Spring and warm weather are always late in the mountains. It is end of May, though there is still snow lying, and temperature does not exceed +5 degrees.
We started to explore Kazbegi region from Darial Gorge starting at the Georgian-Russian border. The border post is just 100 metres away.
On the first kilometre after the border there is Tamar castle ruins. It doesn't look that we could get there: it was on the other side of the river, there was no bridge or trail to this place.
Along the road, like in many other places in Georgia, there are way too many churches and monasteries. This part of the road isn't an exception in this rule. In about 1 km from Tamar castle ruins there is Archangel Monastery. Exactly from this place there is the best view on the castle ruins.
Anyway the main sight in this area is the nature. Even the fact, that we weren't lucky with the weather (it was raining all day long), didn't spoil the impression.
There are way too many mountain rivers and small (and big) waterfalls. And lost wagons.
It's really convenient to drive between sights by car. However sometimes I can hardly call this "a road". Even on 4x4 it's hard to pass some parts of the road. And the road is also used for trucks.
Also part of the road goes right next to huge mountains and stones fall time to time right on the road. That's why we constantly were seeing stones on our way.
Next to Stepantsminda village (where we were staying over the night) there is Gergeti Tsminda Sameba church. It was built on the hill (2170m high). It's very hard to get there by walking. And on own car as well. However we managed to do that. Though if you don't have 4x4, enough experience or strong nervous, I wouldn't recommend to take a chance there with you own car.
The road is very bad and hardly passable. To be more precise, there is no road at all. Just a trail for cars. It's really easy to stuck in the middle of the road. These pictures show only the best part of the road. On the worst part we had no time to take a picture.
Locals are making a business on it. They are ready to take tourists up (and back) on Mitsubishi Delica just for 20 GEL (~7.5 EUR). Though not everyone manages to reach the destination. In this case emergency service has to be involved.
It looks like a usual church, nothing special. However it was built in XIV century. It had to be really hard to get in here all these stones to build the Church.
From this place one can see extremely beautiful view. It's hard to show it in picture, but it's all I have now.
To get here by car you have to drive just 3 kilometers. We spent on the road more than half an hour. Also the traffic is quite heave. Delica taxis go in both directions quite often. The destination seems to be popular.
There are signal towers along the gorge. Just like in The Lord of The Rings. Just "Eye of Sauron" is missing. These towers were used in real life back in old times.
In the evening the sky finally became clear and Kazbek peak showed itself to us. Hooray!