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

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

This is the area whose barns I visit each morning and early evening, to shovel cow poo and pitchfork hay down to the bovines

Nice old house, left, looking down the village

Four towers including, in the distance, Tamar's Summer and Winter ones, the former above, latter below

Lamaria Church in front of Shkhara, Georgia's highest mountain

Friday, 6 March 2009

Jgurag (St George's) Church, Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Top 2:  Some of the church's many St George icons; I especially like the style of the top one

Bottom 2:  details of the carved wooden door, a masterpiece - I must find out how old it is

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Jgurag (St George's) Church, Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Never know what you'll find in church.


Sheep and goat heads with their all-important drinking horns

A stick with marks down its length which I THINK are  recorded answers to prayer

Wonderful old carved wooden door - details to follow

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Scrabble In Georgian!, Ushguli

Top:  Bebia (Grabdmother) Tsiala carding wool.  Lots of work still ahead:  spinning it into yarn on a thing which looks like a wooden spinning top, then knitting socks or  sweater from it - I have a set of each of these, treasured things from her

Bottom 3:  Attention Attention!  On February 23, 2009 the first ever Georgian-language game of Scrabble as far as I know) was played, right here in the Ratianis' guesthouse in Ushguli.  To prepare for it we made a count of letters from a sample of text, to determine their order from most common to rarest and assign inverse values to the letters.  Then we cut out paper squares and wrote proportionally correct amounts of the letters on them, along with their assigned point values.  We used the existing tablecloth, the grid pattern for which had given me the idea in the first place.  Somewhat relaxed rules - our letters not hidden from other players, and a simpler crossword layout as well, for this first stab at the game, which seems to have been quite successful.  Why all the bother?  We were without electricity again, and I was desperate for something to do to entertain the family.  "Alas", the power came back the next day, and TV & soap operas with it, ruling force in this part of the world.  But Scrabble will have its next day yet!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Top 2:  What a men's prayer breakfast looks like in Ushguli - pass the moonshine, khachapuri (cheese bread), leg of beef and liver too; watch out for falling snow, and take your hat off as briefly as possible when it's this cold

Bottom 2:  Birthday party for one of my colleagues from the school and her daughter - lots of great food, plates on top of plates as usual in Georgia, toasts made either by the glass or by drinking-horn

Monday, 2 March 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Queen Tamar's Summer (left) & Winter (right) towers; at least that's who tradition says ordered their building, though the timing, about7  centuries ago, is about right

Snow ageing gracefully on rock

Lichen doing the same

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Smoke&Mirrors2, Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

More wild things from steam off boiling water backlit by the morning sun, images then copied & flipped into themselves in PhotoShop