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Goris

sunny 27 °C

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I had great hopes for Goris. Like Sisian, it seemed like a good place to stay for a few days to explore the area, but it sounded a lot less functional and more attractive. As the Mashrutka slowly wound its way down the valley, I was surprised to see the town was much bigger than I expected. We were set off in the town centre and yet I had the stupidly optimistic idea that it would be nice to find a cafe, have some much needed breakfast and get our bearings before we looked for somewhere to stay. As it was we eventually found a shop and sat on the disused fountain in the square to eat and drink and try and make sense of the, so far, useless map. As we were sitting there eating and looking around in mild disappointment, a fellow traveller passed by and stopped to talk to us. "Bit of a disappointment isn't it?" He said. I was loath to give immediate judgement, but my heart sank. However, he was staying in one of the hostels we were hoping to find and offered to take us there. We followed him and ended up in one of my favourite places to stay in Armenia. The hostess was a warm, friendly woman called Nadia, who lived in another part of the house with her family. It was connected to the two guest rooms by a spacious wooden veranda which was dominated by a large wooden table. After settling in we dashed off with our new friend, who wanted to see "Old Goris" before he was taking a taxi to a monastery another town later that day.

Its a funny thing when you are travelling, you make friends so quickly, spend a bit of time doing things with them and then realise you sometimes don't even know (or can't remember) their names but you know their nationality! This man was English, but had lived in Canada for a long time, and seemed to be trying to break some rapid travel record. None of us actually knew what Old Goris was going to be like and were expecting it just to be an older part of the town, which it was at first until we crossed the bridge and were faced with an impressive area of "Fairy Chimneys" and caves very similar to those in Cappadocia, Turkey, but here the surrounding hills were higher and a lot greener. I had just intended to have a quick look at the area and then come back later in the day when the light would be better for photos, but we were drawn upwards by the winding path into the hills. We came to a point where the path where you could either go off into the hill or climb up a steep hill that overlooked the town. The speedy man decided that he had time to run up the hill before going back to meet his taxi. I, however had something much more important to do as I'd seen my first Armenian goats!

When I was an 18 year old, flamboyantly dressed hippy, someone told me that I reminded him of an Armenian goatherd. I didn't have any idea, nor did he, of what one looked like, but it stuck at the back of my mind all those years. When the idea came up to travel there, I jumped at the chance to check it out. The only trouble was that I was several days in and I still hadn't seen a goat, even through a bus window. So when I spotted a herd, there was only one thing to do and that was to get some photographic evidence! It involved climbing over fences and down rocks to get to the goats and running then around like Heidi (in MY mind I was), while Rob tried to run round the other way and catch the moment in camera. Unfortunately, I never did find any goatherds to photograph compare them to, but I think it was pretty clear that I bore very little resemblance to one. I dealt with the disappointment - eventually.

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Having annoyed the goats enough, we went back to the path and met up with our puzzled-looking English friend coming down - I just felt that it might be better not trying to explain, and we carried on up to the top of the hill. The view over the town was very impressive, as were the hills behind who were luring me to continue walking into them.

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We went back up to that area a few more times while we were there. After leaving the road, the path wound through a cemetery before going into the hills. One day as we were coming back down we were spotted by some workmen sitting down amongst the graves, eating a late lunch. They waived us over and insisted that we should join them. There was hot chicken stew, salads, freshly made flat bread and local cheese. It was delicious, as was the home-made fruit vodka which they were drinking. In case you're new to my blogs, I should point out here that I'm not much of a drinker and don't like the taste of most alcohol. I do usually, however, have an impressive ability to knock back neat shots of vodka, which I learnt when travelling through Central Asia and improved on in the Caucasus. The first large shot, which toasted Armenia was nicely warming, the second toasted the England and was pretty poky. One of the workers was, surprisingly, from Azerbaijan, and given the conflict between the two countries, it would have been very rude not to toast his country as well. After that one I sat there in a state of near hallucination, while the workmen gathered up their industrial power tools, minus any protective clothing and proceeded to work on the tombstones. I waited a few minutes till the world stopped warping in and out and staggered back to the house.

