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Published: April 6th 2007
SKI SLOPES AND TOWN
Driving through some mountain pass for hours we made it to lonely desolate Bakuriani, apparently a very popular skiing area in Georgia but since winter season is just over hardly anybody is here and there is a feeling of desolation. We have a homestay for 2 nights and we have to entertain ourselves, some people went skiing including Nigel for the first time it was dirt cheap, cost them i think 5 dollars all in all for all day's worth, and some did some walk in town like me, the landscape is a mix of beautiful scenery and rural setting. Jean cooked a good Easter meal for us and it was delicious and she made it despite the fact that there was no water for awhile as one of the main pipes in town burst, 17 people no water imagine how the toilet would have been! Breakfast on the day of departure was courtesy of Clive and Andy, we havent camped yet but we look forward to some good meal from these guys.
Next day we drive towards Tbilisi and on the way stopped at Gori where Stalin was born and went to school, the town is dominated by
the huge Stalin Ave. and various paeans to the town's best known son, Stalin Square, Stalin Museum and park, all over is Stalin!. We got a museum tour, it was interesting but quite hurried i think. A bunch of drunk Georgians took interest in our truck and us and before we know it one of them climbed up the tuck and start kissing the guys, Steve certainly got more than he wanted, thankfully they eventually left us in peace.
Then off to the Cave system called Uplistsikhe, a once enormous cave city that is one of the oldest places of settlement in the Caucasus. It was founded in the late Bronze age and was a major center of Paganism before Georgia was converted to Christianity. The main Caravan road from Asia to Europe used to run just 2 to 3 km north of the city which became an important trade center. there were 700 caves altogether but only 150 is open to public. I wasnt really impressed but the scenery was breathtaking and it really was worth a short climb up it, you can see deep valleys and cliffs, and gorgeous landscape that reminds me a bit of Goreme.
MY LUNCH: GEORGIAN CUP A SOUP AND LATVIAN SARDINES, YUMM
Then off to Mtskheta which contains some of the oldest churches in the country and has been it's spiritual heart since the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of Georgia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, all I can say is it has an alluring setting, very nice church, beatifully designed icons, I noticed the orthodox have lots of it rather than statues.
The finest of the is called Sveti-Tskhoveli cathedral where according to tradition Christ's holy robe was buried.
A popular skiing resort in the Borjomi district of Georgia. It is located on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range, at an elevation of 1,700 meters (5,576 feet) above sea level. The region around Bakuriani is covered by coniferous forests (mainly made up of spruce). The resort lies 30km from Borjomi and is located within the so-called Bakuriani Depression/caldera. The present-day area of the town was built up by the lava flows from the Mukheri volcano. The highest mountain of the resort used for skiing is called Mount Kohta at around 2,200 meters (7,216 feet) above sea level. The climate of Bakuriani is transitional from humid maritime to relatively humid continental. The
winters are cold and experience significant snowfall while the summers are long and warm. Average annual temperature of the town is 4.3 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in January is -7.3 degrees Celsius while the average August temperature is 15 degrees Celsius. The annual precipitation is 734mm (28.9 inches). The depth of snow from December to March is 64cm (25.2 inches). Bakuriani is also home to the well-known Botanical Garden of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.
An industrial city in the Shida Kartli province of Georgia. The city was founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder (1089-1125). It has a population of 60,000. Gori is situated where the Liakhvi River enters the Mtkvari (Kura River). The city was largely destroyed in an earthquake in 1920.
It is the birthplace (1878) of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and contains the Joseph Stalin Museum with items related to his life, the house where he was born, and his personal railway carriage.
One of the last standing statues of Stalin in the former Soviet Union is situated outside the Town Hall.
The town is overlooked by the medieval fortress of Goristsikhe.
STALIN STATUE AT THE SQUARE
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