This week we’re treated to not one, but two rare travel insights. Our member RooFlyer recently experienced the delights of Etihad’s renowned First Class Apartments on the way to a destination that rarely comes to mind for Australian travellers: the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, which is home to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Today starts a bit of a jump into the unknown; a week in the Republic of Georgia and a few days in Azerbaijan. Fortunately that jump will be eased by going SYD-AUH on Etihad’s A380 in one of their F apartments, claimed using AA miles.

After a visit to the fantastic Etihad lounge in Sydney, an “apartment” in row 3 of the A380 awaited. First Class on Etihad offers one of the most spacious, comfortable suites in the skies and our member was not left disappointed. In addition to an (albeit small) onboard shower, first class guests are treated to cuisine prepared specially by an on-board chef. The chef has the luxury of working in what our member describes as the largest galley they’ve ever seen on an aircraft. This is resembled in the quality of the food. Plus, it’s not everyday that one can check emails and watch live TV from 40,000 feet!

After a short stopover in the UAE the journey continued rather un-fittingly with a low-cost airline, Fly Dubai to Tbilisi.

Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia. It seems there is much to like about this modern city. Our member describes it as one of the cleanest cities in the world, with friendly locals, stunning architecture and plenty more to enjoy.

Georgia is also home to one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world. As a wine connoisseur, our member was not about to let the opportunity to sample this wine slip by!

Wine is Georgia and Georgia is wine. Wine shops and tasting rooms are everywhere. And they pour a LARGE glass!! I haven’t gotten my head around Georgian wine yet – the grape varieties; the districts and especially how the same grape can produce vastly different wines. More research needed.

The trip continued around other parts of Georgia with the help of a local guide. Although certain parts of the country did not leave a remarkable impression, our member still recommends a vist.

So, summing up Georgia. Its very diverse – great mountains, beaches to the west, lots of history of course and there’s no doubt its a unique wine experience. Reasonably cheap – you can get a good dinner and drinks in a decent restaurant for about A$30 – A$40 all up.

Tbilisi is a great town to spend a couple of days – wine tasting, checking out the city and exploring the old town. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t have gone west, except to visit Gori, Jvari and Mtskheta as a day trip out of Tbilisi.

Following a short hop over to Baku, the Azerbaijan leg began. What did our member make of it?

This trip report is another RooFlyer classic; a most enjoyable read. The wealth of information and quality of the photos make this a page-turner you won’t want to miss! Follow the trip report HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]