That day we went to Georgia and explored the Mktrvi River Valley! The border crossing Aktas Sinir Kapisi – doesn't show up on all the maps, but it does truly exist and is open.It could have been completely empty, had not an Iranian bus dropped 30 people at this otherwise deserted border crossing right in front of us.
Having set our feet and wheels on the Georgian soil, we went to the place we still could not pronounce after training and trying for something like half an hour – Achalkalaki. Having done our grocery shopping (Georgian vine, smelly cheese and khachapuri bread) we set out on the road towards Vardzia – an ancient cave town. The endless serpentine route to the Valley of Mktrvi River (where Vardzia was situated) was incredibly scenic, but it took us ages to get down. When we finally reached the valley the lively tunes from a restaurant by the river drew our attention – its visitors were simply making music and singing. I tried to substitute the Georgians with Germans in my imagination and quickly gave up.
Along the river, there are some good swimming spots, spots for camping (not really hidden or private though), some ruins of fortresses and ancient monasteries. There was also a well preserved one - Sapara Monastery – a 12th-century church with old frescoes. In the evening we strolled through the green hills of Mktrvi River Valley accompanied by the cows who were returning home on their own.
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