A few miles out of Goris, was a village called Khazdzoresk, where there was another area of caves. Nadia, our hostess, had a friend who lived there and also arranged a cheap taxi to drop us off at her house. As we drove over the hills to the village in the beautiful early morning sunlight, the elderly driver had on a mixed selection of traditional and modern Armenian music. I happily sat there thinking how much more special it was when you heard local music as you travelled along .... "Yo, yo f..k you beeatch" suddenly blared out of the speakers as we neared the village, reminding me not to be too precious! In England, we quantify music quite a lot, label it and expect it to be listened to by certain groups of people, but I've noticed that this isn't necessarily the case in many other countries, especially those with Soviet connections. I've seen old ladies (not just me), tapping their feet to rap and teenagers doing traditional Kyrgyz dances to Russian techno, just because they like the beat.

We arrived at an amazingly small wooden house which Nadia's friend shared with quite a lot of family. Although we'd eaten breakfast, she sat us down and made us Armenian coffee, walnuts, sweets and popcorn. Her sister-in-law arrived and we all sat around trying to communicate in the usual hotch-potch way. They had so little but they were determined to show us as much hospitality as they could and I was reminded of the sisters-in-law who had been so kind in Azerbaijan. After an hour, we took our leave and she pointed out the road to the caves, which turned out to be quite a lot further and harder to get to than I thought they would be. They looked magnificent from the road and spanned quite a distance on either side of a valley, but there were a lot of sheer drops and rock cliffs and it took a while to find a path down. Eventually one became clear and we set off down into the valley.

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Caves at Khazdzoresk

Caves at Khazdzoresk

The caves nearer the bottom of the valley were used for animal food storage and in the distance, I could see a man riding down the steep path on his horse. After a while, he came back up the hill to talk to us. He told us he was 78 and that he lived quite far away and came every day to check on his cows. I was so impressed by his agility - obviously he knew the paths around there so well, but they certainly weren't easy walking for an old man. We "chatted" for a while and then he carried on looking after his animals, meeting us at the bottom to show us his horse, which he then leaped on and rode off into the hills.

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Once the old man had gone, we were left to ourselves in the valley which rose steeply on the other side. The lower parts of the valley were full of the cave houses, a lot of them were in obvious use for animals. They carried on up the hill, petering out towards the top. There was an obvious path on that side and a stream running down the middle. I'm not sure why we started walking on the other side of the stream to the path, I think we just got lured by the houses and just kept seeing more interesting ones just a bit further ahead. Eventually I found my dream house, with a two good sized rooms and a nice bit of lawn in the front and considered moving in. By this time the sun was beating down and we were halfway up the hill, albeit the easiest part. The path in the distance looked fairly easy but the stream had etched out a deep chasm and there was no way across. It was hard to see if there was a possible way up from where we were and there were some pretty imposing sheer rock faces that I certainly wasn't going near. We now had to decide whether to carry on and hopefully find a path or to go back down, cross the stream and find the obvious path on the other side. Stubbornness and my strong dislike of going down steep hills won and we carried on up in a route that was becoming more bizarre and hopeless looking and I started to remember some of those TV programmes where stupid, unprepared people get lost or fall off cliffs in remote areas. We had water but no food and my legs were becoming wobbly from low blood sugar, heat and the seemingly inevitability of going back down the way we came. Just as we were deciding on this, a small hunched figure with a stick and a large sack on his back seemed to appear out of nowhere, if I had been in Ireland I would have seriously suspected that he was a Leprechaun! We all sat down on the grass and he pointed out that he was going up to the top and would show us the way. He opened the sack and produced some freshly picked walnuts, we provided some water and cigarettes and soon all was well with the world. Our saviour was in his eighties and I've never seen such a sprightly old man. So much so, that when he stood up and indicated that it was time to carry on, we were both struggling to keep with him - even Rob, who often annoyed me so much by his ability to walk up the steepest slopes without appearing to get out of breath. After a couple of cunning twists and turns, the steep path up the hill became obvious and the old man turned and waived, adjusted his sack and disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. Maybe there is an Armenian type of Leprechaun......

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While we were at Nadia's house, a large group arrived from Yerevan to stay. They worked for an Armenian bank and came down every year for work. I was expecting a sedate bunch, having experienced the Armenian ability to be solemn and thinking bankers would be very serious people, but I was completely taken aback by their friendliness. They were hilarious, swept me into their group and showered me with hospitality. They all spoke fluent English and were able to explain to me so much about life in Armenia as they experienced it. They talked about politics; the problems with Azerbaijan, the economy and relationships with Turkey. They hoped that the border would open, which they felt could happen if Turkey admitted to its past faults. While we were talking, one of the men started crying and sat there with tears rolling down his face. "He always does this when we talk about the genocide" I was reassured "His grandparents were killed and it makes him sad, don't worry." Sure enough after a couple of minutes he stopped and carried on as before.

