The morning is clouded again and even the church tower wraps itself slowly in white cotton. Still no Caucasus.
After we've found out that we are both awake, we make a tour in the city and grab some grapes over someone's fence. There's some time to kill before the Pirosmani museum opens. The city has been smartened up, above the streets are picturesque colorful balconies.
We enter a winery which is operated by an American with a woolen hat. He lives already 16 years in Georgia. Swiftly we are seated to taste some wine. The driver limits himself with just holding the glass and I get to taste all the seven varieties plus chacha by myself. The wine is made in a traditional Georgian way which means a huge clay vessel digged in the earth. No oak, no filter. The wine is accompanied by cheese and bread, both made in the same house. A sparkle-eyed beauty introduces us wine and the house.
Pirosmani has no electricity so the pictures have to be looked at in dimness. I find out that the song about the million roses is about Pirosmani. He fell in love with a French actress, sold all his property, bought roses and spread them in front of the hotel. He died in poverty.
We drive to Germi which was Kakheti's first capital. On the hill there are two towers. One is a church and you can climb the other.
On the surrounding roads there are a lot of soldiers on the march. In full equipment and with Kalashnikovs.
Next place to visit is Alaverdi. There's a church. Holding on to the frescoes hasn't been much more successful than by the Turks. No photos.
We eat in a forest. Fried mushrooms and fish that Brezhnev liked. The fish looks like alive but is actually dead. The dish is called "alive" in Georgian. The old man forgot the name and asked Kremlin's cooks to prepare something that is dead but we say that it's alive. The cooks were frightened for the guy's mental health because the only one they knew who matched the description was Lenin.
At the Gombor pass there are pink clouds and red setting sun. Further the mountains are dark blue with light yellow sky behind them. Awesome rough landscape.
Sheraton is not expecting me and so it turns out that for the rest of the gang a nightly meal between two flights is planned. It will be a surprise for them. The hotels in Tbilisi are full and it takes more than an hour to find a place. Somewhere. Looks pretty decent and costs 50 lari.
They allow me to use the local computer, only it lacks internet. After the girls have looked into the matter for about 10 minutes, I hear their diagnose "maybe problem internet". Possibly. In the end they manage to force start the web and I amuse myself with editing my article to be published soon. At some time the fuss around me intensifies so I leave the scene.
In front of the room a young man with beer has appeared, looking into emptiness.
21st of September
drive South

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