|Snickerse for sale in Sighnaghi|
|St Nino church at Bodbe Convent|
Again we see all the huge trucks lined up along the roadside with nowhere to go - the road north into Russia blocked by landslides. It reminds me of Operation Stack in Kent, when the ports at Dover or the Channel Tunnel are not functioning properly and our "truckies" have to moor up alongside the M20 motorway while they wait for the back log to clear.
There are skeins of sheep's wool hanging out, presumably to dry before being spun. I continue to be fascinated by the resourcefulness of the country people here who manage to make fencing out of pretty much anything they can lay their hands on: old bedspreads, bed heads, the railings out of old cemeteries, branches from bushes and trees, corrugated iron, what look alarmingly like corrugated asbestos sheets, and I even saw old concrete railway sleepers set on their ends and used as a wall around a garden in Gori the other day.
|New church being built at Bodbe|
|A view of the Bodbe Convent grounds|
|within Kvelatsminda church|
|icon within the church|
|Scarves to cover the ladies' heads|
Some 35 minutes later we arrive in the village of Gurjaani, and walk to the Kvelatsminda church nestled among trees some 200m down a shady lane, not visible from the road. This is the only two cupola church in Georgia. There is a mulberry tree in the grounds loaded with a fantastic crop of juicy ripe berries. On our way there from the convent we snatch an incredible view of the 170 km valley stretched out below us. Here there is some of the best housing we have seen so far, reflection presumably of the value of the wine industry to the country's economy. By contrast many of the farm implements seem very old and well battered.
Soon we must climb into the coach again for our drive to our hotel for the next two nights, near Telavi - the Kvareli Royal Batoni Hotel, quite an experience in itself - more about that in my next post!