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

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Ushguli, early November 2007

What a dramatic difference overnight in the mountains can make. A night of snowfall transformed the world; it continued the next day, giving my group of 11 Bulgarians and a Georgian some apprehension about the trip home. My writing this from Tbilisi means that we accomplished it - with a layover in Mestia to break up the long trip. We seemed cursed, however, to arrive only in darkness while travelling to, in or from Svaneti, as happened in all 3 cases.

This week my total blog viewer population passed 3000; that as recorded by country (which tool I had added later) passed 2500; and today the USA viewer count reached 666...

My next post, tomorrow evening Georgian time, hopefully will be from Ushguli by what I call MMM - Magti mobile modem. Tomorrow I travel there, and by evening I hope to have things up and running to continue posting as though there were no difference. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ushguli, late October-early November 2007

Top: Vittorio Sella's late 19th century picture of this hill from the other side shows four of Tamar's towers; now, about 120 years later, one is complete at right, and another ruined at left. I was told there were nine in the Middle Ages.

Second down: the carved wooden door of the church second from the top in the village.

Bottom two: a view of Mt Shkhara through autumn leaves, the day before our great snowfall, as seen in the final shot for today.

Greetings Vietnam - 64th country to view the blog! Yesterday, under "Viewers by country" I added:
- a button for those who wish to rave about the blog;
- a world map showing where it's day and night;
- a weather report for Mestia, Svaneti, which is as close as I could get to Ushguli, some 44 km away. Now you can get an instant, daily idea of what the climate is like not far from where I'll be spending this winter.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Ushguli, late October 2007

Here we are again, looking down on the village from in and near Queen Tamar's fortress (1st and 3rd shots) as well as just marvelling in general at its towers and Mt Shkhara (middle shot). These are all among my "classic" views to which I will always return seeking new ways of capturing them.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Central Svaneti, late October 2007

Another trip! It's been a busy year for me in the mountains, at least one visit per month on average from May.

This was with a group of 11 from Bulgaria and 1 from Georgia, with me as tour guide. Our own marshroutka (minivan) to Ushguli, 9 days there, then back, both ways via Mestia. We cooked, cleaned, gathered and cut our own firewood, in order to make it cheaper.

The way up offered the best autumn scenes I've yet seen in Svaneti, such a range of colours in the trees. Timing is everything! As usual I was somewhat constrained in stops for photographic opportunities as we travelled, and also as usual I made the most of what time allowed. Ushba remained stubbornly invisible behind clouds - but what was on display more than made up for that caprice.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Upper Svaneti, September 2007

It was only a weekend, but I did my best to make it count. Just a few locations for the photographs, as I was travelling with friends; but fortunately they were indulgent, perhaps aware that they would not regret stopping here and there for these images.

Greetings to the first viewer from Montenegro! That makes 63 countries stopping by, something I'm quite pleased about.