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Brad’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 04 Aug 2005

Location: Yerevan, Armenia

MapJust a quick entry, I'll elaborate soon...

I spent the last few days high up in the mountains of Georgia at a village called Kazbegi, on the old Georgian Military Highway between Georgia and Russia. All of the pubic transport here is done by these tiny minibuses (makuthstras), which don't go anywhere until they are jammed full of people! This combined with the terrible road made the journey pretty interesting, but te views of the spectular scenery more than made up for it. I ended up meeting a nice Israeli couple (one of whom I first met in Turkey!) and we went hiking up to the Mtatsminda Zamemba church perched high above the village, probably the most spectacular location I've ever seen any building. Towering above the church was the enormous (5140ish metres) Mt Kazbegi although it was almost continually covered in cloud, allowing us only a few glimpses of the peak.

The day before we walked and hitched our way from Kazbegi village about 25ks to the Russian border. We passed through old soviet tunnels and a dramatic gorge before we convinced the driver of a bus full of Russians to take us the rest of the way! We managed to get a lift back with a friendly trucker on the road from Moscow to Istanbul.

Yesterday I keft Georgia and caught a bus to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Its really cool here, a bustling city with cafes and parks but with a sense of an ancient people. I just visited one of the biggest repositorys of ancient books in the world - they have books there dating from the 6th century kept safe in Armenian monastries, it was really amazing.

Anyway my time is short so I'll expand and describe more soon!