Tbilisi, Georgia: the Risen City! 3/4
Day 2: Closer To Heaven
Today we will start earlier because we need to drive outside the city. We will trip on Georgian Military Highway and see the beauty of Jinvali Reservoir. Then visit the ancient fortress and monastery complex of Ananuri and then Kazbegi.
We took the Georgian military road, a beautiful road, surroundedby green, then you start to see the Caucasian mountains, now in August they areall green but in winter they become white of course. Georgia also is perfectwinter destination for tourists, they have lot of ski resorts and winteractivities.
Ana mentioned that Georgia has abundant water resources,they use their resources very well and benefit from them and they have a lot ofbeautiful lakes and “Jinvali lake” is really stunning.
When we took the military road, we noticed the presence ofcows just in the middle of the highway and it seems it’s something Georgiansare used to see. You just wait for the cows to move willingly, you just don’tbother them; it was really funny even though I believe it can cause manyaccidents. I mean you’re driving on the highway and suddenly a cow or many cowsare sleeping in the middle of the road.
We visited Ananuri fortress and monastery; there are 2 main churches built in the 17th century, 2 fortifications towers and defensive wall all around. It’s rich in its decorations and you can find Georgian inscriptions in the walls. The Georgian Alphabet is recognized by UNESCO, it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016. But before creating the current script, they had 2 other scripts, first one was created in 5th century BC and it was 62 letters, the second in 4th century AD and it consisted of 47 letters, the modern was made in the 10th century and it consisted of 33 letters. There used to be 38 letters until the 20th century but some of the scholars and famous Georgian writers decided that 5 of them were quite difficult to write and pronounce so they removed 5 letters as our guide explained. I can tell you that I find the entire Georgian alphabet quite difficult, I believe it will be challenging to learn it 😊 maybe someday!
The Georgian military road is also the main road from Russia to Georgia and then to Armenia. In Jvari pass, there is the Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument. It’s a large round stone and concrete structure overlooking the devil’s valley. The friendship of course is debatable!
It’s a great view from there, you feel you’re in heaven, even though it’s August but it’s a bit cold. The fresh air will make you feel alive; this place is 2200 meters above the sea level.
Then we continued to Gudauri the mountain Ski resort in Kazbegibut it’s all green now. You can do some paragliding if you like. In winter allthese mountains will be covered in snow.
Now we must visit the Gergeti Trinity Church under mount Kazbegi and enjoy the great view of Kazbek Mount which altitude is 5’047 meters.
We changed the car to a 4×4 jeep and a local driver as well. OK, it’s normal! I mean it’s a high place! And then we realized why our guide asked us not to eat before this visit. We were bouncing and shaking the entire journey but it was fun! At some time, about tens of cars had to wait so the cars from opposite direction can pass! Only one car can pass in some places! Negotiations between drivers and people out of their cars until problem is solved and we passed safely. Our driver was an expert unlike many drivers that didn’t know what to do so we felt safe. The cows are also there, they were hardly moving from the car horn sound. The funny part that Ana told us that one time she had a tourist that fell asleep! Really! We couldn’t stop shaking and bouncing then my friend was like: probably he was dead! 😁
Ana has mentioned that the government has a project to restore this road because its condition is not good and there are plenty of Georgians visiting Trinity Church in addition to the huge number of tourists as well. We hope it will be renovated before our next visit 😊
You’re missing a divine experience if you don’t feel the cold air and the great view! Serenity at its best, heaven seems closer from here!
The way back is always easier of course and now aftershaking and bouncing, we are starving!
My friend did a research prior to our trip and she had one dish on her wish list. She described it to Ana and here it is: the Adjaruli Khachapuri. Khachapuri in Georgia comes in all shapes, sizes, flavors and hues, the most commonly type is Imeritian khachapuri which is round and covered with melted cheese like a pizza and we tasted this yesterday and Adjaruli is another kind. It’s like a boat made of dough and the hot pie is topped with raw egg and pat of butter! Oh damn! 😋
Ana and Soso have chosen a German Restaurant. The food is really delicious in addition to the German beer as well even though I always drink wine. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to drink wine in one of the most famous wine-making countries in the entire world!
It was a tiring day but it was some day! We were closer to heaven!
I guess my heart is still wandering up on the hills, enjoying the great view. I still feel the wind on my face and I still smell the lovely scent of this great place!
Tomorrow is another experience and unfortunately it’s the last day!
Is Georgia on your bucket list yet?
H.A – January 20th 2019
Categories: Travel & Tourism