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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

T'bilisi Architecture




Some typical T'bilisi architecture to include a corner apartment, a
fortress, and a mosque downtown . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Picture Schedule . . .

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.

Mtshekta Area




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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

When are the Pictures Coming???

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!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Return from Ananuri

I will post some pictures from my trip today later in the week but here is one to whet your appetite!



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ananuri

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.

Georgian Links

Check out the Georgian links I just added in the left margin further down the page.  These give you a lot of information about the country.

A Wonderful Evening . . .

. . . 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.

Georgian Ethnography

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.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Georgia (3) Part Two

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Friday in Georgia!

Again, I don't want the weekend to begin because I enjoy working here so much and interacting with the Georgians. I'll try to post some more pictures this evening related to my last big adventure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

King David 'The Builder'

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, September 22, 2009

A Language Question??

Can anyone tell me how to say to the barber in Georgian, "Cut my hair the same style, but a little shorter." A communication problem could result in disaster!

And, More From Davit Gareji

Three more pictures of me, monastery structures, and the rock dwellings.

Another Good Day

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.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Love Georgia!

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!!

Sunday Evening

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??

More from Davit Gareji

Three more pictures of the scenery around the monastery . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Georgia(3)

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 country to a semi-desert
environment. We eventually veered off on gravel roads and entered an area
that reminded me of the great plains except with bigger hills. I was
immediately warned about the prevalence of poisonous snakes in the area with
some having venom comparable to a cobra!! I'm not sure if that's true but
there were certainly a lot of snakes as you will see from the pictures.

The main monastery itself was amazing and the pictures don't quite convey
the enormity of it. Anyway, let me narrate them in the order they appear:

#1 Good view of the surrounding area!

#2 Under this rock there are tunnels that act as a viaduct for the water.

#3 Entrance to the monastery

#4 Rooms carved out of rock

#5 A little friend

#6 Me with my friend

#7 Can you guess what this is??

I have so many more pictures of this trip and others and will put them up on
my site if you want to see them. As always, feedback is appreciated.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some More From Downtown . . .

. . . the hills surrounding the capital, a fortress, and the freedom statue!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wonderful View!

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.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Amazing Trip Today!

I had the most amazing trip today with a former Georgian trainee of mine. We went to a monastery complex literally on the Azeri border. I'll give more details later in the week along with pictures.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Georgia(2)

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Earthquake(2)

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.

Well, off to work soon!

Earthquake!

Yikes! I was woken up last night at 0230 by an earthquake shaking the room. I managed to fall back to sleep but still felt very tired today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hotel Room

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.

Another Outing in T'bilisi

Three more pictures showing a synagogue in the capital, a fortress above the
city, and the side of another monastery.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More from T'bilisi, Georgia

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.