Blogs from Svaneti, Western Georgia, Georgia, Asia

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Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti September 11th 2016

So here we are in Mestia, in the mysterious Svaneti, high up among the snow topped mountains and strange stone Svan tower houses.its very beautiful and unexpectedly hot. Getting here was quite an excitement as we flew up in a mini sized plane, seating 12.passengers and 2 pilots, courtesy of Vanilla Sky airline. We first travelled from Central Tbilisi (outside Macdonalds-where else?) picked up with the rest of the passengers by a Mercedes Sprinter van, to a mini aerodrome 25 Kms from the city. There we hung about some time till the police helicopter had descended, checked us out and taken off again. Then we crammed into a twin propellered plane and off we flew , always low enough to see the land below, which changed from urban scape to wonderful green valleys surrounded by deep ... read more
Through the mountains
Rural Mestia
Piglets coming!

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti September 11th 2016

Mestia is an important hub for back packers, climbers and trekkers --also for skiers in the winter from December to April. It's a continental climate with big contrasts. Very hot summer days, but cool nights and very cold winters. The mountains of the Caucasus are all around us here and the centre of the town is full of marshrutkas(minibuses) which will take you to any further villages and starting points for walks and treks. Yet the rural life goes on with cows, pigs and horses in evidence everywhere and allotment type gardens with beans, tomatoes, cabbages, potatoes, sweet corn. We are staying in Marina's Guest house and as you come through the heavy wooden gate you enter a patch of deep purple-pink phlox, then beds of nasturtiums, herbs, fennel, tomatoes, cabbages and plum trees. Incidentally one ... read more
Close up Svaneti towers
My Svaneti picture
Cow stalls in Svaneti house

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti October 13th 2013

This is a 9-month late story but a story anyway. In October 2013 my girlfriend, who we'll call M, and I, flew out from Katowice to Kutaisi, Georgia for 2 weeks, finally giving me a chance to explore somewhere which isn't in or being considered for accession to the European Union. The flight arrived at some strange hour in the morning and it was one of about 5 flights per week to serve the airport, but that didn't stop the airport being chock full of taxi and minibus drivers ready to shout city names at you as soon as you got through passport control. "Kutaisi city centre, 10 euros for two people!", offered one taxi driver. We knew that sounded a bit expensive, so we tried to negotiate. "Okay, okay! So I will take you for ... read more
A typical Svanetian house in Mestia
Setting off towards Zhabeshi, Day 1
Chvabiani, Zhabeshi and various other villages

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti May 8th 2012

Massimiliano Reginelli in Georgia... read more
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Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti April 16th 2012

"Dragoman" in Georgia 2001-2008... read more
Black sea
On the road to Mestia
On the road to Mestia

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti December 5th 2011

“Hotcha ladakh!” we call out, causing the children to scatter in fits of giggles like frightened mice. Slowly, little faces reappear from behind broken masonry and an old rusting car. “Hello” the least timid one whispers back at us. “Hotcha ladakh” we say again. This time they literally roll over each other laughing. “Are you sure that means hello?” “Perhaps not the way we are pronouncing it.” “Maybe he was winding us up and it means my mother is a horse or something like that”. The reaction to our attempted politeness has become more pronounced with each person we pass; from a wry smile by the lady all in black at the bottom of the hill to a shared chuckle from the sturdy women carrying vegetables a bit further up. As we now approach a group ... read more
Mestia, the main town of Svaneti.
Mestia
Mestia by Night

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti August 1st 2011

Svaneti This year we decided to go to Georgia in Caucasus for our summer vacation. Ake has been to Georgia once before. But that was fifteen years ago and then he went there in winter so he expected it to be quite a different experience to go there now. Also fifteen years ago there weren't any guidebooks on Georgia so Ake basically travelled around on random then. There were many very interesting places he didn't go to then simply because he didn't know what there was to see. We'll get back to tell more about that later on. We first arrived in Tbilisi but we stayed there only for a day before we went to the western part of the country. There we went to a mountainous district called Svaneti. Only a few decades ago large ... read more
 Fortified tower
The towers worked like bomb shelters
Abandoned resort

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti October 6th 2010

The night train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi was surprisingly comfortable. For 15 laris, roughly $8 we have 1st class berths, only 2 of us in the room which was good. The night before, arriving from Kazbegi we went straight to the train station but the train is full so we have no choice but to stay the night in Tbilisi which worked out well and I had a chance to see Tbilisi once more. it was a 7 hour trip on the train, we both fell asleep quickly as we did not get much sleep the night before in the hostel, very noisy people and someone was snoring loudly in the dorm and its not me! We heard a knock on our cabin door and we woke up to get ready to arrive in Zugdidi, there ... read more
Mestia
Mestia
Mestia

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti August 22nd 2010

Trekking in the Georgian Caucasus It's hot in Tbilisi. I just finished a nasty taxi ride from the mountains, 11 hours in a packed little van the locals call Marshrutka and I'm utterly exhausted. I'm putting my backpack on, trying to escape the noisy station, and then heading the guesthouse I stayed in a week ago. As I'm walking along the old neighborhood I'm suddenly getting this sense of freedom. This sweet feeling which makes traveling so worthwhile. It reminds me of that 60+ couple we met back then in Chile. They were traveling for months already, sleeping in the same low-budget guesthouses as we did, and they looked very happy. At that time I was wondering whether I'll be able to do the same when I'm their age. Well, I guess I still have way ... read more
Svaneti Lake
Glacier nr. Adishi-Iprari pass
Svaneti Lake




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