A Country at the Crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East
Is Georgia (the country) situated in Europe, the Middle East or Asia? World maps tell me that it is in Asia, but more specifically it’s in the Caucuses. The Middle East is apparently considered to be part of Asia (according to some maps) so there’s overlap, but Georgia is not in the Middle East. Bordering the country in the South is its neighbor Turkey which is in the Middle East (Turkey is therefore also in Asia). In the North Georgia has a border with Russia which is in Asia too. Georgia is located on the Eastern side of the Black Sea. On the other side of it (as the crow flies) is Romania and Bulgaria, and they are in Europe. Maps on the internet tell me that Ukraine and the Eastern part of Russia are geographically in Europe (but politically they are not). I couldn’t find any maps that places Georgia within Europe, although such maps might exist. My conclusion; Georgia is truly situated at the crossroads between various regions making its status somewhat ambiguous, as is often the case with borderlands.
Georgians seem to see themselves as part of Europe though in the sense that they consider themselves to be European. From what I can tell it would seem that there’s a general sense among Georgians that their country is in fact in Europe which would also reflect their aspirations to be unified with it. Wikipedia tells us that Georgia is culturally and geopolitically considered to be European. One thing we do know is that maps have always changed throughout history because borders tend to change and shift as time passes, so countries falling outside of certain geographical areas today, might fall inside of them in the future, or vice versa, and that would also explain the overlapping of geographical regions as recorded on maps, as well as the differing perceptions about them.
A Recommended Travel Destination
The country of Georgia is steeped in ancient history and is definitely worth a visit for a variety of reasons. I’m not going to elaborate too much here so as not give it all away but a few points are worth mentioning. The capital Tbilisi feels like a blend of Europe, Asia and Middle East as one would expect, but culturally it’s very European. It is a very walkable city with an excellent public transport system to boot, which should make it even more appealing for some travelers. There’s a great variety of museums, parks, bridges, restaurants and galleries, not to mention a variety of excursions. I’m a big wine lover and in that sense Tbilisi and Georgia is paradise with many wine-related activities on offer due to it officially having the oldest wine-making sector in the world which dates back 8,000 years (!).
The Georgian countryside is stunning and boasts some of the most spectacular mountains I have seen on my travels with really beautiful lakes too. I have personally enjoyed easily accessible hikes in the urban forest around Tbilisi which provided for a real sense of nature while parts overlook the city from the hills above. There are also day-trips that could be done to other cities and towns by train or bus, so there’s more than enough to explore for those who want to get out of the capital.
Many travel bloggers have already covered Tbilisi and Georgia in finer details (here’s an example) so I will rather share some snapshots that I’ve taken since arriving and let aspirant travelers discover the rest for themselves when they decide to visit, but hopefully these pics will whet some appetites.
Yours in travel,
7 September, 2023