Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

hiking in the caucasus

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:53 PM
'You mean that church up on that hill?' I've asked yesterday and pointed to the tiny looking church up on the mountain facing our hotel. I thought they were kidding but this morning we hiked the 14km to the Sameba church, the Gergeti Holy Trinity church, at 2200m, 500m above the Kazbegi town. The hike wasnt particulary strenuous but the Hippo was out of shape and it took some huffing and puffing to get up there. Along the path, we were greeted by wonderful views of the Greater Caucasus and views of the ever diminishing town below. The reward for the hard work was a church perched on top of a green meadow that immediately gave me the feeling of the Sound of Music. The hills are alive! But Mtn Kazbeki was stubborn, hidden behind fog and clouds and will not proclaim its glory. The day was a bit warmer than yesterday, just a bit cloudy, very ideal for mountain hikes. Later on in the afternoon, we took 4X4's through the Sno Valley to the village of Juta, hidden among hills. The village wasnt particularly interesting, it only had old dilapidated buildings, no cafes or restaurants but they're building a brand new resort hotel. But along the way, we saw waterfalls and views of wondrous mountains in the Sno valley. On our way back, Mtn Kazbeki finally showed its majesty, clear, covered in snow (it's called ice mountain by the locals). It's an enormous mountain, towering above all others. What a sight! In the evening, again I had my tea in the terrace for a quiet communion with the Caucasus, and Greg came to join me, embraced by the surrounding mountains. One of the most beautiful places on earth! I so love mountains!

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