I was a bit taken aback when one man told me he was completely shocked as he'd heard that English people could insult each others parents. I wasn't sure what he meant but said that maybe close friends would joke about it, knowing it wasn't meant. "If anyone said anything bad about my mother, even as a joke, I would have to kill them!" I was told seriously. "Not just fight, but kill. We Armenians love blood too much!" Luckily I managed not to insult anyone's family and we left on the best of terms.

Far from disappointing me, Goris had become better and better as I'd got to know it. Sure there were the usual ugly soviet buildings, but I hardly noticed them any more, but did see the beautiful old buildings and autumn trees and had met some friendly, interesting people. We left Goris for a couple of days to go to a small town in the south called Tatev. There was a famous monastery there and a cable car to it had just opened, which was claimed to be the longest cable car in the world. After that we would return to Goris and carry on to the Nagorno Karabach, the country which officially doesn't exist.

Posted by sue deegan 06:33 Archived in Armenia Tagged landscapes mountains bridges buildings trees village caves backpacking ancient armenia caucusus cave_cities Comments (0)

Sissian and how to get there

Armenian Stonehenge

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We got up at a unpleasantly early time to take the only Mashrutka back to my favourite town of Vayk, then quickly catch another south to a town called Sissian. We'd become spoilt in the last few days by being brought breakfast in our warm sitting room. These breakfast were so large and diverse that we'd saved them for lunch too. We got to the only bus stop in town early and waited in the cold rain for the bus, which was late. A taxi driver came up and told us we were at the wrong place, the right one was miles away, but he could take us there for a large sum of money and if we hurried we would catch it. I was pretty unimpressed, cold, wet and bored with all the slyness we'd met so far. When the Mashrutka came it soon filled up with equally grumpy passengers.

What a difference arriving back in Vayk this time! Instead of being dusty, late and uninspiring, it was wet, early and uninspiring! I know I'm being unfair to the town as I only saw a tiny part of it, I'm sure if I'd spent time there I would have started to know and like the people.

But what I did see this time, was different cafe next to the Mashrutka stop, run by a cheerful, friendly woman who plied us with hot Sorch at the correct price and we chatted about our lives, not an easy task with my limited Russian and Armenian and her limited English, often using scraps of paper to illustrate. Meanwhile taxi drivers hovered around outside like wasps. She tried to explain the transport system there, which seems obvious now, but then it just seemed so confusing, though it gradually began to sink in. Basically, a lot arrived there from the capital, Yerevan, in the north, hovered outside tantalisingly for a few minutes, turned round and went back again. Some didn't turn round but were already totally and utterly full and were mainly going to Stepanakert, the capital of a country that officially doesn't exist, which I'll tell you about in a future blog. We wanted to go to a town a few miles off the main road, so there weren't many buses going there. The map I'd looked at didn't make it clear that it was so far off the main road, which added to the confusion. Don't worry, she said/mimed someone will tell us when one gets here, maybe one hour.

We spent several hours there. The rain eased and I went outside to find a French couple we'd met in Yerevan cycling along the road and chatted for a while. There were a couple of make-shift stall around with people selling phone credit, fruit and veg and the ubiquitous seeds. Seeds aren't something that we do in England, but they are common in so many other countries and I learned how to eat them in China. They are toasted, salted and are usually sunflower, pumpkin or melon. The knack that works for me is :- hold them sideways up, point inwards, between the teeth and push them slowly into your mouth as you give three or four gentle cracks along the sides with your teeth. The third or fourth time it should open enough for you to hook your tongue inside and scoop out the whole kernel, leaving the empty case in your hand. The best ones pop into your mouth by themselves and the worst just disintegrate into a mixture of shell and seed. Its a fantastic way to pass the time, waiting for a bus, sitting on one, or just contemplating life in general. Crack, crack, crack, scoops, eat, crack, crack, crack, scoop, spit, eat and so on. Squatting while you eat them makes them taste better even better. Squatting is something that's not done a lot of in England either and although I've got a lot better at it, especially when my feet are pointing downhill, after a few minutes my legs start to hurt and I have to stand up and pretend to be interested in something else.

