Pat's mom had a cousin, whose idea of touring was going to every single church in the area (Rome). It felt like that today. First, we stopped at the Jvari Monastery, an imposing structure overlooking the Kura and Aragvi Rivers.
Second, we drove to Mtskheta (UNESCO World Heritage), which was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd Century BC to the 5th century AD. As the center of the Iberian civilization, it was significant both spiritually and culturally. Georgia's conversion to Christianity took place here in 337AD.
Third, we went to Ananuri, another old partially renovated 14th century church. But I stayed in the bus, and read about Georgia. No photos of this one.
But, on the way to the next church, we encountered several large flocks of sheep, goats, and cows being herded up to the mountains pastures. The road was narrow enough without all of them blocking cars and trucks both directions.
Finally, we drove up the Georgian Military Highway, built by the Russians to export the resources of this area. We took our bus 40 kilometers out of town, and then climbed into jeeps to continue the last seven kilometers straight up, to arrive at 7,216 feet above the town of Kazbegi (10 miles from the Russian border) to see the Tsminda Sameba Church. It contained the original black Madonaa and child (burned a bit), but still impressive. Unfortunately, we couldn't photograph it.
To see the photos taken today, click on: