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26 November 2008

Caucasian Mountain-Tour, "Emerald Valley", second part

After the bee's farm we had to stay in our minibus about an hour or two else till we reached the last aul and had to change vehicle.

There are not roads there, so the locals use these military cars, off-roads, to cross their land. We have seen them near every house that were there. I think, every family earns money transporting tourists. Our guide said, there are incredible quantities of persons that want to make a bath in the cascades we had to visit that day.

It was not so far till the house where we had to eat and to rest a little, but ... to reach it we had an other "extreem". Nothing terrible, but it is not very normal, this bridge.

In the house where we had to rest there was an other presentation of local foods. This time they were mostly wines. The daughter of the owner told us about the wines her father makes and we could taste them all. After that "second breackfast" with "chebureki" (puff pastry with meat inside -mmmmm.....) and we were ready to continue. After that good wine and 4 hours of the car I did not want other as sleep, sincerely, ...

I have to say you with all sincerity: when I came home and looked at my arm and side, I was afraid to see all that parts of my body black from bruises. Thanks God I did not look at my butt...

22 November 2008

Caucasian Mountain-Tour, "Emerald Valley", first part

As promised in my previous posts, I wanted to tell you about a mountain-tour with light extreme I participate when I was in Sochi.

For me, the greatest extreme in that tour were tight deep-lunged torques that continued every 50-100 meters all the 4-5 hours that we needed to reach the place and than -to turn back from there, after the visit. Imagine that we were only about 70-90 km from center of Sochi but we needed 4-5 hours for one way.

I remember when I came in Sochi for the first time, it was in 80-th. There was the same torques way from Adler (where there is airport) till Sochi. They built a new highway from Adler some years ago, and you need only about 40 minutes to come in the center now. But in this, opposite, side of the region, you can admire the original mountain-roads. As you see on my photo.

Somebody told me once that it was a simple method to build ways in the mountains: to follow the steps of an ass. Because the asses knew where and how to go.

We were in a minibus with guide Golubkova Elena and driver Ruslan. They went with us till the last point of the tour. And it was hard enough, you will see it in my next posts. Here I want to show you only some photos from the road to taste the first beauties of the mountains of Caucasus.

This first is a general look on a mountain river how it is near the sea. It is river Shakhe, I think.

This other photo -to show you the mountain-road. Do you see that line in the middle of the photo? With rocks over and rocks under? Nice, no? It's a canyon of the river Ashe.

The first stop on our way was in a bee's farm. The owners built this pavilion where they have an exhibition hall of all products they have to sell. As you see on the second photo, there are many different products and they are really superb while produced in this zone. The team told us many interesting things about honey and it's derivative, we could taste some different honeys. Than we could buy everything we saw there.

We were at the beginning of our way and bought only glasses of "medovukha" -honey-wine. Mmmm... Great!!!

Continue next time...

19 November 2008

Autumn Morning In Krasnodar

As I told you in some of my posts before, I went in Russia this autumn to try to receive Russian citizenship. I had some bureaucratic problems and tryed to resolve them one day in the capital of the krai (region that Sochi makes part of). I had to go with train there, and it was one night journey. I came in Krasnodar at 5:30 in the morning and had to wait half a day because the office opened at 16:30.

I never was in this town before and decided to combine "useful with pleasant". Here I discover my personal way to visit new places.

First of all I go to the newsstand (or in other stand) where I can buy a map of the place I want to visit.
Than I read about sightseeings of the place (or corners of interest)
Finally I decide the way I'll go to visit everything I want to see.

Here on the map you can see (not very clear but I hope you can) a point in the center on the railway where I began my walk. If I can I always prefere to walk. From that point I maped my way. Later I counted how many km I did that mornig, they were 11 (it is not my record: sometimes I go to Salerno at feet and those are 12 km-s from my house).

The first what I've seen was this church. I came to it from the back side and could not understand how could I find the entrance. After some attempts I found it finally. The photo is not very clear because it is first morning. But the architecture is interesting. So red...

I'm not a believer, so I rarely visit curches. Mostly for my personal interest (art, history, architecture...). So I was surprized to see this construction (photo lower). If you don't read in Russian, I'll explain you: this is a source of holy water.

I had clothes not good to visit this church (said some persons sitting nearby), so I wanted not risk to enter inside. Who knows, maybe they will beat me...

About a km later I found an other church. This time the building was in the best traditions of Russian white stone architecture.
By the way, I did not know that white stone churches (IX-XIII cent) were not white originally. They were picted all round the wall as those catolic of the same period (in Salerno for example). Rains and other bad weather conditions washed the colors and remained only white.

The other interesting thing I found were very different historical characters as main figure of numerous memorials.

I lived many years in Mariupol and was surprized incredibly to find buildings of the XIX, I think, cent. absolutely identical with those of Mariupol. I had the impression to walk in Mariupol in some places.

Very special is the location of this part of Krasnodar. There is a river and the lakes there. Unfortunatelly I had not time to delight the water but it was really nice to walk there.

07 November 2008

Sochi, Subtropical City In Russia

I began to tell you about my trip to Russia this year in my prevous post. The city where I was is one of the most known places because it situates in the only subtropical zone of Russia and everybody -specially the most rich of the country and the "serves of the nation" ( delegates, governors, ministers and similar) love to pass time there. There are villas for relax for presidents of the country, and Sochi will be the capital of the Olympic Games in 2014.

This has different bad sides for those who live there because the prices are often higher even as in Moscow. But the city is really very beautiful in any time and there are very good (and not too expensive) possibilities to cure the health in countless "sanatoriums" that use the most new and modern technologies.

There are not so many persons in this period (in autumn) and you can see it when you enter the room where you can buy train tickets. The railway staition is much more clean as the stations in Italy (even those of Moscow are more clean) and there are many policemen there and in the streets too. This gives you the sense of security surely.

Sochi has an incredible quantity of tourist attractions and the tour operators offer you all the tours practically on every step -in every important place in the central part of the town sitting in the street like this one. Trips are from 1-2 hours introductory walks to all-the-day-long trips (one of them I'll describe you next days)

There is not only railway station but touristic sea-port and airport in Adler (that is one part of the city) too. I think, the airport will be international and very great for Olympic games.

And here are the panoramic photos of Sochi I made from the tower of the aerial cableway in high part of Dendrarium (More about it in Animals As Friends)

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