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

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Lamaria Church and a couple of memorial photos of the father of my host in the village, who died before I first visited Georgia

A much older headstone, vaguely cruciform - as "primitive" as they come

Ice doing its thing on a small stream

Self-portrait reflected in a young woman's frosted mausoleum window, Lamaria Church again

Friday, 17 April 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Back to my main location, though I'm posting this from Etseri, below Mestia, where I'm staying with old friends for Easter.  Internet via cellphone here is slow, though at least it's working.

2 views of Mt Shkhara - from the grave-plots of Lamaria church and through one of its feasting-hall's windows

Icicles hanging in any direction but vertical.  As they get pushed out from the roof by sliding ice behind them, they move away from the vertical.  The result reminds me of nothing more than a mouth full of rows of fangs made for catching and holding...

Lamaria Church's feasting hall, bell and tower seen from the church itself

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Greetings, at last, to the first visitor from Afghanistan!

A break from Georgia today, as I post some unused photos from my archives while working on new Ushguli ones from the last few days.

Buffalo in early morning dust

Elephant hide up close

Trees drowned at the flooding of Lake Kariba decades ago - don't know what the wood is, but it's at least like ironwood, heavier than water and surviving all this time without rotting

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Jart Dealer, Tbilisi, Georgia

"Jart" in Georgian (well, "jarti", to be exact, as most nouns have an "i" added) means scrap metal.  This yard was full to bursting with it - there's even a complete car in there, its roof visible.  What do they do with it all?!  I HOPE they sell it off occasionally.  The other meaning I know of for the word is in Greg Bear's sci fi novels Eon, Eternity and Legacy, concerning a fearsomely alien race seemingly hostile to all others; this was their name, the Jarts.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

"Death of Innocence", Tbilisi, Georgia

This strange scene met my eyes near the flat where I was staying in Tbilisi this March-April.  Hanging up to dry?  (They were there for days.) Victims or captured soldiers in some children's game?  It struck me hard, and I had to go back for pictures more than once

Monday, 13 April 2009

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

And 12 hours after my arrival, I was swept up in, not quite a funeral, but one of the many feasts which accompany death in this part of the world.  There's the funeral itself, followed by a feast each Saturday (which today was) until the ormotsi, the 40-day feast; then the year after the death is the final one.  Lots of work for the ladies, lots of eating and drinking for all but especially the men.  This was for my hostess's uncle, and another elderly fellow of the village, both of whom had died a few weeks earlier.  The couple on the headstone are grandparents of one of the men at the feast - their passing was years ago, but I liked the portrait and its setting.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Nr. K'ala, Svaneti, Georgia

Don't mean to scare off any prospective independent travellers - it was only 4 hours from Mestia to Ushguli in the newly inauguratedmarshroutka (public minivan).  Some of the delay was due to a stop for the men to drink at a famous cross near K'ala; and then there was the small rockfall a bit higher up from that, in the section of road which I call "Mordor" for its forbidding aspect.  We cleared the rocks away with hands and shovels, all exited the vehicle, and Mikho drove it across the scary bit on a wheel and a prayer.  Whew, going home.