Just the Pictures (Georgia) Freedom Square in Tbilisi. Kashveti Church of St. George in Tbilisi. View of Tbilisi from Mtatsminda Pantheon. St. David’s Church with the chapel in the foreground at Mtatsminda Pantheon. Inside St. David’s Church. Fresco above the altar in St. David’s Church. Frescoes covering the walls and ceilings inside the chapel at Mtatsminda Pantheon. The trail leading up to Mount Mtatsminda. Flowers and trees up in the hillsides bordering Tbilisi. Georgian forest. View of Old Tbilisi near Narikala Fortress. Another view of Old Tbilisi from Narikala Fortress. Narikala Fortress. Brick steps inside Narikala Fortress. Narikala Fortress, seen from its tall tower. St. Nicholas Church. Architecturally unique mansion “Institute of Botany and Herbarium” near the National Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Eastern Orthodox Church seen from St. Nicholas Church. Stream inside the National Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Quasi-futuristic building bordering the National Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Stream and trees inside the botanical gardens. Waterfall in the botanical gardens. Narikala Fortress seen from the botanical gardens. Brick-domes making up the roof of one of the sulfur baths in Tbilisi. Abanotubani – the sulfur bath district in Tbilisi. The overhanging addition to this home doesn’t look too structurally sound – and there were many homes in Tbilisi like this one. A beautiful Georgian-style home in Tbilisi. Kartlis Deda, the tall aluminum statue that symbolizes the Georgian national character, standing watch over Tbilisi. Acharuli (with chicken stew in a bread-shaped boat). Bottle of Saperavi dry red wine produced in the Mukuzani appellation in Georgia. Not sure who this statue represents, but I like it. Cheers! Four different Georgian military uniforms from the past (the black one looks like it’s from ‘Assassin’s Creed’). Gold diadem for a noble Colchian female. Gold discoid ornamental plaque – an example of Colchian goldsmithery. Disc-shaped pendant from the Bronze Age. Bronze buckle from between the first- to fourth-centuries AD. Bronze daggers. One of the train carriages in which Chekists (the secret political police of the Soviet Union) shot down participants of the anti-Bolshevik uprising on August 30, 1924. An eighteenth-century AD Iranian painting of two lovers. “Woman with a Mirror,” and Iranian painting in the style of Muhammad Hasan during the Fath-‘Ali Shah period (1798-1834 AD). The National Gallery of Georgia. “May Day Celebration,” painted by Ucha Japaridze (1938). “Ballerina” by Valentine Sherpilov (1960). “Last Store” by Zhango Medzmariashvili (1959). “St. George Feast in Bolnisi” by Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918). “Imereti” by David Kakabadze (1919). “Carousal in Vine Parasol” by Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918). Sculpture of a dapper man in the park behind the National Gallery. The Peace Bridge over the Kura (Mtkvari) River. The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (commonly known as “Sameba”). Inside the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. Looking at the Templon inside the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. Another view of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. The Presidential Palace on top of a hill with modern-art structures in the foreground. The Kura (Mtkvari) River with Metekhi Church on the left. Bottle of semi-sweet red wine from the Kakheti Region, next to the Alazani River. Baratashvili Street in Sighnaghi. The five drinks I tasted at Pheasant’s Tears Restaurant. Erekle II Square. Patriotic relief with many names etched in to the stonework (found in a park near the City Hall in Sighnaghi). Statue of Solomon Dodashvili, a philosopher. St. Stephan Church in Sighnaghi. Entrance through the old eighteenth-century city walls of Sighnaghi. St. George Church and city wall tower behind it. The bell tower on St. George Church. The city wall tower next to St. George Church. Another entrance through the old city walls of Sighnaghi. Trees and fog in Sighnaghi. Castle fortress seen on the road between Tbilisi and Sighnaghi. Remnants of Queen Darejan’s palace in Tbilisi. Old Tbilisi in the late evening. Inside the Meidan Bazaar, underground at Tbilisi. Bottle of Georgian white wine, produced from Rkatsiteli grapes. Relief on the wall outside of the Great Patriotic War Museum in Gori. Flag used by Georgians in World War II, featuring a depiction of Lenin on it. The Stalin Museum with Stalin’s birth house in the foreground and enclosed by a cage of neoclassical Doric columns – in Gori. Stalin’s birth house. Painting depicting a young Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili (i.e. Stalin) with his comrades. I can’t help but laugh every time I see this painting of a young Stalin teaching his gullible school friends in the town of Gori. Another idealistic painting of a young Stalin giving his “Sermon on the Mount” – one should never turn political leaders into idols; they are not divine and are actually horrible human beings . . . all of them. Arms of the Soviet Union and all Soviet “republics.” Stalin’s death mask. Street in Gori with overhead grape vine trellises on each side. Church with Gori Fortress in the background. Gori Fortress. View of Gori from the fortress. The entrance-way to Gori Fortress. The wall of Gori Fortress. One of seven bronze statues in medieval attire to commemorate seven brothers killed during a German air strike during World War II (near Gori Fortress). Three more of the seven bronze statues commemorating the seven brothers killed during the German air strike. Georgian dry white wine made from Kisi and Mtsvane grapes. Gori’s City Hall. View from Uplistsikhe. Blooming trees at Uplistsikhe. Uplistsuli (Prince) Church at Uplistsikhe with rock-hewn dwellings below. Ruins