We drive down from the Tsminda Sameba church and start driving south along the Georgian Military Road towards Tbilisi. It is nice to drive today in the sunshine instead of the darkness from last night. Fortunately there is no more parked truck blocking half the road – I suppose they are long gone driving early in the morning towards the Russian border to cross back to Russia and go home or head even further to central Asia.
It is a pretty drive along the road. The elevation is pretty high here at the northern end of the road where we frequently drive above 2,000 meters of elevation. Despite the high elevation there is no sign of snow here during the fall – I guess it will arrive in a couple of month since we are driving through a city dominated by lots of big hotels which seems to be mainly target towards the ski season. It seems like they when for a Swiss style for the village but I don’t think it really worked all that well for them.
We reach the highest pass along the mountain road and it seems like a lot of people come here from far away to play for the day. I guess you can reach the spot from Tbilisi if you start early and then get back again before it will get too late. We are in the middle of nowhere – there is no city in sight and I guess it is actually a fair bit of driving to reach anything resembling a city. the only thing here is a big parking lot here and there are a lot of small shops which sells different local produce to the people stopping along the road. There are a lot of people in vest which tells you they are the local paragliding union. They offer all new arrivals a chance to get up in a twin paraglider to have a look at the area from above.
There is a small local restaurant at the place as well specializing in grilled lamb which is cooked over a charcoal grill outside and you can just sit on plastic chairs at small tables outside having your lunch. The place is pretty popular and a lot of the locals have their lunch here as well. It is a beautiful setting for a meal for sure.
At this spot there are some great views of the mountains around us and down the valley below where there is a strange looking lake which must be manmade.
On the edge off the cliff is a big construction of a concrete round wall on a platform. The concrete has paintings about the history of Georgia. I am not so well versed in Georgian history to actually be able to understand or explain the meaning of the different paintings – but I am sure it is the old kings and other important historic figures.
We enjoy the view from the platform and then it is time to continue the drive along the Georgian Military highway to get back towards Tbilisi.