One of my favourite haunts in Tbilisi is Drybridge Market, a fleamarket with a plethora of curios. I initially went to look for Diecast models (more details in my diecast blog: Drybridge Market (diecasts) ) to add to my collection and that is still one of the principal attractions for me. I also find it is a good place for taking photos particularly when the sun is shining.
Drybridge Market is the most interesting market in Tbilisi. You’ll find all kinds of knick-knacks and charming miscellanea from art, accordions, samovars and electrical gadgets to china, glass and silver being sold off by impoverished old folk.
In addition to diecast cars, I also look through some of the badges related to cars. I have a few now. I saw some interesting badges related to early Soviet Spaceflight, pins of Vostok 3 and Yuri Gargarin, the first man in space. I might get some another time, they were only one or two lari each.
Sometimes there are pieces related to the wars, like this SS Helmet, asking price: an eye watering $300, but I was assured by the seller that it wasn’t his “last price”. There is a lot of Soviet War Memorabilia, as you might expect in the former Soviet Union: uniforms, medals, gas masks etc
I wonder if any of those old phones work…
Backgammon (Nardi) is a very popular game in Georgia. You often see old men in Georgia playing on park benches.
I was most interested in amber since reading A Visible Darkness about the amber trade in the Baltic in the early nineteenth century. I was told amber is 1.5 lari for a gramme…I bought a very small piece for 2.5 lari (about $1.20).
The photo of this lorry attracted a lot of interest when I posted it on a Facebook Group “Eastern Bloc cars” because it is made in the Lada Factory…the Lada Logo is clearly seen on the side of the cab. I was interested in a different lorry, a 1:43 Soviet Made Kamaz Milk (Moloko) Tanker with tipping cab, which cost me 40 lari.
I came away with a couple of dozen pictures, a Moloko Tanker, a Matchbox Chevrolet Silverado, a small grain of amber and a badge rewarding careful drivers (total expenditure 49.50 lari about $23).
I visit the market two or three times each month.