Winter in Georgia makes the country look more beautiful with makeup snow in a row of the Caucasus Mountains that surround it. The peak covered with thick snow white uniform, while the slopes of the hill featuring a combination of white and dark patches of rocks that are still free of snow. I was stunned when a bus we passed a simple church building in the middle of the vast desert shelter blue sky. Returned to guidelines that have been downloaded through the phone, the more I can not wait to enjoy the beauty of this country.
Architecture lovers will be spoiled by the structure of the church building and the wall scattered at many points in Georgia were mostly older than 1,000 years.
The bus stopped at a terminal that does not look like a terminal. There are only a few minibus parked and out. Apparently, I had reached the city of Akhaltsikhe, the nearest town from the Turkish-Georgian border. Some people who want to continue the trip to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, had to change the minibus and drove about three hours away. Choice of staying falls in Akhaltsikhe because there are several interesting locations to be visited from there.
My husband and I spent the first day just to walk around the city and tasting kachapuri (cheese pie), which is a typical food of Georgians. Akhaltsikhe town atmosphere pleasant and relaxing. The people are also very friendly, although many do not speak English as their primary language is Georgian and Russian.
In Georgia there are many monastery or convent located far over the hills or remote mountains. Because there are no settlements nearby, then there is no public transportation to get there.
The first location is my direction is Sapara Monastery is located 12 km from the city center. The streets winding through the countryside in the area of green hills, until finally arriving at the top of the highest hill, they saw a beautiful Sapara Monastery bathed in the morning sunlight. Built in the 10th century, the church complex which is surrounded by the castle and include the viewing tower is still actively used as a place of worship and inhabited by some pastors.
Proceed to a cave monastery that is part of the Vardzia Cave City. History records that in 1185 the nation of Georgia was led by a young woman aged 25 years, was named Queen Tamar. In the midst of his fight against the nation of Mongolia, he ordered to build a monastery once underground shelters. Unmitigated, Mount Erusheli City Aspindza converted into a cave with 13 levels that can accommodate more than 6,000 pastors and war victims. The only way out when it is through a secret tunnel that started near the river Mtkvari.
Land around Vardzia Cave Monastery hidden when it is green and lush that the priests make terraced irrigation system to help make the food supply for the whole of the convent. It is a perfect place to stay for the life of the population at that time.
They managed to survive the attack of the nation of Mongolia. However, fate would. Less than 100 years since the city was founded, in 1283, Georgia is stricken by the earthquake very powerful to destroy the cave system and knocked out most of the mountain side. Rows of room in the middle row that currently we can see, once hidden in the mountain. Now looks like a mountain split in the visible cross section.
Monastery in Vardzia Cave City had risen again and continue his life until 1551, when the attacks on priests by the Persians. Since then Vardzia really be a city left uninhabited. In the 20th century, there was a priest who stopped there and decided to keep traces the history of the place. Until now there was a small group of pastors who inhabit some parts of the remains of the historic city. Imagine how extreme the man’s efforts to protect civilization, but must submit under the power of nature.
However, either because it was low season or indeed Vardzia Cave City is rarely visited by tourists, there was only my husband and I were out of the tunnel are small and dark in the cave system. Enjoying the beauty of the river and the colors of trees in the surrounding areas.