What: Hamsun plaque

Where: The former Hotel London, Atonell, Tbilisi, Georgia

Here it is: You are surely standing on the main street Rustaveli. In the middle of Rustaveli lies the Rustaveli theatre. Cross the park next to the theatre and walk in the direction of the river and the Chughureti bridge and you will meet the Atonell street and the former Hotel London.

How it is, that Hamsun's name has been connected with Georgia in such a way? We are going back to the year 1898, when Hamsun departs on a long voyage with his first wife Bergljot. The outcome of the travel was the book "I Æventyrland, oplevet og drømt i Kaukasien" (In Wonderland) published 1903:

"My own hotel, London, had a star. Opposite the hotel lies a large park and I enter it, walks through it and comes to the other side. Most people I see wear caucasian costumes with arms; some also wear european suits and hard felt hats; the officers wear tcherkessian uniforms. I see practically no women out."

The book ends with these lines, that goes directly to the heart:
"It is late afternoon. I sit at the open window and watch naked men riding horses into the Black Sea. Their bodies are dark against the blue sea. And the sun shines still on the ruins of Tamara's castle, which rises from the furry forest.
Tomorrow we are travelling again to Baku and later further direction the East. So we are soon out of this country. But I will allways be longing back. Because I have drunk from the river Chur."

© Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at