The seeds are usually incredibly cheap and usually the street vendors are pretty poor. I bought some from an old lady, who cried as I bought them, and said something long and rambling in Armenian, probably about the plight of seed sellers, and we hugged each other. After that people became a lot friendlier and actively started to help out with Mashrutka situation. Armenian has its own writing, but as I already knew Arabic and most of the Russian letters and had recently learnt the Georgian alphabet, I'd decided not to strain my poor brain with learning yet another - especially as we were only spending three weeks there. However, I couldn't resist pulling out the dog-eared paper with the alphabet on and trying to decipher the destination boards on the Mashrutka windscreens. If I'd be hoping to impress any of the locals, I was sadly disappointed, but I had great fun working them out and cheered myself every time I got one. Eventually I read one that said Sissian, which belonged to an incredibly full Mashrutka and managed to persuade the driver to let us on, the whole town must have been fed up with me by this time and probably begged him to take us away!

I realised, after the last blog, that you, dear readers, mostly get to read the edited highlights. This of course is right, You don't often need to know the details of what I ate for breakfast, the boring times, the details of the haggling, hassling, delays, total incomprehension or any really personal stuff. But, just this once, to give a slightly closer idea of the reality of travel, I've forced you to stick around with me, in a bad mood in boring Vayk while I ramble on about seeds and Mashrutkas.

Anyway after two hours of uncomfortable travel with some friendly people, passing through some breathtakingly beautiful scenery, we arrived in Sissian. We spent some time looking for the cheap hotel only to find it was the big relatively impressive one we'd passed. We asked for one of the cheap rooms which had a balcony and looked out onto the fountain and rose-beds, the helpful English speaker manager came back from her shopping to explain how to walk to Carahunge, or Stone-Henge a few miles away, which was one of the reason we'd come there.

We walked quite a lot of the several kilometres towards Carahunge until a man in an expensive car stopped and insisted on giving us a lift. The majority of Armenians I met don't really see the point of walking for pleasure, so he was quite insistent. We'd had a long day so far, and so we got in. He told us he owned the big hotel, which he pointed to in the distance, spoke perfect English and didn't seem at all worried about driving his car over the bumpy track that led to the site. "Any problems at all, just contact me", he told us as he dropped us off at the entrance.

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What an impressive site! The sheer number of stones is what hit me first - they seemed to stretch on forever. They varied in size between small child and a large adult, some of them had holes in them at a variety of angles, some pointing at the sky and some at the horizon. Some of the stones were set straight and others were leaning in different directions, maybe having been placed that way or had settled there over the hundreds of years. They seemed to be arranged in a circular pattern, which I walked around taking in the atmosphere and inspecting the separate stones.

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Even without the stones, the scenery would have been beautiful. It's granite cragginess, which I hadn't seen before in the Caucasus, reminded me of Ireland. It was greener than most of the areas I'd seen around, which were mostly parched and yellowish after the long summer, fairly high up and surrounded by mountains, some of which had the start of the winter's snow on their peaks.

We had the place to ourselves, except for small shop and were free to wander wherever we wished. As the sun was getting ready to set, it rained a little, producing a rainbow that stretched over the hillsides. I'd been thinking about a close friend of mine and how much she would have loved it there. She'd had so many misfortunes over the last two years, but was getting married the next day in England. As I watched the rainbow I wished them both better times and a happy marriage.

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We went into the shop before we left, which sold a few postcards and had a small collection of books and was run by a young man. He made us welcome and told us his friend was coming to pick him up soon and we could have a lift back into the town. I looked at the diverse books, some of which were in English. Apparently Carahunge or Zorats Karer, is about 7 hectares in and consists of hundreds of standing stones and over 200 stone tombs around the area. I mentioned the stones with holes in and these are thought to have been made to take readings of the movement and positions of the sun, moon and stars. Its been estimated that its at least 7,500 years old, predating our own Stonehenge. There was even a claim that Ancient Britains originated from Armenia and built Stonehenge using their ancient knowledge. A lot was mentioned about it being the point of a special sort of triangle, to do with ratios, between Stonehenge and The Pyramids. The jumble of claims and theories became harder to understand and so I sat and looked at the pictures and chatted to the man in the shop. Soon his friend arrived and we headed back into the town.

