To Borjomi 21.05.2017
It would be great to stay at Great Caucasus a bit longer, but it's time to move on. At this day we left Stepantsminda and headed to Borjomi. In one day we nearly crossed the entire Georgia from north to south. On the way through Gudauri we observed the snow on this level one more time.
There is no a straight route from Stepantsminda to Borjomi, so we had to go back almost to Tbilisi. We could left behind picturesque view on Mtskheta from Djvari monastery. There is a junction of Aragvi and Kura river at this place.
Djvari is considered to be a masterpiece of Georgian architecture. According to legend at this very place saint Nino has erected wooden cross, that is still preserved in the centre of cathedral.
It is hard to drive the Georgian Military Highway to Tbilisi, because road condition is poor. Road from Tbilisi to Batumi to the contrary is new and easy to drive. Sceneries along the way are superb.
Ancient cave city Uplistsihe is situated a bit aside from the road, near Joseph Stalin's motherland Gori. It is one of the Georgian first cities. It was inhabited till 19 century. Now it is a museum.
There were up to 700 caves at the time of Uplistshikhe's heyday. Nowadays there are nearly 150 caves present. All of them are opened for visit. Many caves bare Russian soldiers' graffitis, that were located in the village nearby in 1848 - 49.
It is indeed a city: there are caves served as pharmacy, king's hall, vine cellar, living places.
There is a truly fantastic view on Kura river from the Upliststiche's top. It was windy, that felt especially on top, and it was not easy to stand straight.
Scenery varies from sandstone (where caves were built) to hills covered with green.
Villages on the way to the cave city look very poor.
While views are awesome.
Vines are also grown here (even by monks), but vineyards significantly differ from Kakhetian, where plants are grown separately. They form sort of roofs here. Maybe it is just the other kind of vines.