi). The distance from Kutaisi to the starting points of rafting routes is approximately one to 2,5 hours by car. All the routes require being on the water for at least 1,5 hours. Also, you must count the time needed for instructions and equipment dressing. You should estimate the time of the event at least 3 hours without taking into account the transfer time. On the Rioni, you can find for both dynamic but light routes in the lower reaches of the river and more serious ones in the upper reaches for people who have experience. Tskhenistskali river is a more seasonal one. On the upper reaches of the river locates challenging routes for professionals, for the lower reaches available middle-grade descent of 11 kilometers stretch, that open from March till August .
The Georgian Military Highway, Georgia’s most spectacular road. Gergeti Trinity Church, the country’s most iconic place of worship. The Greater Caucasus, Europe’s most impressive mountain range. And the snow-capped crest of Georgia’s third-highest peak. These are the things that make Kazbegi a one-of-a-kind destination.
Lagodekhi National Park
One of the world’s best-preserved, primitive areas with a diversity of natural landscapes – is located in Lagodekhi, in the extreme north-eastern part of the southern slopes of the Caucasus and extends at an altitude of 590-3500 m. Lagodekhi Protected Areas include Lagodekhi Nature Reserve (19755 ha) and Managed Reserve (4500 ha). The latter creates optimal conditions for an understanding of nature through infrastructure development related to education and recreation works. At present there are five breathtaking, safe and informative tourist trails in managed reserve of Lagodekhi Protected Areas, namely: Grouse waterfall, Ninoskhevi waterfall, Machi castle, Black Rock Lake and knowledge of nature trail.
Vashlovani National Park
Home to some of Georgia’s most unique and diverse landscapes. Here you’ll find narrow canyons and jagged peaks, expansive savanna dotted with pistachio trees, bubbling mud volcanoes, barren plateaus, forested mountains, and a snaking river forming the border with Azerbaijan. This huge swathe of land, located in the very southeastern corner of Georgia, is spectacularly beautiful and full of surprises.
Mtirala Nantional Park
The territory of the park is entirely covered with forests and shrubbery. Here is represented Colchis flora characteristic for Adjara, which is the remains of tropical flora of the Paleogene period in the territory of Georgia. Due to climate changes in Neogene period many tropical species became extinct, and the remaining species formed Colchis refugium, which is one of the main dignities of Mtirala National Park. If you would like to make your journey more sportive, interesting or extreme, then Mtirala National Park is a good opportunity. Feel the wind on your face and fly through the sub-tropical forest. In addition to hiking, the park also offers it’s visitors activities such as - zip-line, bird-watching, and rope park .
Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape)
Located 9 km outside of Batumi, Green Cape (Mtsvane Kontskhi) is one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in Georgia. The area is 70-92 meters above sea level. Batumi Botanical Garden is located within picturesque setting of the Green Cape. Thousands of visitors come to the garden each year due to its wide variety of flora .
Mountainous summer resort in Guria, where sea and mountain weather merges together, and has natural curing effect. It is 2100-2755 meters from the sea level. The resort is surrounded by spruce and silver-fir tree forests, is rich with mineral waters, mineral and spa climate and other natural resources. Gomismta is known as the kingdom of the clouds and the fog, which is caused by the humid climate .
Kolkheti National Park
The first natural site in Georgia, nominated on the UNESCO World Heritage List, for its Colchic forests and wetland. The Kolkheti Lowlands received international attention for the first time in 1996 when Georgia joined the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental treaty on wetlands of international importance, especially those that serve as habitats for waterfowl. Park is in the emerald network as well, which is ecological cooperation, created in order to make up special conservation interest. You will be astonished about how many birds migrate here! Wetlands are an important resting and staging area for thousands of water birds migration between Northern Eurasia and Africa .
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