Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Mestia, August 2007

In and around the town. The top shot is - surprise - the twin peaks of Ushba, obligingly revealing themselves long enough for another portrait. Just long enough. This must be one of those mountains which makes its own clouds.

National Manuscript Centre, Tbilisi, September 2007

More pages from that magnificent Quran, all hand-illuminated.

Gelati, Georgia, August 2007

I've run out of Svaneti video clips for now - though I'm off to Ushguli again on Oct. 25 for 9 days... Meanwhile, here's one from the Gelati complex near Kutaisi, a side chapel off the main church, ancient paintings of Georgian and Bible history.

Friday, 19 October 2007

the W()RD: 2500+

In gratitude to my first 2500 viewers, here's the new title bar. Its 10 images are from 4 countries, better showing the diversity of my locations - 4 from Canada and Georgia, 1 each from Venice and Zimbabwe. Unable to be squeezed in were the UK, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Cyprus, the USA, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Romania... not to mention places I visited only by airport, too briefly, or when I was too young to be wielding a camera: Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, Dubai, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia.

the W()RD: Can't Wait

I was supposed to upload the new title bar for this blog when my USA viewers' population exceeded that from the Republic of Georgia for the first time. But that may take longer than I thought it would, despite the population of the entire of nation of Georgia being only about 1/70 of that of the whole USA!
So I've decided to change the title bar when the total viewer population (as reported from the first day of the blog) surpasses 2500. Which will be soon.

Another note - welcome to the first viewers from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia! The latter may have been drawn to my blog by a search for the word "Quran", which first appeared here yesterday, the first day that that nation made its appearance.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Mestia, August 2007

More from the walk above Svaneti's capital town. Cloudy weather only added to the drama of the landscape, though it also shrouded Mt Ushba after the initial glimpse. Never mind. The top shot shows Mestia so far below that even its watchtowers are indistinct. There used to be a large straight wooden cross at this spot, overlooking the town, but it either fell apart or was pulled down, and now only this simple one stands in its place.

National Manuscript Centre, Tbilisi, September, 2007

And now - for the next few day's posts from the NMC - we come to the most beautiful thing I saw there: a Quran, in Arabic, of course. I must find out what century this exquisite hand-painted book is from, its pages each a work of art more resembling a Persian carpet than something merely to read.

Ushguli, Svaneti, September 2007

A weekend trip to Ushguli via Lentekhi (both ways) in September. This had the two main purposes of moving my winter things - especially enough books to read - and delivering a large amount of gifts for Ushguli school, bought by friends and their friends. 1/2 the entire year's curriculum books for all grades in all subjects; many new books for the library; 3 oil-filled electric radiators; and 2 computers. (Still to come: another radiator and computer.)

These 3 clips show the materials being taken into the school, to considerable excitement.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Above Mestia, August 2007

The walk with my 2 American friends. Ushba nicely visible in the top 2 pictures before vanishing.

National Manuscript Centre, Tbilisi, September 2007

(Yesterday I could get no further than uploading the video clip from Ushguli. Today's 2 sets of photos finish that upload.)

Details of two more chased metal covers for ancient Bibles.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Ushguli, Svaneti, August 2007

A typical meal at the Ratianis' guesthouse. The food more than made up for being temporarily out of electricity. Dato and Nanuli's mobile number (from inside Georgia) is (899) 912256. They dont' speak English (yet!); both speak Georgian, and he speaks Russian as well. Very good service and conditions, friendly family - a great place to stay in Ushguli.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Svaneti, August 2007

Moving from Etseri (bottom) towards Mestia. The rainbow was a nice bonus, something I've not seen or been ready for often enough in these parts.

Svaneti, August 2007

Today may be the first time I've synchronised video and photographs - same time, same place.

Above, with my 2 American friends on a walk towards Mt Ushba (which hid soon after we saw it) from Mestia.

Below, on another walk, this time towards the magnificent glaciers of Mt Shkhara above Ushguli.

National Manuscript Centre, Tbilisi, September 2007

More from an ancient Georgian Bible.

Bottom, Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist.

Top, Jesus being tempted by Satan after his 40-day wilderness fast.

the W()RD: New Title Bar Coming

Watch out, viewers. As soon as the USA population of you to this blog exceeds that from the Republic of Georgia, I'm going to change the blog's title bar photo. The new one is ready and counting down. Stay tuned.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Svaneti, August 2007

Return from Ushguli to Tbilisi, and about a week later off again. This time with two American women, longstanding friends of mine, one of whom drove her Niva all the way from Baku to Ushguli - the first woman in history to do so...?

Top, a waterfall on the way to Etseri. Bottom, an apple in Etseri after the rain. (There's always something to photograph.)

National Manuscript Centre, Tbilisi, September 2007

These two frames are of my single favourite item of all that I saw: the clasps of yesterday's Georgian Bible. One frame straight on, one showing things at an angle with shallow focus or depth of field.

Kvirikoba, July 28, 2007

The final two clips from the festival this year. I was fascinated, though a big disappointment was not seeing the fabulous icon, possible only at some point on this day once a year. I suspect that it was brought out for display only after I had set off to walk the 10 km back to Ushguli.