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

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Upper Svaneti, September 2007

Still on the way home - what we accomplished in 12 hours takes several days to spin out in photographs. I could hardly have wished for better weather - clouds for drama, clear air, brilliant sunshine and deep blue sky behind the clouds, just right for landscape work.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Upper Svaneti, September 2007

More from the way home via Lentekhi. There had been just a sprinkle of snow at this height, but enough to be visible and cause some excitement among the two young girls of the family I was traveling with this time. Snowballs abounded!

Upper Svaneti, September 2007

So we move to the next trip up to Ushguli, via Lentekhi both ways as a) it was by LandRover and b) it was only for a weekend and we needed to save time on the shorter route.

This trip was for the purpose of helping me move my winter things, as well as taking a lot of materials for Ushguli's school: 1/2 the entire year's curriculum books for all classes and subjects; many other school materials such as notebooks and pens; lots of new Georgian books for the school library; three computers; and three radiators. All of this was donated by friends of mine and their friends or colleagues, and it was a great blessing to the village.

Here are three shots of a set from the road back, not far from Ushguli itself, weather cooperating nicely as far as lighting and air clarity. More to come.

NB My move to Ushguli for the winter has been delayed 8 days due to the road being closed from K'ala onwards until this evening, and needing to match schedules with my friend who is driving me up. No worries, I've waited this long.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Upper Svaneti, August 2007

Continuing our departure from Ushguli via Lentekhi, a route I've taken far more seldom than the Mestia way, which is longer but has better roads and stays open longer. The bottom shot shows how much ice and snow were still around in late summer, likely to survive until winter freezes them again.

I note that my USA population of viewers finally overtook those from Georgia more than a week ago, and seems destined not to allow the latter to regain their prime position.

the W()RD: Magti Mobile Modem!

This is a historic occasion: the first blog entry I'm posting while connected to the internet using my cellphone as my computer's modem! I connected at 0910 Tbilisi time on November 14, 2007, via Magti:
This means that I can continue blogging - and generally stay in touch via internet - while in Ushguli for the winter... a dream come true. Not cheap, but worth every tetri.
Currently waiting for the snowed-in road from K'ala to Ushguli to open up - departure imminent, Nov. 16 possible.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Ushguli, August 2007

The evening of Maryamoba (see yesterday's pics) gave me my first ever Svan wedding - a nice change from the 6 or 7 funerals I've been to in Svaneti. It felt like God was saying, Enough mourning already - let's party! Below are two shots from the feast, blurred intentionally because ALL of the subjects are in witness protection programmes. No, seriously, they are. No, really... OK, I didn't have my flash with me but rather wanted to capture the moment on film anyway. This is what a 1/4 or 1/2 second shutter speed looks like handheld by a SOBER person, in case you've ever wondered.

The top shot is as we left Ushguli towards Lentekhi. My two American lady tourists, having driven all the way from Baku to Uahguli, now wanted to return to Tbilisi by another, worse, route, just for the heck of it. At least it gave us a change of scenery - and the road was no rougher, better even, than the worst they've been on in Azerbaijan...

Monday, 12 November 2007

Ushguli, August 2007

Bottom: rain-wet leaf...

Top 2: On this trip I was in Svaneti for Maryamoba, feast of the Virgin Mary, for the first time that I'm aware of. Indeed, how could I forget such an event? Everyone brought lots of food to the village's graves (so THAT's how they use those tables permanently set up in the fenced enclosures). We went around remembering the dead, eating little but toasting a bit; then packed it all up and returned home. These two shots are of my host Dato's father's grave complex.
The white braids around the table and the piglet's snout are made from fresh bread dough.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Ushguli, August 2007

More leaves and rain, below.

Above, Shkhara at that particular point where the stream crossing the road makes a nice reflecting puddle. A favourite angle, in other words.

Welcome first viewers from Latvia and Finland this week!