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Photographer's Note

Very often it happens that I see photos on TE from the places I visited. Of course, I see also many places that I know from other photos, but the most interesting for me are such that I have never heard of before. And sometimes I am so impressed that I go there to see it by myself, even if it is far away and not easy. This was the case of Mrauk U. I liked Leo's pictures so much that I had to go there. And I went :). And it happened also with Svanetia region in Georgia. I saw the high towers of Mestia on the superb Paul VDV photos, similar to the towers of San Gimignano (they are "sister cities") and I was so interested that I went to Georgia and hoped to visit this region. But I went in April and in high mountains there was still winter. I had rather small hope that it would be possible, but I was very lucky. I found the good taxi (there is no public transportation there) and the weather was superb. Just incredible. It is adventure to go there in summer but in winter is quite extreme.
This is a bit postcardish view of the village Ushguli, but I would like you see the setting. The mountains around are very high. Behind my back is Shkhara. It is the highest point in the nation of Georgia,elevation 5,193 m. The summit lies in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, to the south-east of Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain. Shkhara is the third highest peak in the Caucasus, just behind Dykh-Tau.

This is the view from the remote monastery. What you see in foreground is the cemetery.

Dedicated to Paul, of course :).

Shkhara
Big beta version

When someone is not satisfied that there are no people, see the view from monastery, with monk living there and our driver Zula

Other interesting thing. We stayed in a guest house run by the mother of our driver. In the evening the whole family gathered to chat with us. They told us about the Polish Orthodox priest that visited them a few times and they were very proud of it. At home I checked who this priest was. And how I was surprised to learn that he married the sister of my good friend.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13046 W: 139 N: 33748] (153888)
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