Rain is the biggest enemy of a tourist.
It pours decently in the morning and it is likely to continue like that all day. So there's no point to go to the park. You can't do anything against nature. I have to come back some day for a 3-day hike, as invited.
We fill us with food once again. Before leaving the host gets me two chrysanthemums. I've seen a lot of various people but the hospitality of Georgians exceeds everything experienced before many times.
The surroundings are wrapped in white cotton.
Two earwigs live in the flowers. One of them bites a small bit from my finger.
Near Gori the sun tries to come out but not very successfully. We're looking for Ateni Sioni and end up in a small nunnery. There's a tiny lovely church. After it's opened for us there are no frescoes and so we find out that this is not the right place. But nice anyway. The right place is about a kilometer further and behind a locked fence. There's a man on the other side. He turns out to be an Italian photographer who works there. He lets us in. The church is being renovated and is surrounded by scaffolds. On the outer walls there are murals similar to what I've seen in Turkey. They include a hunting scene which isn't very common. Inside the work is in full swing but candles are available.
It starts to rain again and after that the sun comes out.
Next sight is he cave city of Uplistsikhe. It was a trading center already in 5th century and was destroyed partly by the mongols in 13th century, partly by the elements throughout history.
I hear a familiar language and since we just talked about it, I act unlike an Estonian and make contact with the young men. They are from Tartu.
Terrible wind, you can lie on it. A café serves as a shelter from the rain.
It should be possible to reach Dmanisi where a little while ago the oldest human remains in Europe were digged out. Even prince Albert went to see these. The information phone service says that the museum is open also on Mondays and until six o'clock. They even send a message confirming this.
At some point we pass Ruisi village which was famous for car robbery in the 1990s. Passing through it on a car meant one had 20% probability to get to the other side together with the car. It's wonderful to have a guide who can tell a story or a legend or cite a poem about almost every place.
The radio says that there has been an avalanche near Armenian border, more than 50 cars have been damaged and lot of people are missing. They recommend to avoid this road. We're just heading that direction so we check on the map that we turn off before the critical point and stick to the plan.
Sun again. In Dmanisi it appears that the museum is closed on Mondays and on other days it stays open only from 11 until 17. The information service gets an angry feedback. We don't manage to talk ourselves through the guard and can only have a look into a hole where nothing was found. The bones they found are about 1,8 million years old.
Picnic with the food we got from the old lady near Vardzia, bread, tomato and grapes and then we head back. Lilac colors and migration of cows all around us.
Dinner is in a steak house for a change.
Villa Vera that I found in internet turns out to be a nice place. From the balcony there's view over Tbilisi in lights. Emroidered sheets and the possibility to heat the room. I conquer the computer in reception.
Vardzia and other places
last things

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