I thought that I was going to end up somewhere in Africa or Southeast Asia. Instead, I ended up next to Russia.
We traversed to Kazbegi and took a few stops along the way for a wine tour, views and you guessed it – more churches. Most of the historical traditional churches are Eastern Orthodox Christian, where woman are still required to cover their heads when inside the sacred spaces. Most of the churches that we visited were from the 14th century, and were dark and musty. The most beautiful church that we visited was Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an early middle age monstrosity where priests live in the walls. It is a major tourist attraction and is now deemed a UNESCO heritage site, because Christ’s mantel is believed to have been buried there.
Along the way, our fearless leader Nikki made a new best friend:
Kazbegi, Georgia is a beautiful town 30 minutes from the Russian border in the Caucasus Mountains. Tbilisi was beautiful, but Kazbegi was breathtaking. Collectively, our group was shocked when we walked onto the terrace of our soho-esque hotel and saw this view:
Kazbegi is a popular destination for Russian vacationers and for hikers. It is slightly rural, but still has a town with plenty of restaurants and different activities. We didn’t know what to expect when we got there – but we were happily surprised.
The Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi was a perfect retreat for our group to have new terrifying experiences and bond together. I would like to say that we were collectively super excited for horseback riding, until we realized that we were climbing and descending the side of a mountain for 3 hours. Sienna’s face below is an decent representation of how we felt once we saw the path that we would be taking. Nevertheless, she is now named “The Stallion”, because she valiantly made it to the mountain top.
When we weren’t drinking cappuccinos or tea on the terrace, we were learning new drinking games or hanging out in the sauna and pool. This was the only part of the trip where we had a minute to just relax without excessive programming – and it was wonderful.
Many amazing memories were made in this little mountain town. If for some reason you are ever near this side of the world and need a vacay – this wouldn’t be a bad place to take a pit stop.