A Dam and a Natural Reserve

A Dam and a Natural Reserve

[ July, 2018 ] After we thoroughly enjoyed the Svaneti region in Georgia, we drove down from the mountains for hours the next day.

Before reaching flat ground, we visited a dam that is 172.5 metres tall, which is the 5th highest in the world.

It was built between 1961 and 1986 and both Georgia and Abkhazia, which now practically belongs to Russia, benefit from this dam.

We used the toilets nearby, which were supposed to be free, but there was a woman sitting there, so we gave her 1 Lari (£0.29, €0.33, $0.38) and she looked very happy.

We reached flat ground and we had a light lunch at a humble restaurant in the fairly large town called Zugdidi.

Everyone apart from me had a kind of Khachapuri in the shape of a boat with an egg on top and it is supposed to be eaten stirring the egg with the cheese.

This Khachapuri is from the region of the Black Sea.

I had a light mushroom dish, because at that time, I felt extremely tired.

Our guide, Ana, said that that is probably because of the altitude difference we came through.

After lunch, we went to Sataplia Natural Reserve near Kutaisi.

A special guide called Gaga took us and other tourists around.

The name Sataplia is something to do with honeybees and that is because, around here, bees used to live in the holes in the rocks.

The king in the 11th and 12th centuries, David the Builder, whose name came up many times in the topics during this holiday, used to come and hunt here apparently.

He liked the far away hillside seen from here, so he built the Gelati Monastery over there.

He probably did not know, but in this natural reserve, there are two types of footprints from dinosaurs left in one area.

We looked at them and then went into a limestone cave.

Compared with the one we recently saw in Sardinia in Italy, it was rather small and nothing special.

The lighting was too colourful, which was rather cheap.

The only interesting thing there was the rock called ‘Heart’.

Its texture looked exactly like an internal organ.

There was a hole there and if you made a wish whilst putting a coin in, if the coin reaches to the river beyond the rock, your wish will be fulfilled, apparently.

Gaga, the guide, repeated many times “Don’t touch anything inside the cave”, but many people were patting everywhere.

There were some facilities in this park, which looked like they had started building but had given up on the way.

I wondered if they are in trouble for funding.

Ana pointed out one building at a lookout platform from where we could see the city of Kutaisi and said “That is our new parliament building”.

The parliament was moved to Kutaisi in 2012 to prevent the concentration of the population in Tbilisi, the capital city.

It was the time of the third president of this country, Saakashvili, who loved modern buildings, so this one looked very modern, too.

According to the information on the internet, this one was designed by a Japanese architect.

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