Which Country Am I? Snow-capped mountains rise regally above the plains. Red wine flows freely and steam rises from pork-filled dumpling, freshly boiled. Steep streets wind through a juxtaposition of old and new architecture along the banks of the Mtkvari River.
Georgia, a country I had barely heard of three years ago, now has a special place in my heart as one of the most magical places I’ve visited.
Georgia is the land of comfort food, delectable wines, snow-capped peaks and quaint villages. Of Khinkali, Kindzmarauli and ancient stone churches on high hills.
Georgia is yellow fields of daisies dotted with blood-red poppies on a green hill. Of broken roads and charming, ramshackle buildings, of sandstone structures, cobblestone roads, of hospitality and big hearts.
Some of the most breath-taking mountains in the world can be found in the Caucus Mountains that you drive though as you pass into Georgia from Southern Russia. They rise up majestically into the sky, bearing patterns of white snow and brown earth mixed in with shades of green. They are so exquisite that they could easily be mistaken for an oil painting but the cold winds that blow on the overpass let you know that the snow is indeed real.
From the border, the narrow road leads you high into these mountains, twisting and turning until you reach a place so high that the ground below becomes invisible due to the thick blanket of mist that is often found at these altitudes. The air is crisp and raw.
If you’ve made it this far, surviving the speedy Georgian and Armenian trucks that love to overtake on blind corners, you’ll soon come across a giant semi-circle mural on a platform that offers panoramic views of the area. It’s a lovely, albeit chilly stop.
The valleys of Georgia are equally as magnificent with icy-blue creeks flowing rapidly through vast plains that are home to farmers and small villages and the occasional white water rafting company.
The mountains become greener and less immense as you descend, but no less beautiful.