Posted by sue deegan 01:54 Archived in Armenia Tagged mountains village sites backpacking ancient armenia carahunge Comments (1)

Baku beyond

A 2 humped camel city

sunny 30 °C

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Azerbaijan got off on a bad start with me - first of all I'd been woken up on the sleeper train by a man kneeling on the floor between my bunk and his wife's and talking in a very loud whisper - strangely all the English he knew before disappeared, or at least he didn't know what "Shut up I'm trying to sleep!" meant. Also the very sovietly (new word) officious train woman locked the toilet doors before we got to Baku and just stood and watched while I tried to open it. Lastly, the similarly officious toilet attendant at Baku station refused to let me in as I didn't have any Azeri money. You'll be relieved to hear that some nice ladies came along and gave her some money for me. Looking back I'm not sure why I didn't just shrug my shoulders and go in anyway, but early in the morning and a new country is a bad combination for me. Its so easy, when traveling, to fall into the trap of assuming that individual people represent a whole country, which, of course, is silly. I do think that different nationalities have a general "personality", but its impossible to form a proper impression of this after a few hours! However, I carried on with the feeling that the Azeris can be quite a forceful people and that you have to keep on your toes with them. They can also be very warm, hospitable and friendly people too.

We arrived in Baku, the capital, which is on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, across which is Turkmenistan, to the south is Iran and the north is Russia and Dagestan. Baku is a city rich in oil, the proceeds of which are obvious around the city, infact it has the poshest Debenham's I've ever seen. We went to the Old City and were immediately accosted by the local guide, Ali, who actually showed us comparatively cheap hotel ( his brother's of course, in the old city. As in Tbilisi, this was for the same price as a bed in an overcrowded dorm. The Caucasus seem to specialise in expensive hostels, knowing that foreign backpackers like to keep together. It is nice to meet other travellers, but its still possible to do so while having a bit more value for money.

The Old City in Baku is surrounded by its mostly original walls with a several gates, at one of which is the large Maiden Tower. Unfortunately, the buildings have been either rebuilt or sandblasted, giving it a rather sanitised look, in fact it reminded me of an oriental Poundbury! Still it was possible to imagine the Caravans arriving across the desert. When I was travelling along the Silk Road before I became very interested/obsessed with how many humps camels had in each country. To explain: when the Silk Caravans set out from China they used 2 humped, hairy mountain camels, but when they arrived in the Middle East, the camels were single-humped desert camels. Where, I wondered, did the camels loose a hump? The answer, as far as I could tell, was Uzbekistan, where there had been both types. Baku was also on one of the numerous Silk Roads but although it is surrounded by desert, the hairy mountain 2 humped variety was the one in most of the old pictures.

MORE PICTURES OF BAKU COMING SHORTLY>

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The Azeri people are of Turkic origin and their language is pretty close to Turkish. Here is a quick, but highly academic history of the Turkic people:
Quite a long time ago, a tribe called the Turks left the homelands somewhere around Mongolia, though they weren't Mongolian. They spread down through Xinjiang, which is now in western China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and into Turkey. There might be a few Stans left out of that. This is mainly Central Asia and Turkey. Its a massive area and explains why in China there are people whose language and culture are strongly related to Turkey, thousands of miles away. Now you know.

We were in Baku twice, but I'll tell you about the stuff we did there in one go.

Although the centre of Baku is very modern and wealthy, the areas surrounding it were full of filthy old oil wells and ecological destruction. This is being slowly cleared up but it makes for an interesting comparison. Out of the 3 Caucusus countries, Azerbaijan has the largest division between rich and poor. One of the places we went to was an old Zorastrian fire temple. This had an eternal flame, which was originally fueled by natural gasses, but now by the compliments of the gas company! The trip on the bus from Baku took us through areas that became more and more run down until we arrived in a dilapidated town full of old nodding donkeys and a train line full of oil tankers.

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We also did a couple of trips with the speedy but informative Ali to some mud volcanoes, the "James Bond Oil field" used in a Bond film, strangely enough, a mountain that has been on fire for a few hundred years - not fueled by the gas company, and a sea-side resort with oil fields in the distance.

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After a couple of expensive days in Baku we decided to go south to the Talysh Mountains, which border on Iran.

