Driving through Kakheti we drive to a place called Nekresi. It is an old monastery dating back to the 6th century located high on a hill overlooking the area. We decide to take the small detour to explore the monastery. There is a road leading some of the way – but it only let us go to a parking lot at the bottom of the hill.
We park the car and then we head across the road to see how to get to the top. You can walk up along the road – but it is a steep and pretty long road along a road so it isn’t a very charming option. Instead we decide to go for the local marshrutky going to the top whenever there are at least 10 passengers. We get a couple of tickets and reach the bus just in time as a large group of other visitors are making their way to the bus. We manage to get seats and the bus fills up in no time. And off we go – the road is steep so we can really hear the engine working on the way up.
The marshrutky stops at the top of the hill right beneath the monastery and we walk up the stair to see what is up here. There is a collection of old churches – we hurry up to see a bit of the area before the rest of the bus passengers make it up to this part of the monastery blocking the photos.
We get inside the old church which probably used to have some very pretty frescoes on the wall – but the frescoes hasn’t been maintained so they are very worn down by now and there is only a bit left of the originals. We go out and wonder around the rest of the buildings for a bit. There are a few different buildings including one with a bit of an art on the walls. There is also a bigger building which got big holes in the ground which were probably used for storage of the cask where they made the wine which is so famous for this part of Georgia.
After we have explored the monastery we have the time to take in the view from the hill top. There is an amazing view of the country side below the hill – you can really see how high we have gone up and I guess we really made the right decision taking the bus up the hike would be pretty hard and along the narrow road with the occasional bus taking tourist up to the monastery.
We hear a bus coming and decide to try to catch it – but it manages to take off just before we get down the stair. We don’t worry about this because we assume there will be another bus coming along shortly. For some reason it takes quite a bit of time for the next bus to arrive and when it arrives it is followed not by one but by two other buses right on its tail it is always a bit annoying to see this when you have been waiting for the bus. We get in and then take the short drive down. As we drive down the bus overtakes some of the people who couldn’t be bother to wait for the bus so it is actually faster driving down the hill than walking – I wasn’t sure about this.