Sunday, March 26, 2006

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

Of all the fab Spring Breaks I've had over the years, this year's might just top them all. Or at least, is the most likely to result in bridal kidnapping.

Figure A: Svaneti

Quoth the Lonely Planet: "Svaneti: Impossibly beautiful, wild and mysterious, Svaneti is an ancient land locked in the Great Caucasus, so remote that despite being ethnically Georgian, modern Svans speak a language (Svan) that broke away from Georgian some four millennia ago [!!!] and is now unintelligible to Georgians elsewhere. This land of deep tradition violent justice and banditry is the ultimate destination for any traveller to Georgia. ...Banditry is rife and the only protection comes through blood ties and local honor codes."

Figure B: Outer Space
"On Wednesday, 2006 March 29, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor which traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in Brazil and extends across the Atlantic, northern Africa, and central Asia where it ends at sunset in western Mongolia."

Figure C: The shadow! (courtesy of NASA)

Yes sir, we're going to give it a shot, up to the impassable mountains of Svaneti: the holy grail of Georgia travel, to see the lights go out. And we don't even have an iPod car stereo transmitter, so it's really Lewis-and-Clark the whole way up. I knew one Svan, once. He ate glass and tried to drink wine from my shoe. So, you know, it's sort of like touring Arkansas at a much higher altitude.

Oh, take your Cancun and your South Padre and your rohypnol. Svaneti '06!

(8 days of silence = mayday, people)


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