Alaverdi and Borjomi

Currently I’m sitting at a tea shop in Tbilisi, where the have excellent tea and terrible pasta, waiting for a plane. It’ll be a long wait, since it’s supposed to leave in about 11 hours. As part of my ongoing attempt to keep you updated on my scatter-brained travels, here’s this past week’s installment, wherein, after angsting for four or five days, I visited a friend in Kakheti, and then went with a different friend to Borjomi.

The first three pictures are from Kakheti, where I stayed Thursday night with friend and fellow volunteer Amy. We went for a longish walk and made pasta together, because this is village Georgia, and what else are you going to do? On Friday we went to Telavi together, and then split up, and I went to visit Alaverdi cathedral, which is very large and located in a surprisingly uninhabited location, with only vineyards and corn to be seen on all sides.

Saturday my friend Nino and I went to visit Borjomi, which is known for its natural park, hiking, and natural mineral water. We took a train there in the morning, and returned that afternoon. There’s a lovely park there with fresh mineral water (which I dislike, but apparently it’s healthy), cafes, kids playgrounds, and rides like at a carnival. After walking in the park we went up the hill to the St Seraphim of Serov monastery, which is the most Russian looking church complex I’ve seen in Georgia. There is a small monastery, some buildings like those where St Seraphim lived, and a bear. I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind having the bear, since St Seraphim was friends with one, and they’re keeping this one locked in a cage all day (N thought they might let it out at night), which is surely making it sad. Perhaps otherwise it would bother hikers? We also rode a ferris wheel and had a picnic in the woods. It was lovely.

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