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Back to the Caucasus!


Last week, I turned 44 and it's time for my annual birthday trip. The decision on where to travel came quite easily - back to the Caucasus!

This region is like a wonderful partner - there was an immediate connection when we met, and it goes beyond the mere physical elements. Of course, the stunning contours of the landscapes, and excitement of something "new" to explore are what initially led me here. But it's more than that. I love the Caucasus because they are both calm and wild at the same time. Perhaps it's difficult to comprehend, but there is a sense of belonging here. The countries are small, completely different from the massive geographic swells of my home country, or even Russia. This is part of the appeal - that you can conquer an entire nation in a very short period of time, and simultaneously ignite a spark in the soul and mind with all of the stunning mountain landscapes, ancient sites and warm, friendly people. It's an intoxicating blend of Earth, mountain, sky and human curiosities...with the negative aspect of increased heartbeats due to the wild driving culture you must endure to reach these remote places. In such environments, boredom never arises. There is a real sense of feeling alive beyond the mere habit of breathing each day, or going through the routine motions of adulthood that trap us. Boredom - it is the most brutal enemy for me personally. I'm always fighting it off, and can't stand to be captured or held hostage to it for even short periods of time. Yes, I need adventure, stimulation - maybe similar to a young child. :))

I will depart for Tbilisi next week, spend a few days there, and then drive to Armenia. If you know interesting places in Armenia, colorful people, or any other facts you wish to share, please write in comments. If you missed my prior stories about Georgia, you can read them here, and there are still many which remain unwritten.

Sorry for the very long absence from the blog. I am alive and well...and hope the same is true for my dear readers!


( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
Me too! :) It is like a fairy tale of sorts, with all of the ancient sites high on the mountain, illuminating the night sky. It's cozy with all of the cafes, artsy sculptures, yet still has most modern conveniences. I just wish drivers there were better, because it is quite scary to walk and cross zebras, where almost no one yields to pedestrians. :((
Feb. 22nd, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
Happy B-day! So it was love from the first sight then!
Safe travel to you. Armenia should be interesting too. I went to Abkhazia once with my mom when I was a child. I still remember. It was very beautiful. We went to this lake Ritsa - far in the mountains, I've never seen anything like it. Like from a fairy tale.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :) Sure, it was love at first sight because I am always attracted to things and people that are different from me. :) And Georgia is quite different from the USA. I expect the same from Armenia, but let's wait and see. I would like to see Abkhazia, but I travel in this region with native Georgians - thus, it is not an option at this point.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 04:29 pm (UTC)
It's cool, but weather now not good:(
Feb. 22nd, 2017 04:33 pm (UTC)
I hope it will be cold in the mountains, because here in Virginia we have had no winter at all. Today, we have spring temperatures of +23, and it has been this way for most of February. Very strange, and makes me unhappy!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 05:07 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday -- enjoy the trip!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I will enjoy, for sure!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 05:23 pm (UTC)
We are alive and well, and wait for new Caucasus posts. :)
Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:35 pm (UTC)
Hello! Good to know that you are well...:)
(no subject) - elinelisky - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2017 05:39 pm (UTC)
Great idea! Have fun, enjoy your trip!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:35 pm (UTC)
I do not know much about Armenia, so hopefully this will be a good adventure, and educational at the same time.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
Happy belated birthday! Have a very nice trip!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
It is no fun getting old, but another year of life means another year for adventures. Better than the grave. :))
(no subject) - sun_jr - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sun_jr - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sun_jr - Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2017 07:00 pm (UTC)
Have a good trip! We looked with my wife photos of Georgia. Amazing and some day we will go there!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 07:01 pm (UTC)
This country is definitely worth a visit! I hope you get the opportunity to explore this land someday!
Feb. 22nd, 2017 08:27 pm (UTC)
Finally you have found a part of ex-USSR that you like
Feb. 22nd, 2017 09:10 pm (UTC)
II like other parts of ex-USSR, but Georgia is more soulful.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 09:13 pm (UTC)
As much as I know Armenians are not so friendly toward western people as Georgians are.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
Not sure. But I will observe during the trip and report my findings. :)
Feb. 22nd, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)
I recommend the HyurService tour operator in Yerevan, they can help you a lot.
Feb. 22nd, 2017 11:24 pm (UTC)
I'm traveling with my Georgian friend, who is an independent tour guide and has explored Armenia many times. But thanks for the recommendation!
Feb. 23rd, 2017 12:35 am (UTC)
"Last week, I turned 44 "

Happy Birthday! Every year is the best to see something new!

"Sorry for the very long absence from the blog."

Glad you are back from Facebook. What brought you back anyway? Boredom?

Feb. 23rd, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
Each year, or even day of health, is a real gift! :) So, I'll continue to explore while I'm capable and have the resources, because who knows what tomorrow holds. Yeah, boredom pulled me back here. :)) Plus, I had something to announce. I still have plenty of other stories to write about my autumn journey to Georgia, but somehow there is no creative spark. :(
(no subject) - maadmike - Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maadmike - Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maadmike - Feb. 24th, 2017 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:40 pm (UTC)
Do you want to travel to Armenia, Azerbaijan or Abkhazia?
Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:41 pm (UTC)
I will visit only Armenia this time, and Georgia again. For Azerbaijan, Americans need a tourist visa and Abkhazia is too difficult to visit via car when you're traveling with a Georgian passport holder. :)
(no subject) - nar_row - Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nar_row - Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:55 pm (UTC)
While in Armenia, you should sample some local cognacs. They are still viewed the best in all ex-USSR countries. According to legend, Joseph Stalin supplied Armenian cognacs to Sir Winston Churchill who loved drinking them.

There are extremely tense relations between Armenia and Azerbajan. The two nations virtually hate each other. Avoid discussing with locals azerbajanians or status of Nagorny Karabakh.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the hint. I did not know this region was known for its cognacs. :) I'm aware about all the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. And then there is Georgia, who sits peacefully between them.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 07:50 pm (UTC)
WOW! Shannon is back!))
Feb. 23rd, 2017 07:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, I returned from the dead. :))) Back to the Caucasus - hooray! :)
(no subject) - popados - Feb. 23rd, 2017 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Feb. 24th, 2017 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 24th, 2017 10:04 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 63 comments — Leave a comment )


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