Posts Tagged 'Caucasus'

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On April 16th, TotalAdventure boarded Turkish Airlines from Miami to Tbilisi Georgia on a one- way ticket. The reason for the one -way ticket will be discussed in the Armenia and Azerbaijan chapters to follow, but it had to do with visiting currently peaceful ,yet potentially volatile areas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The highlight of my 6 hour layover in Istanbul Airport was Nusr-Et’s amazing $45 cheeseburger. It was quaffed with an icy cold Efes Beer.

After flying day and night and another half of a night, TotalAdventure arrivrd in Tbiisi at 3 AM. Immigration took seconds. Waiting for me was a driver from the excellent small inn British House. I dozed from about 5 AM till 11 and then hit the ground in my hiking boots.

The first graffiti I read on the street. The populace is pro-Europe ,and the nation was grated Candidate Status to join the EU this past December. However, the government, perhaps out of fear – leans pro Russia. Georgians are naturally wary of their large northern neighbor that has already captured nearly half their territory in earlier wars. As of this writing , Parlaimentt just passed a pro-Russian foreign agent law, threatening further integration with the EU.

Holy Trinity Cathedral is on top a high hill overlooking the city. For a view of city sights be sure to view VIDEO AT TOP OF PAGE !

Putin is not so popular in Tbilisi.

Lots of cool grafitti in the streets.

Many quiet squares thoughout the vibrant and fashionable city. The young crowds seem more Parisian than Muscovite.

Noisy Protests Almost Nightly. Some fear that another Trump Presidency would result in a carte blanche handover of Georgia to Putin.

Delicious Kinkhali as an appetizer.

Followed by a lamb stew.

A sparky stove !

Do not know the name but amazingly tasty !

Riverboat style architecture.

A modern bridge over the Kura River which flows from Eastern Turkey to the Caspian Sea.

Holy Trinity in the distance.

TotalAdventure’s Room At British House. 2 Rooms , actually, plus a small balcony. About 75 US.

Georgia Lari. 2.78 to 1 USD as of this writing.

The next stop was Gorki ,birthplace of Comrade Josef Stalin, Dictator of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953. Dictators love to pose with children. Thanks to Stalin, millions of children were orphaned when both their parents were sent off to slave labor in the Siberian Gulags. The children themselves grew up in orphanages where they could be brainwashed to be obedient little Party cadres.

HIs death was secretly celebrated by many. Shortly afterwards some liberalization from an ablsolute police state began.

1930s Exection Squads.

See Stalin’s Train Car IN THE VIDEO AT TOP OF PAGE.

From the plans of central Georgia, we drove to 3000meters elevation into the Caucasus Mountains, highest in Europe,

The view of Mt.Xazhgebi by night. At over 5000 meters , it is half in Russia.

On the side of bi-national Mt.Xazhgebi,is Holy Trinity, dating from the 1300s.Winter snows are subsiding in late April.

Light From The. Heavens.

Gudauri Ski Resort is very high, over 3000m in most areas and goes on for many kilometers. In late April the season was ending, the higher peaks were off limits due to avalanche danger from the strong spring sunshine. Georgians, Russians ,Germans and Americans all ski together peacefully.