Tuesday, October 24, 2017

a day on top

So we head out first thing in the morning to the local museum... it has an excellent Svaneti artifact collection-  and the valley which we saw all lit up last night is even more beautiful in the morning!

 you will see both these instruments played later this evening!

after the museum we went up to the ski area and took the chair lift to the top where we dined al fresco with views of nearly 360* around us.... lovely lunch in the sunshine and fresh air -

unfortunately we lost two more folks on this day when the wife exited the chair lift before it got to ground level and broke four ribs and had a slight concussion - they rode to Tbilisi the next morning in a car hired to get them to better medical facilities.  So the group was 15 then 14 now 12 - but we soldiered on- for now...

Later in the day we went an original dwelling from the 1300s where the cows lived with the family and kept them warm in the winter and where they had their own tower for defense if the village was attacked by marauders etc... for many years the way into the mountains was treacherous for many reasons not the least of which was the lack of a road- there were also bandits preying on folks who were making passage up to these villages -

that night we went to a local singers' home for dinner and heard amazing polyphonic singing by his group (renown in the business they tour the world bringing their music from the mountains to many music festivals and music lovers worldwide)

a short video for the music - in this clip is young daughter joined in -

That evening I was felled by a stomach virus and was up all night so the next day (which was 90% bus ride) I only stayed in the back of the bus and slept - having bread at lunch and sleeping through dinner. I had no intention of not completing the trip- the day was the longest of the trips as we basically retraced our route into the mountains but headed down- we stopped again in Zugdidi for lunch and went through Kutaisi on the way to Vardzia where we arrived after 9PM. 

our route took us from the top of the map to the dot on the bottom of it-

Phil went to dinner with those who were still awake and I went to sleep immediately....

then the following day we started out at - LOL- wait for it - a monastery and church LOL.... but more on that in the next post... (the route back to Tbilisi on the following day is also outlined in yellow- from the p[ink dot at the bottom of the map to Tbilisi)

Here are the dishes they specialized in at the lunch place in Zugdidi- called Diraroni- they looked good but I was off food that day... :-(

so it was a lost day for me but all I really missed was being awake and alert for a very long bus ride...so stay tuned as we progress back toward Tbilisi little by little....

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