Monday, June 29, 2009

Mount Kazbek defeats me yet again...

I spent the last few days enjoying the beautiful crumbling architecture of Tbilisi's old town. I used the few Hebrew words I knew to try and communicate in the city's old synagogue, practiced a little Arabic with the keeper of the old mosque (the only Mosque to survive the 1930's anti-religion campaigns) and traded some Russian and Georgian pleasantries at the numerous churches. Other than that, I have just been eating gargantuan quantities of Georgian food.

I had finally readied my iceaxe, crampons and cold weather gear for my ascent of Mount Kazbek (the place that Prometheus was supposedly chained down by the gods). I have dreamed of climbing this peak since my last visits to its base in 06 and 07. Full of excitement I just checked the weather forecast and... a week of thunderstorms lay ahead. *sigh*. Looks like I brought my gear halfway across the planet for nothing.

Oh well, better make the most of my time. I met a Serbian man with a car and convinced him to try and head up to Tusheti. This region is the most remote in Georgia. It is bordered to the north by Chechnya and to the east by Dagestan. Looks like that is where I'm headed before I hop on the bike.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The Bike Comes Back to Life:

I'm finally back in Tbilisi! Since our flight arrived 5 hours late last night, a Georgian I met in the airport in Kiev had his friend drive me 15 miles into the city. I thought I had over exaggerated Georgian hospitality in my memories but I really don't know if that is possible. 

Coming into the city brought on a flood of old memories and new thoughts. My new friend pointed out President Saakashvili's new mansion and showed me the road blocks set up by opposition protestors. It is much smaller, quiter and peaceful than the Western news makes it appear.

"People of Saakashvili's Resignation" in front of the Parliament:

The city seems to have changed since I was here two years ago. Modern building projects are sprouting up everywhere and everything seems generally cleaner. It's hard to explain how I feel about it, considering the low levels of developement thougout the rest of the country. It also feels as if the city is losing a bit of it's soul... I suppose I am being a bit over dramatic considering I've only been here one day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


My hope is two make it from Tbilisi, Georgia to Tel Aviv, Israel on my bicycle. If all goes well my trip should take me through Georgia, the breakaway republic of Abkhazia, Eastern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, The West Bank and Israel. Posting should start sometime after my arrival in Tbilisi in late June.

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