|the 18th century defensive walls at Alaverdi|
|the gatehouse to Alaverdi - note dress code instructions|
The guidebook tells me that there is the carving of a hand in the flagstones to the left of the entrance inside. But I cannot find it and can find no one to find it for me! The legend is that a local prince was captured and killed by the Turks, asking that his hand be first cut off so that it could be returned to Alaverdi Cathedral and buried in the holy ground there.
|sad about the litter - everywhere!|
|the typical Georgian lunch spread|
|the plane tree|
Well refreshed and watered, we are now bound for the Nekresi monastery complex, but first, about 10 miles further down the road after lunch, we stop in the center of Telavi to become tourists for a short while and to take a short stroll to a massive 900 year old tree with a girth of nearly 12 1/2 meters. That's big! Wiki says it is a sycamore. I rather think it is a plane tree. The direction sign agrees with me!
|sign at the bottom of steps to Gremi Citadel|
I read afterwards that there is indeed something of interest for us here… is this icon at the foot of the steps to the castle a photo of the one which according to a trip adviser review was used as an operating table when the church was used as a hospital during the soviet occupation?
|panoramic view from the Nekresi monastery complex|
|is that clear?!?|
|litter at Nekresi|
This place was the base of another of the Syrian Fathers, Abibos, in the 6th century. He was martyred by the Persians after he quenched a Zoroastrian sacred fire by pouring water on it.
|View at Nekresi|
There is a large party in the evening in the hotel which lasts well into the night - with band and dancing and definitely better food than we had (!) - but with typical Georgian hospitality we were invited to join in the fun and quite a few of our party did just that. I'm afraid that after our night prayer as a group I was happy to go to bed, and catch up on sleep; boring I know but I guessed I would need maximum resources of energy to get the most out of the day to follow and how right I was!
|the little basilica at Nekresi|
|shafts of sunlight at Nekresi|