BebrisTshike,

Georgia - DAY 2 | Mtshketa

12:23 AM UrbanModish 0 Comments

Read Day 1 HERE


Hello Georgia!!!

I still can't believe I'm here all by myself.

I woke up early morning, packed my bags and left for Didube metro station. (Spoiler Alert - I traveled in Georgia using public transport and also hitchhiked a lot :p).

I said good bye to the girls and set off!




I reached Rustaveli Metro, bought a metro card (filled it for GEL 2, its so cheap!) and went  for the longest escalator ride ever. The underground metro in Tbilisi is really deep. I heard Londoners insist that their metro is the deepest (can't comment since I haven't been there), but Georgians feel otherwise. The metro project was initiated by Stalin (Yes THE Joseph Stalin, he is from Georgia), it was apparently left midway, however the government then took it up and completed the metro (as told by our tour guide).




Coming back to the fact, that the metro is really deep. It's like going to the upside down  (Stranger Things fan alert). I saw people sitting on their way to the metro (clever, indeed), long chats, fast knitters - it was indeed a world of its own. 

P:S - you can't take pictures of the Metro. (However, be kind and smile and you can take a picture). Always say Gamarjoba (Hello, in Georgian), it helps a lot. 

I finally reached the metro, and asked which metro goes to Didube, which started a conversation and one that ended in him helping me find a Mashrutka (local bus) that would take me to Mtshketa. Yes, Georgians are extremely friendly, approachable and are always willing to help.

The Mashrutka was packed, and I was standing at the door with my backpack on (excited and nervous). I so wanted to take pictures, but standing and being tall didn't really help. However, I was offered a seat (sniff), and took a lot of videos and images (yay), almost forgetting where I was supposed to get off at (don't be surprised, I'm geographically handicapped and perpetually lost).

The guy who offered me his seat, told me where I could get off (literally shook me and said  - your stopppp  - lol). I got off (all lost, again), but the beautiful landscape calmed me completely.





Beautiful mountains and a calm lake flowing by with the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in the backdrop and the Jvari monastery uphill made me all happy and fluffy inside (I was thrilled).






I made some friends along the way to the Cathedral. And on my way in I met Tato (tour guide). The Cathedral is everything beautiful, calm, serene and transports you to a different era. The sound of birds, the hint of friendly wind calming your entire being, the smell of fresh grass and some chants in the church all gave me goosebumps. This place is so out of the world, and so very beautiful. 







Entering the church, entails a strict dress code. One must cover their head and incase you have worn fitting pants or skirt, just wrap a scarf from the many boxes kept outside. The insides are as magical as the outsides. It takes you to a different world. I felt an overwhelming avalanche of emotions and stayed put for good amount of time. My heart healed in my Lord's presence, and a sense of calm engulfed me. This cathedral was my first point of healing.

I stepped out and went to the information desk to figure out how to get to Jvari Monastery and other areas of interest. The women in the center were extremely helpful and helped me plan to get to Kazbegi as well. As I got out I saw Tato waiting for me (That was really kind).Tato is a tour guide and offered to show me around, as Mtshketa is home for him. 

Jvari Monastry overlooks the Aragvi and Mtkvari river (such a calm and breath taking view). Jvari was packed with tourists, but it didn't take away from my amazing experience. Jvari is gorgeous. I have a special liking towards old dilapidated structures, as they all have hidden stories in them (or so I love to believe). 















We then went to Samtavro Cathedral. The Cathedrals are so beautiful. Majority of the Georgians are Orthodox Catholics, and you'd find more Orthodox churches here. (But oh so pretty). I loved the chants/prayers in most churches I visited (be careful when taking pictures, most often you aren't allowed. But a kind word does take you a long way).









We visited a Wine shop opposite the Samtavro Cathedral. It was a fun experience to step into an almost ancient modern wine shop and discover some Georgian history along the way.






We ended the day with some amazing Khinkhali over Georgian wine . It was an amazing day, and had it not been for Tato, I  would have definitely missed the church and the wine shop.



Bebristshike was beautiful. There are some restoration work going on (July 2018), but you can still visit the place. We went around and sat overlooking the river. It was such a surreal and beautiful experience. The calmness of it all was just beautiful.










I was looking so much at the river, that I couldn't not go there. We headed towards the river and spent some time there as well. So calming and OMG , it was just beautiful. I love water bodies and have an ironic attachment to them (I'm hydrophobic, lol). If you ask was there anything touristy about the river, well no. It had a very rustic quality to it and is a place visited by the locals often. So amidst the calm you can also hear locals talking about their catch. It was just beautiful.








I had already figured out that Mtshketa to Kazbegi doesn't happen as per my research (lol) and that I had to go back to Tbilisi (Didube) and take a Mashrutka to Kazbegi (lmao)




So inspite of my extensive research, I loved how I was wrong. Being wrong is essential to improvise. 

From Didube, i found the best seat right next to the driver and was pumped to head to Kazbegi (Onward and only onward we go).










The Journey to Kazbegi was a sight for sore eyes. It was beautiful. I feel like I need to find more synonyms for beautiful, as Georgia is everything beautiful. The roads were comfortable to be traveled by, the view was breath taking and the company was all I could ask for. 

The best part about travelling alone, is that you have different people on every journey. Different people = different cultures, many stories and an endless journey of conversations! 


Mtshketa

The former capital of Georgia, has some outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The site is believed to have been settled since around 3000-2000 BC. Its mild climate, and its fertile soil together with its strategic location at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers made it an ideal home for human habitation. It also became an important stopping point on the ancient trade routes and was a significant site of early Christian activity. Mtskheta was the capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia, from the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD. At the beginning of the 6th century, King Dachi I Ujarmeli moved the capital from Mtskheta to Tbilisi, in accordance with his father’s will.

One of its most important monuments is Samtavro (the Place of the Ruler), where a small domed church was originally constructed in the 4th century. The grave of Mirian, the Georgian king who adopted Christianity, lies within the church. Another significant religious site is the Svetitskhoveli church. Built on the site of a wooden church, the complex includes an 11th century cathedral. Originally its interior was decorated with wall paintings, but these were whitewashed over. Recently fragments of the original paintings have reemerged from below the whitewash covering.


Next to Mtsheta, on top of a hill above the Aragvi river is the Mtskhetis Jvari. This complex contains several buildings from different periods including a classic Georgian cruciform church dating from the mid-6th century. There are beautiful views from here. A taxi from the centre costs around 20 Lari. To get to Mtskheta from Tbilisi go to the Didube bus station and take Marshrutka for 1 Lari.


Much Love 

xoxo



“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot

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