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first steps in the caucasus
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Wednesday, 02 September 2015

4 days in the middle of the sea, eating sausages, that s long! Especially on rough sea. But we had a bit of distraction with some dolphins who came to swim along the boat. We were rather pleased to arrive in Batumi, a seaside city which attract a lot of russian tourists.

sur le bateau sur le bateau batumi batumi

We camped on the sea shore, and during the night a huge storm broke and would last for the next 3 days. Our first feeling of Georgia is thus very humid. Driving is tricky, as georgian drivers are reckless and drive rather fast and on the wrong lane, without using indicators, in dying old Lada, on rough roads in between cows and pigs.

sur les route georgiennes sur les route georgiennes


In the restaurant, communication and menu reading is hard, each meal is a new surprise. It s most of the time very good, but a bit strange, like this french fries and pork stew, topped up with cream.

Because of the bad weather, we change our plans and head to Russia, driving a valley surrounded by the 2 caucasus mountain ranges. Between 2 showers we visit Gelati and Motsameta monasteries, perched in the mountains and the fortified church of Ananuri which overlooks a lake.

gelati 1 gelati 1 gelati 2 gelati 2

Ananuri Ananuri

Through the gorges of Dariali (a bit misty), we reach the russian border where we will have to wait 7 long hours!

Dariali 1 Dariali 1 Dariali 2 Dariali 2

Russian people have a very unique sense of queuing, some of them trying to over take on an imaginary middle lane, creating an entertaining mess. The russian side of the border appears far more fastidious and disorganized than the georgian one.

Once in Russia, we are welcomed by big billboards showing Vladimir in fighter plane or mountaineering. We spend the night in a zucchini field from where we will have a great view on the great Caucasus and its snow capped peaks the next morning.

vlad vlad morning view morning view

We drive to the foot of the mount Elbruz, the highest summit of the Caucasus (5642m) and go for a nice walk offering a good views of the top and of the surroundings glaciers. On the way we eat a lot of tasty wild raspberries.

elbrus elbrus walk walk

From there we will try to explore the russian Caucasus through the small mountain roads.