Tuesday, October 24, 2017

up to the mountains

We left very early for a long long drive on the bus - we are headed up into the mountains near the border with Russia. Tonight and the next night we will stay in Mestia and learn about the culture of Svaneti.  There was no road here until 1937...  Here is that map again so you can see exactly where we are headed. We stayed in Kutaisi and stopped at a church before leaving town- then we headed to Zugdidi for lunch and then the long long trek up into the mountains to Mestia (arriving as usual after dark.) If I haven't mentioned it before the hero of the trip was the driver who worked incredibly long hours on roads that ranged from mediocre to horrific.... Artem!

The church we head to on the way out of town that morning was obligatory as it has a UNESCO designation... no comment... although this one turned out to be pretty nice as the churches went -

below the entire group - minus Kathleen who left for Seattle and surgery to repair her broken ankle on Day Two - her companion Carl stayed with the trip as he lives in Odessa Ukraine where he serves in the Peace Corps.  We started with 15 and now are 14.... watch this count as we go on...

then all we did for the rest of the day was drive and eat- and drive and drive- oh we did have wine and snacks and chacha (the grappa like drink of Georgia) on the bus... our lunch at Host in Zugdidi was pretty good - not too keen on the gravy covered polenta-cheese dish but loved the honey cake for dessert! AND they had Coke ZERO!!!

The bus parked on the street next to a McDonald's and I thought you might like to see the name in the Georgian alphabet (there is no capitalization in Georgian)

then up up up---

some of the towers the region is known for-

we arrived late to the hotel and immediately went to dinner in the hotel dining room- a lackluster meal that did have a lovely view -

the cell phone cameras have gotten so good it is almost not necessary to bring anything else but I do- above my Sony RX100 M5 camera and below the same shot with my Nexus 5X cell phone... I may get to the point where I do give up on cameras - but I still get shots from a moving vehicle like the road scenes above with the camera that the cell phone doesn't capture yet... yet....

we were all tired from the late night last night and the early morning and late night this night so dinner was over as quickly as we could manage.... tomorrow an adventure awaits us...so stay tuned.

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