Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lessons Learned

1. When a German says, "We're going out to the mountains to fly kites on Saturday, want to join?" What he means is: "We are going to jump off of a mountain on Saturday." Paragliders have a funny sense of humor. [Before you ask: no, I didn't. I got back down the mountain on my own two feet, thank you very much.]

Asmus in Flight

2. Georgia is trying to maim you. The inappropriate footwear must stop. (I'm SORRY. I was told KITES. One does not, in my experience, typically fly kites on the side of a mountain.) Look, everybody is simply lying to you:if they tell you that the evening's activities will be attending a ballet, followed by a pedicure, you better be wearing your hiking boots below that petticoat, sister. Undoubtedly, someone will have forgotten to mention that the ballet is at the bottom of a canyon, and pedicure is Georgian for walking on coals.

3. Three words: Four-wheel drive. And also, when it's your turn to off-road, don't mind the sliding and spinning. There's really not much damage you can do at 3mph so you can quit being such a big scaredy-cat baby about it already.

Why You Need 4-Wheel Drive

4. On the drive, always stop the car. Marvel at the fact that each time you've visited this storied fortress in a heartbreakingly picturesque setting, nobody else has been there. Here is history and art that is not behind glass or beyond velvet ropes. Here there are no souvenier stands or tour buses or even signs telling you what you are looking at. You can be moved by the vulnerability of what you see; the unnerving closeness of it all. You can pretend for a moment you've just stumbled upon some ancient thing orphaned into the modern world.

Back to Ananuri

5. I really cannot stress the shoe thing enough.

More photos up on Flickr, just click on one of the above and the magic of the internets will take you there.

But just for good measure:

Georgian Military Highway


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