There are even hats for people with tiny heads!

Though Bassa Street, where I live, is the most famous street in Tbilisi, Rustaveli Avenue is a close second. Rustaveli Avenue is a tree lined avenue in central Tbilisi named after the medieval Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli.

The Parliament of Georgia, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Rustaveli Museum among others, are all located on Rustaveli Avenue.

At one end of the avenue artists and souvenir sellers line the sidewalk with their pictures and ‘must have’ souvenirs of Georgia. 

I have seen some foreigners there, trying to negotiate a bargain but Georgians appear to be the main customers.

The tall person says that some of the paintings of Old Tbilisi and those of Georgian women in traditional costume are quite nice.

I saw a painting of a woman with no clothes on. The tall person said it was okay because it was art.

Hmm, you have been admiring that piece of art for too long tall person – move along now. 

The hats you can see in the pictures are from Svaneti, which is a mountainous region in northern Georgia. I sometimes see Svanetian men wearing them in Tbilisi.

You will see from the picture that the hats come in all sizes – there was even a boxful of hats for people with very tiny heads!

You can also buy traditional Georgian drinking horns here. They are called kantsi and are typically made from ram or goat horns, and sometimes from bull horns.

Toasts are an important part of Georgian life and are made with either wine or brandy.

Some of the horns can take 2-3 litres of wine and it is traditional to drink the horn dry in one go!

P.S. There isn’t really a street called Bassa Street, I just call my street that but I am hopeful it will be re-named one day.

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20 thoughts on “There are even hats for people with tiny heads!

  1. Great post! I love hats and would love to shop for one there… I had a old drinking horn once and it was a nice cup! Now, do you ever walk far enough to get to the Parlaiment or Museum? I would love to see them if you do! 🙂 I do not know how big your city is… I should perhaps do some reading on it eh? I love seeing your city and learning about Georgia! Just a question for your tall person. Which political party is in control of Georgia now? I can bet it isn’t the Communist Party. Just wondering and trying to learn more about your beautiful home! Again, keep up the great posts Bassa!

    • Rustaveli Avenue is a 45 minute walk for me and there are lots of cars and people so I don’t go there often but I will ask the tall person to take some pictures of the parliament and other buildings there.

      It’s great that you like learning about my country. I like it when you ask questions. Tbilisi is quite small for a capital city. It has a population of 1.2 million, which is around one quarter of the whole population of Georgia. The total population of Georgia is only 4.6 million.

      The main political party is the United National Movement, led by the President, Mikheil Saakashvili. Other parties include the Christian Democratic Movement [led by Giorgi Targamadze]; Free Democrats [led by Irakli Alasania]; Republican Party [led by David Usupashvili] and the Labor Party [led by Shalva Natelashvili].

      • Thank you Bassa for all the information! I am off to study more about Georgia. I spent a long time looking at your money, the Presidential Palace, which is beautiful, the cool bridge by it and more. I want to look up the parties and learn about them. 🙂 Thank you for teaching me about your country. It is amazing that 1 in 4 people in your beautiful country live in Tbilisi! What a very important city in size and as a capitol! 🙂 Thank you again! 🙂

      • Bassa!
        I read about the political parties and wanted to make sure I have it right… The Christian Democratic Movement is your most conservative party. Then the UNM and Republicans are the center-right parties and it seems the biggest difference is perhaps leadership personality clashes? Then the Free Democrat are a left-center party and the Labour Party is a socialist party. Do I have this right? By the way I vote for your street to be named Bassa Street Also! 🙂

      • Your assessment is about right Chuck. At the moment it is all about personality. President Mikheil Saakashvili remains extremely popular, as does his United National Movement Party. On January 5, 2008, Saakashvili was elected to a second 5-year term with 53.45% of the vote. Levan Gachechiladze, the unified candidate of nine opposition parties, received 25.68%. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2012 and a presidential election is scheduled for 2013. Under Georgia’s constitution, President Saakashvili is prevented from running for a third term in 2013. Tall person believes that Saakashvili has been very good for Georgia. He will be a hard act to follow.

  2. Bassa,

    Is Rustaveli Avenue a must-see tourist destination? I think those drinking horns would be a nice souvenir.

    Renaming the street where you live to Bassa Street would be great, wouldn’t it? It’s easy to remember. 🙂

    • Rustaveli Avenue has a lot of famous buildings in it as well as lots of shops so it is very popular. It would be cheaper to buy horns and other souvenirs in the markets. Yes, Bassa Street sounds nice and I would always remember where I live 🙂

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