To the Svaneti Region

To the Svaneti Region

[ July, 2018 ]  We left Kutaisi and after a long drive, we entered the Caucasus mountains again in Georgia.

This time, we were in the Svaneti region in the north west of the country.

The mountain weather was changeable and it was raining on and off.

They make honey a lot around here and we saw many vendors along the road.

Our driver stopped at one point to take some fresh mountain water and there was a man selling his honey there.

We bought a small jar for 15 Lari (£4, €5, $5.70) and he showed us the inside of the beekeeping box.

I had never seen this before and obviously there were many bees flying inside, which made me step back.

This area was full of green trees which was quite different from Kazbegi where we had visited a few days before.

We saw the beautiful quiet scene of a deep green reservoir.

The destination on the day was Mestia, the main town in the region.

A little before arriving in the town, we started seeing the view with the towers, which I had been wanting to see for a long time.

Yes, this was the main purpose of this trip.

When we passed one village before Mestia, Gia, our driver, said that his family was originally from this village, of which unfortunately I cannot remember the name.

Apparently, in this village, every family has one small church and some of them have frescoes not only on the inside but on the outside wall, too.

Now we entered Mestia.

This is a quite big town with a population of 2,800 according to our guidebook, so there were more towers that I wanted to see, as well as many ordinary buildings and the strange-looking modern police station.

Our hotel was Hotel Bangriani, which was designed to look like a mountain hut and located on the slope of a hill, so we could see the lovely view of the town from the balcony of our room.

Until here, our guide and driver stayed in different accommodation from ours, but here we all stayed in the same hotel and had dinner together there.

The interesting thing we learned from them at dinner was that, in this country, the toastmaster, called a tamada, is important.

The tamada has to give a short speech each time, for the god, the family, the friend, etc., and calls out “Gaumarjos!” to toast.

This is not only once at the start of the dinner, but a few times during the dinner.

On the first evening, Gia played the roll of the tamada, and we toasted as many as four times.

After dinner, when we got back to our room, we saw the fantastic view of the town with those towers lit up.

Of course, this was done as an attraction for tourists, which apparently started only a few years ago.

They say that this region had been totally isolated until fairly recently, so I imagine it would have been pitch-black at night here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *