Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kazbegi


Kazbegi, an easy day-trip from Tbilisi, was beautiful enough to earn its own blog post.
We were warned that Kazbegi is firmly entrenched along the tourist route, and after our discouraging stay in Svaneti, we were hesitant to take the bait. However, it turned out okay, and we had some great company: our new friend Kamila from Poland. Getting there was easy- upon exiting the main bus terminal we already heard taxi drivers shouting "Hazbeggy!" but the cheaper option was a mashrutka (8 Lari each, about $5 USD) to take us there. The journey lasted about three hours, including a pit-stop for snacks. The Georgian Military Highway begins in Tbilisi and stretches north through Mtskheta, past the Ananuri fortress, through increasingly panoramic scenery until it essentially terminates at a politically impassable border with Russia just after the Jvari pass (2379m). Kazbegi is the last stop, just a stone's throw from Russia, but peaceful and pleasant despite a constant flow of tourists who all seem to be either Polish, Ukrainian, or Israeli.


Ananuri

The Gergeti Trinity Church was a short (2-hour) hike up the path and provided even more amazing views of the mountain scenery. Guest-houses abound, but we were told by a few people to stay with Nazi. We camped outside and froze our butts off, officially marking the last time we would sleep in our beloved tent this year, but we had plenty of hot tea and home-made rose-water brandy to warm us up!


Frost on the tent-flap
If this van's a-rockin'... don't come a-knockin'!
The most wonderful time of the year
Feeding the cows 
Hey, where's mine?
Home-made khachapuri, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside
Those Georgians certainly did find some fantastic places to put their churches.





We hitchhiked back to Tbilisi, and our driver was kind enough to stop and let us check out this surreal piece of free-standing art, propped up at the side of the highway, detailing some epic story.






1 comment:

Anonymous said...

humans have always seeked their gods in high places ;-)
jim in finland again, now proud father a beautiful little Isabel Ilona ( Joy in Finnish ) Hope Fullwood, born on 13th November ( was Fathers Day in Finland ;-) )
look forward to your blogs, enjoy great travels.