below Uplistsikhe near the Mtkvari River. Uplistsuli (Prince) Church seen from an entrance carved in the rock. Another view of Uplistsuli (Prince) Church with ruins in the foreground. Inside the single-columned hall at Uplistsikhe. Steps carved in to the stone, leading up to Uplistsuli (Prince) Church. Inside the Hall of Tamar. Looking at the Uplistsuli (Prince) Church with the Long Hall carved in to the rock below it. One last view of the Uplistsuli (Prince) Church with rock-hewn structures seen below it. The Theateron at Uplistsikhe. Path in the rock at Uplistsikhe. The tunnel at Uplistsikhe. The Rioni River at Kutaisi with the Bagrati Cathedral on the left bank. Statue of a boy on the White Bridge in Kutaisi, based on a tale about a cheeky kid that had stolen hats off of two men and then jumped into the river. Street in Old Kutaisi. Inside the wine cellar in the hostel I stayed at in Kutaisi. Georgian semi-sweet wine made from Saperavi grapes in the Kvareli specific viticulture district of Kakheti. Monument with sculptures in Kutaisi. Fountain in Kutaisi with the theater behind it, and Bagrati Cathedral behind it. Church of St. George (a 13th-century AD church) in the Gelati Monastery complex. The Church of the Virgin (founded by the King of Georgia, David the Builder, in 1106 AD) with the Church of St. Nicholas and the Gelati Academy behind it. The tomb of David the Builder (King David IV of Georgia), who ruled from 1089 to 1125 AD. Inside the Church of the Virgin. The Gelati Monastery with the Church of St. George, the Church of the Virgin, the bell tower, and the Church of St. Nicholas (from left to right). Motsameta Monastery. Bend in the Tskhastsitela River, near Motsameta Monastery. The entrance to Motsameta Monastery. The church and bell tower in Motsameta Monastery. Frescoes inside the church in Motsameta Monastery. View of Kutaisi from the Bagrati Cathedral. The Bagrati Cathedral (originally built in the 11th-century AD, but rebuilt in 2012 AD). Another view of Kutaisi from the cathedral. Bagrati Cathedral with well and bell tower in front. Another view of Bagrati Cathedral. Inside Bagrati Cathedral. Georgian dry red wine made from Aladasturi grapes. Bagrati Cathedral at night. The Bagrati Cathedral with the steel cross in front of it. Mestia in Upper Svaneti in the Caucasus Mountains. One of many medieval towers in Mestia. An old home and two medieval towers. Several more medieval towers in Mestia. Mestia with three medieval towers in the foreground. Another view of Mestia. The medieval towers dominating Mestia’s “skyline.” The Mestiachala River running through Mestia. A khachapuri filled with cheese and millet. A medieval tower standing amongst the recent snowfall. Mestia covered in snow. Looking toward the airport near Mestia. The woods and mountains north of Mestia. Hiking in a Winter Wonderland. Mestia, seen from the trail. Closeup view of Mestia’s medieval towers. The snow-covered trail that leads to the viewpoint north of the town. Mestia and the valley seen from the trail. Another portion of the trail covered in snow. Mestia, after the recent snowfall had already begun to melt away. Medieval towers in Mestia amidst the recent snowfall. The medieval tower I entered in to. Inside the medieval tower. The topmost (sixth) level inside the medieval tower. Looking out at Mestia from the top level of the medieval tower. Looking out from the opening in the roof of the medieval tower. Muddy street in Mestia. North of the farmlands in Mestia, approaching the other trail to the northern viewpoint. The trail with most of the snowfall entirely melted. Flower emerging at Winter’s end. The peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, just barely visible amongst the clouds. Mestia with the Hatsvali Ski Resort visible at the top-right. View of Mestia and the valley almost completely free from last night’s snowfall. Closeup of Mestia with its medieval towers. Where I had hiked earlier today, but now no longer a Winter Wonderland (compare it to image “20150317 – 04”, taken six hours earlier). A medieval tower and ruins in Mestia. The Mestiachala River with medieval towers in the distance. View of Mestia in the morning. The valley and mountains in Upper Svaneti, seen on my hike up to Hatsvali Ski Resort. Riding the lone ski lift at Hatsvali Ski Resort. The Caucasus Mountains, seen by looking south from the top of Hatsvali Ski Resort. The Caucasus Mountains and an abandoned cabin, seen by looking north from the ski resort. Looking back on the ski lift. Piste with slalom poles set up on it. View from the restaurant at the top of Hatsvali Ski Resort. Looking back on the road on my way down to Mestia. Mestia’s medieval towers lit-up at nighttime. Street in Batumi. Chacha Tower in Batumi. The Alphabetic Tower, displaying the Georgian alphabet in all its glory. Colorful apartment buildings in Batumi. On the rocky beach with the Black Sea on the left, the sea port and hills in the distance, and the Batumi Panoramic Wheel on the right. Romantic sculpture on display next to the beach. Shota Rustaveli State University – looking like a fine building with a nice fountain in front. The Hilton Hotel in Batumi, looking very 1980s. Batumi Boulevard (the boardwalk along the Black Sea). Ardagani Lake, next to Batumi Boulevard. Nurigeli Lake in “6 May Park.” The Fountain of Neptune. Closeup of one of the mermaid sculptures spraying water out of her nipples, on the Fountain of Neptune. Europe Square with the Statue of Medea (holding the Golden Fleece) towering over the fountain, and the Astronomic Clock in the distance. The clock tower at Piazza Square. St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Batumi. Ostri (beef in a spicy tomato stew) and four khinkali filled with meat. Adjaruli Khachapuri with a raw egg peeking through the cheese and butter in the middle. Georgian dry red wine made from “Kaberne” grapes.