I will be posting miscellaneous pictures this week from in and around Tbilisi. The Ananuri pictures will start going up on Friday when I send out my travelogue to friends/coworkers who don't normally view this site. I don't post them all at once because, if you're similar to me, you can't handle so much beauty in such a large dose, right?
Let's see, what else? I will be posting some ethnograpic info on Georgia as soon as I get it from my friend.
Oh! Did I mention how much I'm looking forward to going to work today in this lovely country?
(I keep editing this post for some reason) Pictures of note later this week will include a 1,600 old church, the oldest in Tbilisi with the interior still having the old Roman-style columns supporting the building.
Here are three pictures from the main town in this area focusing on the
local church. I don't remember too many details though because I was still
terribly jetlagged. I do know this was the location of the old capital of
Eastern Georgia centuries ago.
Please be patient. The 'Ananuri' pictures (at least some of them) will be posted on Friday evening, but I will try to post other pictures in the interim. You see, I have a backlog of pictures around Tbilisi that I need to post first. It's such a burden on me:)
Goodness! No one should enjoy work as much as I do!!! I can't understand why they're paying me, I should be paying them!
I'm leaving for the 'Ananuri' region in about one hour. There are supposed to be a lot of monasteries there and a beautiful lake. I'll post pictures as soon as I can cycle through all the others I haven't posted yet.
. . . yet, so simple. I took a walk this afternoon and ended up on a street overlooking an Orthodox church in the old city of T'bilisi. I had been by this church before but not at this particular time of day. It was about 630pm and the Saturday evening service had just started. The church was so full that people were standing outside while trying to look in. I was on a ledge above where I could see everything. Anyway, hymns intermixed with the sermon commenced (sort of reminding me of Gregorian chants) and put me in the most wonderful mood. I just couldn't drag myself away and stayed there till the sermon ended. I still feel upbeat from the experience. I think I'll return same time next week.
A Georgian friend of mine is doing an ethnographic study of the Georgian population. I'm very interested in this as the differing features have made me wonder about their origins what with all the invasions over the centuries. I'll post the results here (in layman's terms) once I get them.
Here are some more pictures from my trip to 'Davit Gareji.' Mostly, they are of structures at the site with one picture showing what risks I'm willing to take for that perfect photo! The final picture is the view from my balcony at sunset. It's hard for me to force myself to walk out on the balcony in the evenings as you can imagine! Please let me know what you think.
One of my Georgian friends told me about this very famous person in Georgian history. Apparently, he was a king who built up a strong military, increased educational opportunities for all, and united the church. I'll try to get more details and report on this in depth. What I do know is this person occupies an important place in the Georgian collective consciousness.
Tuesday's finished and I continue to be amazed at how happy I am here. I think it has a lot to do with the people and their hospitality. They are always willing to help, but unlike other cultures, seem to realize when the help is not needed nor wanted. I predict Georgia will be quite the tourist desitination once the Russian threat subsides and more and more people become aware of the wonderful attractions. I'm glad I got here early in its ascendancy.
I know I love it here because it's 0630, Monday morning and I can't wait to go to work! I wish there weren't any weekends in this country so I could see my coworkers/trainees every day. They're so much fun to be around that it doesn't seem like work at all!!
It's about 6pm local time and I'm looking forward to the coming week. I really enjoy working in Georgia and can't seem to wait for the week to start again. What will I do when I return back to the US? Maybe, I can find a way to return here in a year or two??
I've been dying to write about this all week! Last Sunday, a Georgian friend took me to the 'Davit Gareji' monastery complex on the Azeri border. This area is famous in Georgian history for all the invasions it's endured, the most notorious being one by the Persians in the 17th century that resulted in the deaths of 6,000 monks. Despite its tragic history, it was a fascinating place to visit with beautiful views in all directions. The day began in an interesting fashion. My friend picked me up at a predetermined location downtown and brought another friend along with him. The latter happened to be a monk, which came as a bit of a surprise! At first, I felt a bit uncomfortable thinking I might need to monitor my behavior. But then, I figured having a monk along was probably the best way to explore a monastery. He didn't speak English as well as my friend but he was a very nice person and we got along quite well the rest of the day. The drive was so scenic moving from wine coun…
I have to share this view from my balcony at about 1830 this evening. Great colors as the sun was setting both on the buildings and mountains in the background. Click on the pics to enlarge and see better.
These pictures are of a monastery about 50 kilometers outside T'bilisi. I've included both close-up and distant pictures of the monastery as well as the town below it. Please let me know what you think. Russ
In my last post, I mentioned the earthquake that woke me up in the middle of the night. Well, I received more information about this yesterday. Apparently, the epicenter was in the western part of the country and T'bilisi is in the southeast so we didn't feel the full effect of it. As earthquakes go, it wasn't a serious one and, as far as I know, no one died as a result.
I had a nice walk down the main street (Rustaveli) yesterday evening. It's already getting cooler here and I could have used a jacket had I known before setting out on the walk. What never ceases to amaze me is how European streets are always so clean. This, combined with the interesting, old world architecture, makes it an enjoyable experience every time I take a simple stroll.
I'm really happy today! I was allowed to move to a new room in the same hotel but of a much higher quality. The view on the balcony is also magnificent. Look at the pictures from bottom to top and that will simulate how the view appears to me as I scan it in the same direction.
Really amazing! Grapes on the vine on a city street in the capital. You see this everywhere! Georgia is known for its wine and apparently, the climate will allow the vines to grow almost anywhere here.