Saturday 30 September 2017

Gyumri, Armenia

Our first stop in Armenia was Gyumri, the second-largest city in the country. It was terribly damaged in a 1988 earthquake in which an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 people died (out of a population of 200,000). There still are some buildings in ruins.

The main square

Monument to the victims of the 1988 earthquake

Typical streets in the old part of town

Sculpture in the city park

Fresh fruit and vegetables in the market

Nuts and dried fruit

Typical buildings in the old part of Gyumri

Russian Orthodox Church - the Russian army has a military base in Gyumri

Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life

Thursday 28 September 2017

Food in Georgia

Here are some of the dishes we tried and enjoyed (and remembered to photograph before eating) in Georgia.

Adjaruli Khachapuri - Georgia's national dish. Bread with melted cheese, a runny egg yolk, and a pat of butter. You stir the egg, butter, & cheese together and then dip pieces of the bread crust into the mix and eat!

Khinkali - large, juicy pockets filled with spicy ground pork and beef

Tomato, cucumber, onions & parsley salad with walnut dressing

Same type of salad but without the walnuts

Appetizers - roasted peppers filled with cheese, pkhali (spinach or beet leaves with herbs and walnuts), roasted eggplant with walnut paste

Bread wrapped around cheese and roasted on a skewer

Fried cheese

Cheese in mushroom caps roasted in a clay dish

Megruli Khachapuri - baked flat bread stuffed with feta-like cheese and covered with more cheese

Beef kebab

Kubdari - bread with baked-in meat filling

Nadughi - cheese rolls stuffed with more cheese

Stewed vegetables

Vardzia, Georgia

Vardzia is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, built in the 12th century. Caves were carved into a hillside on several different levels, many just a single room, but several were multi-room and included inside passages from one level to the next.

This is our last stop in Georgia. From here we will drive into Armenia.

View along the road to Vardzia

The Vardzia site from a distance

Passageway from one level to another

Church built into the cliff

Front of church

Cafe at the bottom where we ate lunch

The hotel/guesthouse where we stayed for the night

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Borjomi, Georgia

We stayed in Borjomi for three nights. Borjomi is a resort town known for its mineral water. We have been drinking sparkling Borjomi water regularly since arriving here in Georgia.

During our stay we hiked a few trails in the area, and explored the town and "Mineral Water Park".

Our accommodation was a little cottage in the shadow of a Soviet style apartment block. It was fully equipped and very comfortable. Nice to do laundry in a real washing machine instead of the sink!

 Street leading up to the Mineral Water Park

Around town

Bridge into town

Old sanatorium (medical spa)

Train station and restaurant

Old mansion, now a hotel

A creek runs down the street to the park

Pavilion built over the original mineral water spring

Creek in the park

On a hike up a bluff overlooking the town

View from the top

Downtown park

Beside the creek at night

Our apartment

Inside our apartment