The first pit stop for day 2.
Though not a very big chapel, the route was absolutely splendid. A cute little stream/river called Chitakhevi flows along the side of the road near the monastery. Legend has it that during the 16th century when Shah Tamaz raided the monastery, many of the monks were killed/tortured.
Its believed that the red stones that lie in the river bed are stained with the actual blood of these monks. I did spot a few red pebbles.
Women are asked to cover their heads and wrap skirts around their waists before entering any of the Greek-Orthodox churches, the same applied here. The atmosphere inside this monastery was “divine”. The pictures of their saints hang on the walls, while glass lamps illuminate their faces, sending glow and warmth just enough for one to stand there and connect with the Supreme being. It was Surreal.
As we left the monastery, for the Borjomi National Park, I felt Peace. That place certainly goes on my’ must visit during summer’ list. I also have ‘must visit during winter”, “must visit when it’s not so horribly hot, but rainy’ lists..and a few others.
Beyond this door lies some of the bones of those monks.
BNP (Borjomi National Park):
The plan to go to the park was solely to taste the sparkling waters of the world famous Borjomi Springs. The mineral water is of volcanic origin, which by natural standards is over 1500 years old. There was a provision made with a little glass building and a few disposable cups for everyone to try it. My opinion-It tasted like mineral infused rust flavoured Soda that had lost much of its fizz. This water will do wonders for gastrointestinal issues, so I heard.
But it is very important for all of us to stop and see what nature provides to man, in ways that make jaws drop.1500 years? Really?wow!
We also rode a cable car to the top of the mountains to get a bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings. As we waited for our driver, a chain smoker by choice, we spotted a very old and cute Georgian granma selling her homemade jams.
With her homemade jams
She happily gave away samples of pomegranate jam and her very own favourite Pine cone jam. Apparently, pine cone powder mixed with honey is an excellent way to boost children’s resistance and keeps cold and cough away if eaten regularly. Knowing my kids, I didn’t risk buying the powder but did buy some jam bottles off her for friends. Well mostly just for us and ‘a’ friend. Now all I needed was some Shokti. 🙂 Where’s the hole-in-the-wall bakery when you need one!