Saturday, May 25, 2013


Today I went on a road trip to Gori with an old friend who moved to Georgia from my homestate about 10 years ago and her friends, a 6 year old girl and her parents. Gori is about one and a half hours west of Tbilisi. We left home around 11:00 and drove through Mtsketa and then onward to Gori. It was really beautiful seeing the Georgian countryside. We went to the Uplistsikhe Complex which is an ancient city (about 3000 years old) that was abandoned in the 19th century that was on the silk road. When I realized I was standing right on where the Silk Road passes I got goosebumps all over. It was an absolutely stupendous place that can only be described when you stand on the same spot where people had lived for thousands of years, longer than most cities exist regardless of location. King Tamar of Georgia was there, one of the greatest Georgian Kings (who was in fact a woman). We then went south to a church that was being rebuilt after an earthquake south of Gori. This church was pretty, and very crowded. The villages we went through were better off than the villages I saw a week ago going to Tavkavta fortress just 20 km west of Tbilisi. The road was well built, and the church was really crowded and extremely Orthodox. We went back into Gori and drove to the very center of the town where Gori fortress is. We walked to the top and the top was surprisingly empty. I could see evidence that there used to be buildings inside the walls (which were shorter than they used to be for sure) but got an amazing view to all directions. I could see South Ossetia and visualized the Russian invasion five years ago and imagined what it must have been like for Russian soldiers to be crawling through the city I was in. Gori is a nice place, and I hope to return someday.

We then drove back home and went to my friend's house. I saw her husband and two children who are quite young. We had dinner and then went to her husband's grandmother's house, who I hadn't seen for 8 years. I saw her, her husband (who I had never met before) and their son (who I also had never met). Her son and I had had an interesting conversation talking about economics (he is a stock broker) and talked about what makes America so different from Europe, which I blog about here. It was a great day.

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