donata: (Wise Cat)
Georgia report, part IV: Gothic Georgia

I knew from the moment I sat in the taxi that took us from the airport to the town centre of Tbilisi that the Marquis de Sade would be my personal patron saint for the trip to Georgia. The signs were all there.

Two nights before I left for Georgia, I had watched Pasolini’s 120 Days of Sodom, based on de Sade’s novel of the same name:

(I had to link to the German trailer, because the international trailer is utterly tame. Warning: disturbing content, underage-looking nudity [“Pasolinsche Lustknaben”] and 1970s artsiness.)

Once in Georgia and in the taxi, the driver turned on the radio, and we were immediately treated to Georgian chants, thusly:

“Sade, dit moi,” indeed.

I hadn't heard this song since the early 1990s. de Sade was thus firmly established as my constant companion for this journey. I was proved right when, about ten days later, one of our travelling companions (a non-imaginary, corporeal one) gave the following answer to the question whether he was comfortable: “I am, in a Marquis de Sade way.”

Just like everything's got a moral, if only you can find it, everything’s also got a twist, if only you can spin it.

Come on in )
donata: (Intrepid)
Georgia travel report, part III: Classic Georgia

Georgia draws its fame (for a given value of “fame”) from two facts: the invention of wine (I bet you didn’t know that) and having been the second country ever to become Christianised.

Surprisingly, it is not the wine that will get a lot of mention )
donata: (mr darcy on a horse)
Georgia travel report, part II: Industrial Georgia

And, perhaps even more importantly, industrious Georgia. The country is permeated by a real sense of purpose and of achievement. Wherever we went, we encountered people renovating, reconditioning, and (re)building their houses, towns and roads. For us, that meant that we spent half the time living in half-finished guesthouses and hotels, and the other half travelling along roads that were heavily under construction. Fortunately, the third half ("Oh dear, maths!") was spent in pleasant countryside.

We didn’t mind the discomfort, however. Rather, we admired the diligence and hard work people put into making their country a better place. Plus, the roads being a work in progress made travelling somewhat more exciting.


The long and winding road )
donata: (mr darcy on a horse)
Georgia travel report, part I: Romantic Georgia

Let me begin my Georgian report by telling you about the skills that I don't have.

The skills that I don't have are speaking Russian and riding horses.

In Georgia, I was speaking Russian for two weeks, and I rode horses for two days. My first riding lesson consisted of some guy pushing me up a horse (I carried my trekking backpack at the time) and telling me: “If it's too fast, pull in the reigns.”

And then I rode.

Picture 546

The above is not a picture of my first riding lesson. My first riding lesson was much more extraordinary than that.

It took place on a muddy rural road, somewhere in the Svanetian forest (at that point, we had no idea where we were), and the guy whose horse it was had literally just appeared in our lives half an hour previously.

But wait. It gets genuinely romantic. )
donata: (Intrepid)
I'm back from the Caucasus! It was so much fun. Everyone should go and visit Georgia, it's lovely.

There'll be pictures (mostly of mountains and pigs) soon. But for now, have a song* that Says It All:

Just in case there is any doubt: I know it's not the same one.
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 06:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios