Strong Women of Georgia

22-23 September 2018

The Queen Who Would Be King

Morning departure from Akhaltsikhe finds us venturing further southwest into the region of Samtshke-Javakheti, named for two of the original Georgian tribes, the Meskh and Javakhs. This region is often seen as the cradle of Georgian culture. The distance is short, just 38 miles, but as is the case in this mountainous country, twists, dips, climbs and time are all relative.  (more…)

Fantastical Mountains and Forests with a Touch of Stalin for Reality

21 September 2018

We retrace our miles south down the Military Road through sheep herds; following deep gorges, waterfalls and lakes; through the magnificent scenery of the Greater Caucasus as its trees begin to show their fall colors. Today we learn about a more somber time of history.

One should never forget history: the who, what, when and why. Sometimes there are no answers to why, but there are always lessons to be learned.  (more…)

Up Georgia’s Military Road to Gudauri

19-20 September

The Georgian Military Highway wears an ominous name but, presently, is a scenic route that has linked Europe and Asia for centuries: seventy-five miles of twists and turns, sparkling lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks, passes and stomach churning edges. I am expertly driven north along the historic Georgian Military Road which weaves from Tbilisi to Vladikavkaz, Russia. Traditionally the route of invaders and merchants, it now sees the passage of more skiers and tourists than conquering hoards. (more…)

Tbilisi Georgia – Stories of Monks and Massacres

17-18 September 2018

Great salt lake and gusty plains of Alazani Valley

I weave eighty miles of up and down and up, endless around and around on sad roads within these Greater Caucasus. Our Georgian driver speeds us around pot holes, cows and the occasional slow driver. We cross over the Gombori Pass, our final peak at an altitude of just 5,315 feet, but the getting there is what sets my stomach on edge. Along our drive, I am distracted by the small quiet villages and panoramic views of the Alazani Valley, the beautiful waves of long grasses flowing in the gusty winds, and the white and gold salt lake of this high arid plain. Mother Nature has a way of soothing the tortured soul of God Vertigo. So do the Ginger pills I swallowed. (more…)

Georgia – A Day of Wine and Song

16 September 2018

Sorry, but entering the country of Georgia, I have Ray Charles singing in my head. I’ve had worse jingles haunting my memories (like when I visited Bologna Italy and every time I think of Disneyland). I am told this part of Georgia is synonymous with wine. My kind of place! 

The route is spectacular. We are driving northwest through a large verdant valley and in the distance the Greater Caucasus dotted with state and national parklands. The route becomes more mountainous. We cross numerous dramatically wide, rocky riverbeds. A small stream trickles through but these gigantic riverbeds show all geologic indications of being dangerous, rushing, tumbling rivers in the spring.

Seventy miles inland, we cross the border from Azerbaijan into Georgia. (more…)

Savannah Georgia

15 June 2016 

Forrest has left his bench.

I thought of Sherman marching to Georgia, the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett fleeing a burning city with Rhett, Kevin Spacey in his garden of good and evil, Forrest Forrest Gump. I’ve been in Savannah for 36 hours and now think of Spanish moss, subtropical thunderstorms, 1980s music, beer, oysters and pralines. Life is good. 

Savannah is a beautiful city of 22 green garden squares, huge trees draped in flowing ribbons of Spanish moss, lots of bars and restaurants, a cool river walk, and blocks and blocks of gorgeous architecture. In my time here, I have enjoyed…  (more…)