Day two in Georgia – Mtskheta

Today ended up being largely confined to a lengthy and very interesting conversation via translator with Georgian Times founder Malkhaz Gulashvili. We talked about a wide range of issues, but mostly about the war and regional politics. The discussion then moved into Malkhaz’s personal interest in Irish history and politics and his personal desire to see closer connections between Irish and Georgian people. I will be coming back to that discussion later.

For the rest of the day we visited the UNESCO world heritage site at Mtskheta, ate more Georgian food on the banks of the Mt’k’vari river and visited a monastery site just above Mtskheta.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built in the 11th century in Mtskheta was incredibly impressive. Its status as a world heritage site is well deserved. And fortunately for me on this occassion I was able to get photos and video from inside the church. The wikipedia page simply does not do it justice, but it does give some insight into the story I was told today about the architect of the cathedral having his hand cut off.

When entering I was forced to try on a traditional hat from the region:

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Yes it does not suit me.

In order of how they took them here is a tour of the Cathedral.

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This is one of the damaged interior walls:

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The huge and spectacular image of Christ at the rear of the cathedral

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As seen from the entrance:

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An exterior detail:

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At sunset:

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Front detail:

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As for the food, I tried out a variety of Georgian staples. I can’t even begin to translate their names, but here is a picture of the selection of food.

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And here is a sample of the menu, for those of you interested in language. Georgian is an entirely distinct and unique language, and it is not the easiest to understand or read.

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Well except on the right after the numbers is the Georgian word for Larri, the currency… which looks like this:

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Tomorrow morning it is on to Gori with my guide, who knows much about the conflict given his first hand role as a captain in the Georgian army, and a veteran of the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan. My conversations so far (albeit frustrated by translation) with him, have been very interesting.

4 Responses to “Day two in Georgia – Mtskheta”

  1. niall says:

    Lovely pics, as always. Would be interested to hear some of Gulashvili’s take on the conflict if you have opportunity to return to your conversation.

  2. ferdia2010 says:

    Whats the food like ?

  3. datiko says:

    Oh my god! What low prices in comparison with St. Petersburg’s ones! =)
    I was born in Georgia and I am addicted to Georgian food but I live in Russia!

    Very interesting to read Irish person’s report on travel in Georgia. Hope you will write some more private impressions on this trip!

    David

  4. leluuu says:

    yeah very interesting indeed, thanks for keeping us updated :))