Posted by sue deegan 04:35 Archived in Azerbaijan Tagged people night trains backpacking baku azerbaijan caucusus Comments (2)

Tbilisi

And beyond

sunny 27 °C

Tbilisi river Mtkvar</p><p>Tbilisi has some of the worst pavements I've ever seen;  not only are they broken and have massive holes in them but in places they are quite severly buckled, making it often easier and safer to walk in the roads.  Well it would be if every driver in the city didn't drive like a boy racer, women included.  This makes crossing the road a bit of a chore.  You can try and stare them out and win the right to cross the road, but the odds aren't always strong enough to risk it!  This isn't done with an air of aggression at all, just bravado and incredibly bad parking.  Thats not to say the whole city has broken pavement as there are certainly some posh parts here, but even in the so there is a general lack of health and safety standards -  the steps of an underpass in the main square had unused buidling materials scattered on them after the workmen had gone home.  </p><p>[img=https://photos.travellerspoint.com/295164/Tbilis_house.jpg

Tbilisi river Mtkvar

Tbilisi has some of the worst pavements I've ever seen; not only are they broken and have massive holes in them but in places they are quite severly buckled, making it often easier and safer to walk in the roads. Well it would be if every driver in the city didn't drive like a boy racer, women included. This makes crossing the road a bit of a chore. You can try and stare them out and win the right to cross the road, but the odds aren't always strong enough to risk it! This isn't done with an air of aggression at all, just bravado and incredibly bad parking. Thats not to say the whole city has broken pavement as there are certainly some posh parts here, but even in the so there is a general lack of health and safety standards - the steps of an underpass in the main square had unused buidling materials scattered on them after the workmen had gone home.

[img=https://photos.travellerspoint.com/295164/Tbilis_house.jpg

Tbilis graffitti

Tbilis graffitti

Tbilis block of flats

Tbilis block of flats

You might be thinking that this concern with health and safety is not like me, but if you read my last blog you will remember that I had a mangled knee and ankle so I was more concious of all these things. Not concious enough though, as 2 days later I was hobbling along a comparatively flat pavement ( have you noticed a pattern beginning to emerge here?) when all of a sudden the ground gave way and I realised my leg was trapped up to the knee in a swivelling sewerage cover! I was pretty quickly hauled out by two passers-by but unfortunately my good leg was a bit mangled up as well. The evening before we had walked around Tbilisi with some other travellers we'd met and were joking about the massive number of chemists in the streets which they kept pointing out to me incase of further injuries. Do you think I could find one then to get something to disinfect my injuries? Suddenly they had disappeared! I just hobbled back the way we'd come till we were back in the land of the chemists and then went back to the safety of my bed, muttering and sniveling about it always being me.

The next day I managed to pluck up enough courage to walk the streets again and then spent the next couple of days walking around Tbilisis feeling odder and odder until I realised that I had a temperature and that my original knee injury, which I hadn't really taken seriously , was infected.

It did make for interesting experiences on the Metro though. Tbilisi has a small Metro system left over from Soviet times, which has some of the longest escalators I've ever seen. You get vertigo just standing at the top of them. They are also quite scarily fast, but still it takes ages to get down to the bottom. In typical Georgian style, instead of a frantic rush of people walking down there, people just stand, or even sit quite happily, unless they are in a real rush, but its a rare sight. The air isn't the greatest down there, and in my slightly feverish state it all seemed very strange and echoey. The trains are pretty efficient and quick though.

Tbilisi typical Georgian group

Tbilisi typical Georgian group

The buildings in Tbilisi, like the pavements, are often very dilapidated but beautiful. Most houses have balconies, either wooden or metal and I imaginged the people living in the ones in the old part of the city were fairly poor. Thats until you realise that many of them have some pretty posh cars parked outside and then when you look in through the courtyards you realise that they are in better condition inside. Its hard to describe, and I haven't seen it anywhere else like here, but its a sort of mixture between poverty and shabby chic and also a strange sort of mixture of beauty and ugliness. There are some seriously big buildings here as well and second time aaround, I'm enjoying it all a lot more. Especially now I can walk (though I do have another injury which you'll hear about later on).

Tbilisi balcony with vines

Tbilisi balcony with vines

Tbilisi balcony

Tbilisi balcony

I spent a few painful days here, looking around, trying to buy difficult things like memory cards and womens walking boot ( if they have to go walking Georgian women would do so in a pair of high heels or plastic slippers) and then we booked a ticket on the overnight train to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan which went from the biggest, fanciest train station, with shopping mall, I've seen.

Clothes shop Tbilisi

Clothes shop Tbilisi

Posted by sue deegan 06:59 Archived in Georgia Tagged mountains buildings trains backpacking georgia tbilisi caucusus Comments (1)

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