Took a fantastic weekend trip to Vardzia, Borjomi and Bakuriani (a still sleeping ski town waiting for snow, although we did see a few flurries). Heading back to the mountains tomorrow. A big mountain this time. Below are a few photos from Vardzia, along with some info stolen from the internet, meaning the only thing I can personally verify is that the puppy was very cute.
Vardzia was built high in the Erusheli mountain in southern Georgia as protection from invading armies.
Originally built between 1184 and 1186 as a military base during the golden age of feudal Georgia, it soon became a religious site under Queen Tamar.
Legend says when the workmen finished removing rock at the end of each day their tools would mysteriously move to another location. After this happened several times it was considered divine intervention and it became a holy site where Queen Tamar herself lived.
Vardzia originally had over six thousand apartments in a thirteen story complex with a church, a throne room, and a complex irrigation system that watered terraced farmlands. The only access to the complex was through hidden tunnels near the Mtkvari river.
An earthquake destroyed two-thirds of the city in 1283, exposing the caves and collapsing the irrigation system.
The church seen here was reinforced and a bell tower added in the thirteenth century.
Persians raided the monastery in 1551, taking with them most of the important icons and treasures.
Monks do still live in some caves.
Along with a very cute puppy.
Behind the cave church was a pool of holy water and a cave wall releasing a strange magnetic vibration. I think all you Lost fans understand the significance of this....