Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Armenian Genocide

Yesterday was a day of contrasts. We started with a visit to the Armenian church equivalent of the Vatican. Had lunch at a workshop for children.
The final stop was the memorial to the 2 million killed in 1915 by the Turks who wanted all ethnic Armenians out of eastern Turkey.

Entrance to the church complex

Rug weaving

The memorial to the Genocide.

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Friday, 10 May 2013

No bus ride today

Today we spent the entire day hiking at one of the ski areas in the lesser Caucas mts. All the spring flowers were blooming and the views were spectacular especially as we could see all the tall peaks in Georgia.

Some spring flowers.

The high peaks of Georgia.

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A Little History

Yesterday was rainy, so we had to change the itinerary and did get back to the gold museum. The pieces rival any from the Egyptian tombs.

Today we visited one of the sites where these pieces came from. It is a city carved from the rock.

The final event of the day was a visit to the Stalin museum in Gori where he was born. Little mention is made of how badly the Georgian people were treated during his time. The day is also the one when the liberation after WWI is celebrated and some of veterans were having lunch where we did.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Day of Wine and Churches

Today was spent in east Georgia which is the wine producing area of the country. During the Soviet era, wine was a major export. They are trying to reestablish that industry.
Wine according to some history originated in this area. Much of the early history of Georgia is also tied to the area around Tevli, thus the many churches, monasteries, and academic centers.

This church is what remains of a city that was a capital before the Persian invaded the country in the 12th cent.

- Estate of one of the wine producers.

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Monday, 6 May 2013

A hike to a shrine on the hill

Woke up Monday to this view out the window.

The small church is one of oldest original ones in the country and is at about 6000 ft above sea level. We drove up and then walked down.

Skirts were required to enter the chapel, so here we are in the latest fashion.

The route down was filled with wild flowers.

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Up into the Caucas Mountains

Sunday we started the long climb into the Caucas Mts. which form the northern boarder of Georgia, separating it from the Russian state of Chechnya. Even thought the road is a major truck route, in some places it is not really paved.
Along the way we stopped at several historic churches.

- The first capital of Geogia, now a World Heritage site.

The church at this site.
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Off to Georgia and Armenia

The first day started after a brief night. We arrived from Munich on a flight that landed at 4 AM. We then checked into the hotel and "slept" for a couple of hours, had breakfast and the went off to see the sight of the capital Tblisi. Georgia has an interesting history as it sits between Turkey, and Russia. It has been conquered many times, but remains fiercely independent.
The country is very religious and we arrived on the Saturday before Easter, so people were in church.

- Procession to church.
This also meant that several museums we were to see were closed.
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