First, I paid a visit to the Gori Fortress, which has been in use since before the 7th century. I FROZE! It was winter, the ground was covered in snow, and yes, it was cold. But the wind up at the top made it brutally cold. The fortress looks interesting from street level but once I got to the top I realized there was nothing there.
After a while, it was so cold I thought I was going to lose a finger, but the views from the top were totally worth it!
After the fortress, I went around the other side of the hill it’s on and visited a monument. It’s dedicated to a 12th century Georgian poet, Rustaveli.
The Gori Cathedral was nearby. I stuck around for part of the service and warmed up a bit before heading back out to the bitter cold.
Next was Stalin Park, which is the location of the Joseph Stalin Museum. Other than the museum, there’s a WWII memorial. Behind the WWII memorial is a new memorial to seven Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Next to the memorials is the Great Patriotic War Museum (which I didn’t visit). From there, I decided I should head back to Tbilisi. On my walk back to the bus station, I passed Gori’s city hall and theatre.
All in all, I spent about three hours in Gori. That’s all I really needed, although there are a few interesting things nearby that I would like to see (next time?). The marshrutka ride was just over an hour each way and it proved to be a very easy and worthwhile day trip. I was very happy I went.
A final note: the bus station is much less chaotic than the one in Tbilisi. The marshrutkas to Tbilisi are located on the curb furthest away from the bus station building. You buy a ticket from a man outside the marshrutka, get on, and give your ticket to the driver once you reach Tbilisi. Very simple. Marshrutkas leave frequently. I think I waited no longer than 20 minutes.