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georgia final instalment
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Thursday, 08 October 2015

Because we like it, we took again a secondary rough road to go to the cave monastery of Vardzia ; we did right as it rewarded us with a spectacular view over the canyon and the city.

Vardzia canyon Vardzia canyon

Vardzia 1 Vardzia 1

Vardzia 2 Vardzia 2 varszia 3 varszia 3

In the area, we visit some more monasteries and fortresses including the one newly restored in Akhaltsikhe with its mosque and citadel.

vardzia fortress 1 vardzia fortress 1 vardzia fortress 2 vardzia fortress 2

sapara monastery 1 sapara monastery 1 sapara monastery 2 sapara monastery 2

akhaltsikhe fortress 1 akhaltsikhe fortress 1 akhaltsikhe fortress 2 akhaltsikhe fortress 2

More unlikely, later that day we found ourselves in an observatory where we played a bit with the big telescope and the opening dome.

sevan 1 sevan 1

Then we crossed the lesser Caucasus, in magnificent landscapes on a rough road.

After that warm up, we drive up to the Svaneti, in the great Caucasus, where the roads are indeed very rough. The first evening we meet a group of men picking potatoes who invite us for tea. Tea is converted into a big meal with katchapuri, wild boar stew, home made cheese … and potatoes, along with georgian wine. We communicate with our hosts with our limited vocabulary in german and russian, but we are pretty much sure one of the 20 toasts of the night was dedicated to the road between Marseille and Ushguli (which is pretty good on the whole but gets a bit rough at the end). After some georgian songs and a last toast proposed standing on the chairs, we go to sleep in the neighboring field.

Passed deep gorges, isolated rivers and glaciers landscapes, we see a couple of pretty mountain villages which kept their medieval look with their old defensive square towers still used as grain mills. Unluckily, the weather is bad and we catch the rain during a hike..

Svaneti 1 Svaneti 1 Svaneti 2 Svaneti 2

Svaneti 3 Svaneti 3

Svaneti 4 Svaneti 4 Svaneti 5 Svaneti 5

Svaneti 6 Svaneti 6 Svaneti 7 Svaneti 7

Svaneti 8 Svaneti 8 Svaneti 9 Svaneti 9

So we go on to Batumi where we arrived by boat the previous month. In Batumi too, the weather is bad, that doesn't prevent Sophie from taking a dive into the Black sea, and we take the chance to get some rest, to visit wineries and eat katchapuri before leaving Georgia to Turkey.

black sea batumi black sea batumi