“She went outside and set off in the direction of the embankment. She wanted to see the Vltava. She wanted to stand on its banks and look long and hard into its waters, because the sight of the flow was soothing and healing. The river flowed from century to century, and human affairs play themselves out on its banks. Play themselves out to be forgotten the next day, while the river flows on.” Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being […]
All photos by Amy Yu Mao The last leg of the journey with Amy took us south and west. We set out early on a Friday morning with Khvicha and his young assistant (whose name I do not know, because he was introduced to us as the “master of shashlik”), who was recruited to help with preparation of the meal that awaited us. We made two logistical stops along the way. The first was in Khashuri, where Khvicha and his […]
All photos by Amy Yu Mao, or Khvicha. “MEGI!” So begins every conversation with Khvicha, the taxi driver with whom I’d trust my life. “Meghan” seems to be tough for many Georgians to grasp, so I usually introduce myself as “Meg,” which turns into the Georgian name “Megi.” Thus, I am now Megi. While Amy was visiting last week, Khvicha designed and implemented the perfect three-day tour of Georgia. We covered most of the country, with the exception of the […]
Categories: 2013, Driving, Eurasia, Europe, Friendship, Georgia, The Great Outdoors, Travel • Tags: Friendship, Georgia, Hiking, Kazbegi, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Roadtrip, Stepantsminda, Travel
I’ve found a cure for a heavy heart and culture shock. It’s the combination of an old friend, unspoiled landscapes, mountain air, and wine. Amy was my roommate at what I fondly refer to as “nerd camp” (research internship with NASA) ten years ago. We hadn’t seen each other in many years before she came to visit this week. Our first destination was Kakheti region, in the east of Georgia. Think vineyards, blue skies, and green fields rolling on for miles. Our […]
Categories: 2013, Driving, Eurasia, Europe, Friendship, Georgia, Playtime, Tbilisi, The Great Outdoors, Travel • Tags: Davit Gareji, Flowers, Georgia, Hippies, Hippy, Kakheti, Oenophile, Peace, Photography, SIghnaghi, Travel, Wine
After a strange couple of days here in Tbilisi, I’m cheering myself up this Sunday with endless cups of jasmine tea and memories of Istanbul. Here are some of the textures and colors of the Tomb of Sultan Mahmud, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque.
The pinkish bud has opened, Rushing to the pale-blue violet And, stirred by a light breeze, The lily of the valley has bent over the grass. Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, age 17 (later known as Joseph Stalin) One of the most unnerving things I learned while in Russia last summer was that Joseph Stalin’s reputation isn’t all that bad. I expected that the propaganda, purges, and mass murders during Stalin’s reign would weigh heavily on the collective memory of Russians. But […]