TripPlanner - Traveling in Kakheti (part 2)

Traveling in Kakheti (part 2)

11 August, 2018

Oh, about Kakheti you can talk endlessly. Usually, travel companies start acquaintance of their clients with this region from the town of Sighnaghi, which seems to hover above the famous Alazani valley. Curved cobbled streets, beautiful toy houses, churches and bell towers, and a huge fortress wall that reliably protected local residents from the raids of neighboring tribes. Nowadays, Sighnaghi was nicknamed “the city of love“. The reason for this is not only and not so much the atmosphere of a fairytale city, as there is a 24-hour registry office where, as in Las Vegas, they can marry in a couple of minutes. And yet, not far from Signagi in the village of Mirzaani in 1862, one of the most romantic artists of his era, Niko Pirosmani, was born. You also all know about him. Remember the song: “Million-million-million red roses ...“? So, it‘s about him! This Niko Pirosmani sold all his property to give his beloved lady that one million scarlet roses. In his native village, there is still a house that Niko built with his own hands. Today, there is his museum, and next to a small exhibition center. If you love and appreciate painting - be sure to check it out here.

After a walk on Sighnaghi, we will go to the monastery of Bodbe. From the city of love, it is separated only 2 km. This place is famous for the fact that here is the grave of St. Nino. She was one of the first Christian enlighteners, and thanks to her sincere preaching, Georgia became a Christian country. It is said that Nino was born in Cappadocia (today it is the territory of Turkey), and in Iveria (so in very old days called Georgia) she went to look for the Chiton of the Lord. There were rumors that he was in Mtskheta. Nino lived an amazing life and did a lot for Georgia. By the way, the image of her famous cross from the vine, you will meet during your travels everywhere. In addition to Christian shrines, the monastery is interesting because it also offers stunning views of the Alazani Valley. Just remember that exactly at 19.00 the gates of the complex are closed for night, and until the morning no one is allowed. At other times, admission is free. You can even walk around the monastery gardens and the cemetery. There is something to see. 

Another famous monastery of the region - David-Gareja, is located on the other side and it‘s better to go here directly from Tbilisi. From the capital only 60 km. David-Gareja is a complex of cave monasteries built in the 6th century. Today it is literally divided in half by the border with Azerbaijan. Georgia even offered to its neighbor to exchange equal in size territories, so that the monastery would be completely in its composition. However, Azerbaijan refuses, motivating that the area where the complex is located is strategically important. By the way, English-language guidebooks called David-Gareja - one of the most important and interesting sights of Georgia and put it in the category of the must-see. Here, about 20 monasteries are carved, which are scattered along the slopes of the Gareja ridge for about 25 km. The main one is the monastery of St. David (hence the name of the whole complex). Be sure to include this complex in your route!  

Further, you should investigate Kakheti independently. Let‘s just say that there is a wonderful picturesque lake Kvareli, where it‘s nice to have a rest in the summer, and the capital of the region, the city of Telavi, contains many interesting things. In Kakheti, there are two national parks - Lagodekhi and Vashlovani and the famous Pankisi Gorge, where real Wahhabis still live. They, by the way, gladly receive guests and even ride you on their horses. Eh, probably, even Kakheti does not look all for one trip.

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