Everything was supposed to look completely different. I was planning to visit David Gareja on the first day just after arrival to Georgia. After visiting the monastery and we were planning to go to Ganja in Azerbaijan. The biggest problem in organizing a tour to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan was the car. Armenia and Azerbaijan are at war and the border between them is closed, but that it’s not a problem because you can get to both through Georgia. The problem is finding a rental car company that allows going to these two countries.
The next destination in Armenia, just after the Armenian Stonhenge (which I wrote about in the first part) was Monastyr Tatev. As we’re getting closer and closer, the road became more and more winding and mountainous. On the other hand, visibility decreased with every meter covered, actually directly proportional to the disappearing asphalt on the road. Aside from the fact that we were heading to the most popular monastery in Armenia, it looked like it was one of those places in the middle of nowhere. Tatev Monastery is mainly famous for its spectacular location
Armenia, a country in the shadow of Georgia is still sort of being skipped by mass tourism. Actually, it was one of the many reasons why I wanted to see it so much. I’ve been to Georgia twice and I like this country in my own perverse way, although the last visit left no illusions. Tourism in Georgia is becoming a money-making machine and it would be nothing wrong if this country was also betting on the quality of the services offered. Meanwhile, Armenia is an excellent alternative to commercial Georgia. Why is that?
Last stop in Armenia, during our Caucasus tour – Gyumri City. It’s the second largest city in Armenia, right after the capital of Yerevan. Although it’s the second largest, it has only 120 thousand inhabitants. This city used to be full of life and the cultural capital of the region. However, on December 7, 1988, it was hit by the largest earthquake in the history of Armenia, which almost razed it to the ground. Thousands of people lost their lives then, not to mention those who lost the roof over their heads. The cause
Georgia’s strategic position on the border of two continents: Europe and Asia, between two cultures: Christianity and Islam has long been the cause of numerous wars. The Romans, the Arabs, the Persians, and also in the modern history Russians, all they tried to occupy Georgia permanently, but no one actually has managed to do so. The incredible determination of the Georgian nation, cultivating tradition, including the ancient Kartuli ena language, allowed the country to preserve national identity. The history of this country is shown in many aspects, starting with the stubborn character of the
A very long time ago, the moment I saw on TV the culinary program about Armenia, I knew that one time I would go there. Actually, it’s hard to tell what made me interested in Armenia. Perhaps the traditional cuisine I saw in the show, maybe beautiful views with the mountain Ararat in the background, or maybe information about the difficult political situation was the result that Armenia was added to my bucket list. However, it took me quite some time to decide finally to go there. Armenia once again reminded me of herself
The Southern Caucasus is famous for its beautiful views, excellent food, incredible hospitality, but it also has its dark side. The strategic position linking Asia to Europe has always been the cause of clashes among world players like Russia, Iran and Turkey. This area consists of three countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Before the trip, I did not expect that countries with such a small area, could be so different in every way: religion, culture and even origin. The Southern Caucasus is an area of very turbulent history, which is even now visible. Many
Azerbaijan is also called The Land of Fire. The Absheron Peninsula has been famous for centuries of so called “burning ground”. This phenomenon can be seen 5 km from Baku in Yanar Dag. A unique attraction, located near Baku are mud volcanoes. It’s estimated that half of the all mud volcanoes in the world are located in Azerbaijan . In Qobustan National Park you can see numerous mud volcanoes. What’s more interesting, gurgling mud is cooler than the air temperature – checked by Lukas himsef! 😀 The volcanoes are located on slopes, from which
Azerbaijan has always been the most mysterious country of the Southern Caucasus for me. While Armenia and Georgia seemed culturally close, in the case of Azerbaijan, even the name of its capital – Baku, sounded orientally. In fact, the Caspian Sea, actually the world’s largest lake, was an important communication route between the East and the West over the centuries ago. Actually, I hadn’t known what to expect from Azerbaijan. This country had seemed to me isolated from the rest of the world and expensive. However, Baku turned out to be a very cosmpolitan
The first time I heard about Gori, it was in History class a long, long… time ago, I didn’t even think I would ever be in Stalin’s hometown. Some time ago, the world remembered about Gori again. In August 2008, news and headlines were dominated by images of the city seized by Russians. During the short war between Georgia and Russia over two regions: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gori, which almost borders with South Ossetia, has become the main point of military actions. Initially, it was bombarded by Russian forces, resulting in the death
Kutaisi is getting more and more popular destinantion among travelers and backpackers, due to cheap flight connections and relatively low prices. Kutaisi is the second largest city in Georgia and in my opinion, like whole this country is full of contradictions. Special attention deserves Gerogian architecture. I won’t hide that I’m as green as grass in this topic, but I have to admit that Georgian fantasy in this subject was a great surprise to me. In 2012 President Saakashvili decided to transferred here the Georgian Parliament, which previously had been located in Tbilisi. It
Before I went to Georgia, I’d thought that I’d seen everything on the roads. There were roads in Mexico, especially those in Mexico City, provided me adrenaline comparable to bungee jumping. There were no rules, except for one – parking ban, which, as a matter of fact, didn’t improve my situation. It was hard, even today I still remember these dilemmas before going through pedestrian crossing, cutting 7-lane, busy road. To make matters worse, I felt constant uncertainty there, whether a driver, driving a 7th right lane, would begin to make a sudden turning