A Travellerspoint blog

Tblisi

sunny 13 °C
View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.

What a reception: the vice mayor of the Georgian capital and the combined ambassadors of Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands together with numerous journalists awaiting us in the Town Hall of Tblisi! Lonely me: Finland doesn`t have an ambassador to Georgia (the Dutch diplomat told me; I really wouldn`t have known...) So instead of educated small-talk more time for me to indulge in the buffet with even more delicacies than during yesterday`s dinner hosted by the Georgian bicycle federation.
This is how nationalities are currently represented in our group:
Poland 6
Lithuania 4
Greece 2
Netherlands 1
Italy 1
Germany 1 (no German diplomat either present at the reception)
Finland 1

For pictures and video, check
http://www.tbilisi.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=344&info_id=7163

For track and more photos since Turkish-Georgian border:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=17169.
Please ignore the elevation data, because again I had to `repair` some missing parts by hand.

Posted by Lent 08:20 Archived in Georgia Comments (5)

Mtskheta

Ancient capital of Georgia

semi-overcast 15 °C

Half a rest day in Mtskheta, because it is located less than 30 km away from our destination of the day, Tblisi.
Mtskheta. A good opprtunity to study a little more the religious and architecturl traditions of Georgia, where Mtskheta is an ancient centre of pilgrimage. Church architecture seems to be a blending of western romanesque elements (massive walls, round arches, basilica type of nave and the Eastern Orthodox building tradition (cross-shaped outline cupola and iconostas that never reaches up to the ceiling like in the Russian churches).

IMG_0247_1_.pjpeg
Vault in the Sioni Church in Tblisi

Posted by Lent 07:56 Archived in Georgia Comments (0)

Stalin


View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.

Route of the day: Gomi - Gori - Mtskheta, 108 km.
Starting from the camp in Gomi was a little delayed when the school children discovered us on their grounds. First they offered a nice bunch of spring flowers to everyone and then they started to line up for photos and signatures in their school notebooks. Being a star for 15 minutes!
Gori would have all the archeological and and historical attractions that many of the other towns in Georgia have, but in Gori everything really is about Iossiph Vissarionovich or Stalin. And locals do nothing to change the image of their son that has changed the course of world history like few personalities have. The Stalin statue is still in place and so is the "museum" where nothing has been changed since 1979, making it a museum of Soviet propaganda rather than a place to learn about the Soviet dictator. I would like to assume that the image of Stalin is not currently an issue between Georgia and Russia.

IMG_0211_1_.pjpeg

Posted by Lent 07:43 Archived in Georgia Comments (0)

Over the Rikoti Pass 943 m

rain 20 °C
View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.

Continuing from Kharagauli the paved road ended and we experienced how interesting hard days can be. Hard because of temporary rain but mostly because of the "road" that required an MTB rather than what we are using. Interesting because slow travelling opens eyes for details that easily remain unnoticed. Following the railway line towards one of two passes that connect East and West between the Black Sea and the Caspian Basin we saw what rural life in Georgia is really like, talked to people and took tons of photos of the steeper and steeper valley.
The railway line disappears in a tunnel shortly before the pass while the main highway pass nearby is appr. 50 m higher.
Nightstay on the sports field of the school in Gomi.

RikotiPassGE.jpg

IMG_0188_1_.pjpeg
Climbing towards the Rikoti Pass - conquering every meter

Posted by Lent 07:33 Archived in Georgia Comments (2)

Against the wind and up the hill

sunny 28 °C
View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.

Swanetia, Kachetia, Imeretia - these are some names of the historical provinces of Georgia that has been a kingdom from very early times and adopted Christianity as state religion already in the fourth century. The ancient fortresses and churches are now lining up along our way towards the historical core region of Georgia about half-way between the Black and Caspian Seas.
The cycling today is considerably slowed down by a rather strong headwind with otherwise fine weather.
Nightstay on the river shore near the village of Kharagauli off the main road but near the East-West trunk railway line where passengers and plenty of Caspian Sea oil is carried.
In our attempt to get some restaurant food in the village we were exposed to the unfortunate downside of combined "hospitality" and rural backwardness. They really don`t let you go without a good amount of Vodka...
Campside discretely guarded by police during the night.

IMG_0199_1_.pjpeg

Posted by Lent 07:11 Archived in Georgia Comments (0)

(Entries 31 - 35 of 69) « Page .. 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 .. »