As most people say, “it’s the journey and not the destination”
Yes, very true on this particular trip I did during my stay in Georgia. This day out trip is operated by most tour operators in the city as it is a popular destination highlighted with the Gergeti Church which was built on top of the mountain. However, on this post, I will be sharing only the wonderful experience of the journey as it is the road trip that really made my day!!!
Most of the members of the group I joined to the trip to David Gareja Monastery have not yet visited Kazbegi and so am I, during the trip back to Tbilisi, we discussed to travel together to Kazbegi and split the cost of the transport between ourselves. We decided to go for the trip the next day and arranged with our driver for a car. We finalized the cost to GEL 200 or USD 100 and divided it among us.
We departed Tbilisi at 10:00H and expected travel time is around 2 hours, but the actual travel time took us 3 hours including the stops along the way. Kazbegi is located on the north of Georgia very near the border of Russia. We traversed the Georgian Miltary Highway which is also the main route connecting Tbilisi and Valdikavkaz the first Russian city from Kazbegi.
As we left Tbilisi and after Mtskheta, the road trip amazed me for its scenery, the first spot that made my neck stretched out of my seat was when I saw pristine water, our driver made a stop for us to feast our eyes on this combination of water, greenery and mountain. It is the Zhindali Dam or the Zhinvali water reservoir according to our driver which serves for the the Zhinvali Hydroelectric Power Plant.
We drove forward and crossed a bridge then we made another stop at the Ananuri Fortress. The church is of medieval architecture, similar to other churches in Georgia. I did not walk inside the church, I believe it is the same with other churches. I am more fascinated with the design of the structure and scenery around. In front of the church are costumes for photo shots and some gift shops for souvenir items.
We continued our journey, left and right are panoramic views, greenery, mountains matching with the blue sky and cotton white clouds, it was indeed rejuvenating to the senses. We passed by some ruined structures and also saw a church, luckily my camera is on ready mode to shoot anything that will interest me, got them even the car was moving.
We passed by villages of different scenic locations, houses look small from afar, scattered at the base of the greenery from the mountains with the blue and white ceiling watching from the top, just stirred my soul……….
Cattles are grazing on the abundant greens covering the mountain like a green carpet, cows and sheep in their respective tribes.
Again we took another stop at the Soviet-Georgian Friendship Memorial erected on top of the hill, the surroundings offers a stunning view of nature this beautiful country possesses.
How to Get There:
There are several ways in going to Kazbegi or Stepantsminda from Tbilisi, below are the options:
- Almost all Tour companies in Tbilisi are offering a day tour to Kazbegi with stop at Ananuri at GEL 65 +18% VAT per person on a Sit-in-Coach.
- Hire a taxi which would cost you around USD 100/- or GEL 200, advantage of a hired taxi is you can stop anywhere you want.
- Take the Mashrutska at GEL 10 per person per way. Go to Didube Metro Station and from there you will find the Matshrutska terminal for different destination. They depart every hour from 08:00H till 18:00H. Trip duration is approximately 3 hours.