BBC Travel: A Georgian welcome on the frontline of war

The road between Tbilisi and Gori passes by overgrown fields and the occasional train track. Photo: Eddie Gerald/Alamy., Sep 21, 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia

BBC Travel has published an article about the journey of its journalist Joe Worthington in the Georgian city of Gori.

The trip started from the capital of Tbilisi from where Worthington followed Georgian man Davit Georgashvili to his home city of Gori.

The author described Gori as "significantly more architecturally Soviet in style than Tbilisi”. He mentioned that he was greeted by a huge poster of Stalin staring down at us from the side of a residential tower block and quoted Georgashvili’s words which said that the people of Gori, the birthplace of the divisive former Soviet ruler, are sympathetic towards Stalin because he invested heavily in the city.

As Gori is located so close to the restive South Ossetia region, whose independence is supported by Russia, the city often suffers the consequences of Russian interference, including the gradual land grabs into Georgia that the Russian army undertakes each year,” the article reads.

The author highlighted Georgia’s hospitality "despite being one of the poorest states in Europe, and facing constant threats of invasion from Russia”.

Throughout my time in Georgia, I learned what hardships the constant threat of Russian invasion bring. More importantly, however, I witnessed how Georgians overcome adversity by doing perhaps the last thing that many people would expect: embracing outsiders. Gori may be dominated by its Soviet past, but its residents are perhaps the most hospitable that I have ever met,” read the article.

Read the full article here.