It’s a totally different thing, a different direction and route. Roads twist and turn as if they are preparing you for some odd and unpredictable experience, taking you up to clouds and sky. Yes, indeed, Svaneti is a place which deserves such a poetic description because it is it self a metaphor. Svaneti is repeated and hard-to-categorize unexpectedness – no matter how many times you visit the place.
It’s a bit difficult to make any plans regarding where to start a tour from and what to see. Maybe from the museum? Why not?! It is a fantastic venue, with a wide selection of exhibits. Each item – a story. Furthermore, Svaneti is always lacking in time. So much needs to be seen there that one day is like a fleeting moment. The Ushguli road is like a hair bridge, but it will never be torn down; it’s a road of destiny and when you end your journey, you might wonder: did I really travel that road, or was it only a dreamy imagination? Castles there
are like fairy tales and sometimes even exaggerate them. Architecture there has three functions: beauty, dwelling and strength. The air is so transparent that you truly feel how different things are around you, touching your eyes.
Kubdari (bread stuffed with chunks of meat and spices) is must-have dish above the clouds. Kubdari will make your hunger fade away in a moment but will leaving you wanting more and more. Head up Tetnuldi (a prominent peak in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range) but it won’t be you climbing: a magnet will draw you forward. Tetnuldi – white and still remote, no matter how close you feel you are getting. Skiing adventures are to be had at the bottom of Tetnuldi in the winter.
LEGENDS ARE FOND OF THE NUMBER NINE.
NINE MOUNTAINS.NINE SEAS. A GIANT WITH
NINE HEADS. SHKHARA IS A MATERIAL LEGEND.
A NINE-HEADED PEAK ON THE BEZENGI WALL.
ROME- FOR ALPINISTS
You should purchase a Svanetian hat. You can wear it in hot or cold and you will be able to capture that split second feeling that Svaneti is home to men and women of different strengths – with different aims. It is only possible above the clouds. I once met Nora Kakhiani, the head of the library in Cholashi village. She has been guarding books in the mountainous village for years. Her son has passed away, but she is strong, skilled and the guardian of future knowledge. Svaneti is also place of the future. All the stronger for its past.
You will make this journey!
PHOTO: GOGA CHANADIRI