Sunday, September 11, 2016

enjoy georgia / caucasus :-)

what to say about our caucasus trip in early september? that's easy: armenia won, georgia lost. probably because our travel guide in armenia, hakob (jacob), was many many times better than his georgian colleague arthur ... and because the armenians we met were somehow more friendly to us than georgians. anyway, my dusty school russian is still well enough for travelling in caucasus.

... damn, what if the georgians do not like russia anymore because of the conflicts with south ossetia & abkhazia and thus do not like to speak russian? hell, what if they like only their new 'friends' americans? there is even a g.w. bush street in tbilisi => OMG, OMG, OMG :-( => IMHO is g.w. bush an ugly mass murder / war monger / war criminal (who attacked iraq & afghanistan which didn't threaten any other country and especially not the usa. even in the 9/11 issue was not a single afghani involved) => btw, can you imagine a hitler street or göhring square in today's germany?
off-topic: who believes in american 'friendship'? the americans murdered about 100 millions native americans; enslaved the black; supported the soviets against germans in WWII when the soviet victory became obvious, but supported the western germans against soviets directly after WWII; they thrown nuclear bombs on the japanese; thrown napalm & agent orange on the vietnamese; shot uranium ammunition on the iraqies and serbs; still support al-nusra, al-qaeda and isis in syria, ... if you asked me, the americans (not the ordinary people, but the dark powers which rules the white house & government) will always follow their own interests and never consider interests of any other nation or the earth itself UNLESS the american people abolish these dark powers and start to rule their country and its foreign policy on principles of respect and equality (liberty, equality, fraternity!) ... or at least according to their own constitution and not on the principles of imperialism as today.

start to sense + SAVE the PLANET, my dears. 

what to say in short? well, georgia (or sakartwelo as the georgians call their country) is a beautiful, green, orthodox catholic, country in the caucasus mountains. economically much better off than its neighbor armenia, mostly probably because after the georgians got rid of shevardnadze (he is now some ministry in the ukraine and would be arrested when in georgia), the new government (saakashvili) fought successfully corruption, e.g. in 2005 they fired the entire traffic police force (around 30,000 people) due to corruption and hired & trained new well paid officers. today are almost all police stations a light glass buildings in order to demonstrate the new transparence. well, without massive corruption and jobs for the boys approach can the georgian economy develop quite freely now. the most important business partner is still russia. tbilisi is a really save place (and much nicer than yerevan) even if there is also much too much traffic noise and thus not easy to find a quiet place to relax / drink coffee / etc....
unlike armenia where the most tourists were probably ethnic armenians from abroad, in georgia have been many tourists from russia and many from pakistan. in the northern mountains there were a different category of tourists: hikers and climbers mostly from eastern europe (czech republic, russia, poland). more coming soon or never ...

few words about our travel guide: he couldn't find hotels, restaurants where we were supposed to go; didn't tell in advance which clothes we need (swimsuit for water reservoir or warm clothes for 2,000m high stepanzminda); couldn't tell exactly what time we should meet after visiting a site or even changed the appointed time after we left the group, couldn't tell much about history / politics / countryside / famous georgians (infamous known former soviet dictator stalin) and thus read with a deadly monotonous voice wikipedia & travel guide book articles; forgot few people from our group in the hotel when we went to a group dinner, couldn't organize the drinks / booked services in restaurants, on our both trips outside of tbilisi we went there and back the same roads and thus saw the same countryside twice; he was not able to organize a break where we could see something interesting even not a single view point / photo stop on the road, he led us to the cable car in tbilisi at time when the cable car was closed and we had to wait 45 minutes in front of a closed gate ==> a catastrophe, if you asked me :-)
at least his recommendation of the traditional restaurant 'pur pur' in tbilisi and the proposal to go by metro were good ideas.

few most interesting pictures:
ananuri (church and fortress) at the zhinvali water reservoir where i swum later on :-)
the church jvari with the remains of former defense walls above the city of mzcheta (mtskheta)
mzcheta (mtskheta)
the wall of soviet friendship (or similar to that name => 1793 - 1983 = 200 years of russian-georgian friendship) ... and yes, behind the mountain is south ossetia, a territory where the ossetian nation suffered war (genocide?) and assimilation politics from georgians. for example, the ossetians were forced to use georgian alphabet instead of cyrillic. of course would south ossetia like to join russia, especially its north ossetia region. for the moment (because of western pressure?) russia does not respond to this wish accordingly to south ossetian dream but at least russia supports south ossetia economically and protects also its borders from georgia military. russia is also one of very few countries (5-7?) which recognize south ossetia as a sovereign country ... please read more on wikipedia about this issue and the similar conflict between georgia and abkhazia / abchasien (capital sukhumi)
mother russia holds (its) boy georgia
coming closer to the gergeti church (2170m) in village stepanzminda below the 3rd highest mountain in georgia, kazbegi (5047 meters above sea level)
for me somehow turkish looking city of signati (sighnaghi) in the wine making area kakheti (kachetien)
the turkish / muslim part of tbilisi (tiflis)
this restaurant in former hammam (turkish steam bath) is proud because g.w. bush visited it (in 2006?). if i knew that earlier we would go to eat somewhere else, but i have seen the bush picture when i went to the toilet ... ughhhh (old town, sulfur baths area of tbilisi)
synagogue, tbilisi (tiflis)
wine? sigmund freud? no comment
save the earth + SAVE the PLANET, my dears
two of us on our way to save the PLANET with two different approaches, tbilisi (tiflis)
tbilisi (tiflis), traditional restaurant 'pur pur'
st. george fighting the dragon
map of our caucasus trip in armenia + georgia

many, many more pictures which capture my memories (together 200+ mostly commented pictures) are here, so watch just the overview first and zoom in only for the most interesting ones, otherwise it will be boring for you, i guess :-)

a sound example from georgia. but watch out, that talented russian speaking guy is an ukrainian :-)

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