An image taking shape in my mind, and here’s a new trip “under construction”.
This is how my destinations’ projects have always come into being, rarely planned for specific periods of the year – like “wait, I need to think about my August holidays” – but actually unconscious suggestions: they want to get their voice heard, find a way to exist. They do it at the proper time, or not: between the pages of the Internet, wandering among the shelves of a bookshop, going back home from another trip. I remember when I started thinking about my trip to US Far West: I was just closing my suitcases in Hiroshima, at the end of an amazing Japan tour I will talk about soon, and I imagined myself in a the room of an American motel, during a road-trip (and that’s what I did!).
Even for Georgia it was like this: I was wandering around the internet at my parents’ house – it was the beginning of March – feeling my latent hermit instinct, and here it is: a wonderful photo of the stunning Katskhi Pillar in Georgia, a hermitage built on a vertical rock pinnacle (who knows how!). Around, the green and lush vegetation of Imereti, Georgia (the photo is the one below: I would like to mention the owner, unfortunately the searches on Google Images were worth nothing!).
Why are you going to Georgia? See…
From that moment, an unknown world was revealed. An unknown and gray post-Soviet nation, that’s what I thought about Georgia, turned out to be a mine of naturalistic and cultural beauties, between myths and mountains, with an ancient history full of unexpected mythological references. The Black Sea, where the Argonauts landed during their search of the mythical golden fleece in Colchis, Western kingdom of Georgia. The Caucasus with its massive mountains, where Prometheus is said to have been chained, punished for stealing the fire as a gift for men, and condemned to have his liver eaten by an eagle, day by day, till the end of time. The rolling hills of Khaketi, with its vineyards, where you have an exquisite wine which is also the oldest in the world, still fermented in amphorae (Georgia has a very fertile territory, not surprisingly it was called “the barn of the USSR”). The cave cities of Vardzia and Uplistsikhe, amazing evidence of an ancient history.
The mystical beauty of the Orthodox churches, often built in inaccessible and therefore even more inspiring places, by believers with a strong unwavering faith tracing back to III BC. A mysterious language with an elegant rounded alphabet, showing no similarities with any other language in the world and with a rich tradition in poetry and books. A delicious cuisine, result of the successful contamination between East and West, through the crossroads of merchants on the Silk Road: cheeses, meat, vegetables, mushrooms, walnuts, garlic, onion and spices, in tasty meals you can often taste during the traditional supra, endless banquets where the guest is at the center, another proof of a simple, open and hospitable people.
Having said that, a lot of friends were curious about my trip to US (Georgia the federal State 🙂 ), some others asked me what the hell I was going to do in a post-sovietic Country, the history experts believed I was going there maybe just to visit Stalin’s hometown…
So, here you have what I found out. In the next 10 posts I will tell you about my 10 days of stories, cities, mountains and exciting unexpected meeting: here below you find the map of my trip to Georgia, between myths and mountains, travelled through trains, marshrutkas, collective taxis… Georgia
P.s. and together with images, the music: the Georgian Polyphonic Singing is UNESCO cultural intangible Heritage. Listen an amazing traditional song here, to enter the door of Caucasus…