We were on the way to Gergeti Trinity Church near Mount Kazbegi. The way seems cute … mountains on either sides. Horses , sheep , cows wild and free (with the horses please think the below mentioned scene from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara )The way is studded with small stalls for wine, natural honey, churchkhela and yes blessed with free drinkable water right from the mountains (snowmelt) as google describes this. Our driver cum local tour guide, Mr. Kaha is busy explaining these to my dad in his broken English . Well it’s literally kadhakali when we try to convey what we want to each other, but it was fun. Because you literally had to understand the emotions conveyed with hand symbols to understand whats happening. Mom and chakkara has been given the liberty of second seat , and 3rd row goes to paru, kannan and me (windowless – for added security reason = kannan).
I’m just lying back on the seat and wondering “who ever is anti-vampire, anti-twilight needs to be shown these mountains… because it’s just as described in the book. The beautiful pines as thick as me , taller than… well 4 times me… ” . The air starts getting cold abruptly, and the “I don’t think I need a sweater in Georgia during summer” changes to “i wish had taken my sweater with me” .. so around 45 min drive and Kaha explains that we need to change out vehicle. A minivan doesn’t go up the mountain only jeeps … So we get a decent one for 70 lari. I was so in awe of the mountains that I failed to understand that the road uphill wont be tarred road.
But not to worry, when realization hits in 1 min [where all of us jumping like electrocuted rabbits]I’m worried for mom as she has spondylitis and a few more bone problems and a 4 yrs old laughing and screaming because everyone is jumping around the seats. So all I can do is stuff the 4 yrs old, hug him and lock him as much as possible just to prevent unwanted complications and pray that mom doesn’t get too sick … So after 30 min of this uphill jumping journey, we finally get a glimpse of the Church.
This is what waits you after enduring a jumping session in a jeep for 30 min. Awestruck by the view I think all the pains and bruises forming was literally wiped out. And well, do you see those white jeeps parked, we too parked at the exact same spot. By this time all of our joint have been frozen and it took a min to unfreeze and get out and stretch except, kannan was fast asleep . Kaha and the new driver were literally stunned and couldn’t understand how he could sleep in such a jumpy situation, to which I sheepishly smiled and they burst out laughing …. Kaha helped me with kannan but by then he woke up and was happy with the view … Each time kannan says “wow!!” is cute … and with the same amount of cuteness he jumped around screeching “wow, beautiful” … Then Kaha informs us that we need to walk up to the church. The hope ballooned in me just bursted. In closeup the way upwards looks like this pic
So then with multiple stops, breathless protest and pushing and pulling each other we finally arrive at the top. We all stop there to catch our breath, but our little horsey “kannan” is all ready to keep zipping around the whole place.
So we get into this church which is 14th century church and it was beautiful .. Serene and calm and cozy .. everything a religious place ought to be…
This place is blanketed by beautiful clouds, and the feeling is something similar to when you listen to Puthu Vellai Mazhai. Then after a few snaps, here and there we head downwards. Again multiple stops and protest and all … Finally when were back to the vehicle parking area catching up rather wheezing , this lady comes up to my mom and request for a pic …
Ah !! a little something about my amma. She is the camera-shy person, who wouldn’t mind murdering us if we take her pics without permission. So when she actually consents to be in front of those lens, we try to click away as much as possible.
So she is baffled,dad is frozen we hold our breaths for mom to explode, and the newcomer is quite insistent. She rather pleads “I love this dress (sari), I love India , I always wanted to have a picture of a lady with this dress , plz plz plz plz …. ” Mom is rather shocked and stunned that people noticed her. [we did have a few people asking us “India ??” and giving us cute stares and nudging their co-travellers to stare at mom . She didn’t think much at that time and just nodded and smiled at them] and finally the girl comes to me to ask permission for a pic which i generously nodded yes .. how else can I get that shocked look on my mom’s face. Then it was kodak moment …
My clumsiness literally got to the newcomers co-traveller to come and put his phone on burst mode or something that it just goes”click-click-click-click-click-click”
Here we all went nuts,laughing out and kannan stomped on horse poop for fun … Then it was cleaning the poop-off time .. .. ..
After thoughts : I should have kept calling 5 lari for a pic with the lady in red sari … I would have made a good amount for a night’s stay at Atlantis ….
A snap of the woman in red, taken sneakily by dad
PS :: This is an attempt on travelogue , my very first one, so please be nice !!
PSS :: been quite busy and will try documenting our little journey in parts .. Only the last pic is mine the rest is all from google