Kutaissi, Georgia, June 2012
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The country of Georgia is full of nature and culture. Every couple of kilometers there is a sign leading towards a monastery and numerous rivers wind through the green hills. In the mountains there are ski resorts, in the southwest the climate is subtropical and the small nation has a lot to offer.
Georgia is under construction. Streets are repaired, new modern buildings rise and touristic attractions are renovated. Every couple of days there is a new opening celebrated.
A new golden fountain decorates one of the old town’s main roundabouts. The new parliament, which is situated a bit outside the center, is very modern and appears to me like a worm that climbs over a drop of water.
The older sights are often renovated, such as the monastery Gelati that was constructed in 1106 by King David the Builder. Gelati is one of the Georgian’s favorite places, because the King, who also constructed an academia, is buried here.
We also get to know the church of Motsameta and the Sataplia cave which is situated in the National park also called Sataplia. Close to the cave there were dinosaur footsteps found.
Via a bridge visitors can watch at the footsteps without destroying them. Recently they opened a point of view made out of glass. From here we watched the beautiful landscape of the National park.
We are lucky because just in summer 2012 the renovations in Prometheus cave were finished. It was discovered in 1984 and since the renovation there are different tours offered for the different types of tourists. Instead of the amateur photographer’s tour we just book a normal tour (6 Lari, about 3 €) and a boat tour for 7 Lari.
Just as the Sataplia cave the Prometheus cave, that got its name from the Greek Titan Prometheus, has some halls full of Stalactites, Stalagmites and columns.
Our guide Karina leads the group of men and women, adults and children through the cave. She speaks fluent German and takes the time to explain what she had told the group in Georgian to us again in German.
When we enter the 14°C cool cave we are surprised. Just the first hall is huge. We follow the walking path for 1400 meters through 16 halls.
In the second hall we listen to some soft classical music that is played in the entire cave and puts us into a calm and happy mood. We pass a petrified waterfall and a rock in form of a woman (love cave). The dripstones are lighted with lamps that change their color.
We walk deeply into the cool and humid cave until we arrive to an underground river. We stand on the riverside, talk whispering and wait for the two boats taking us back outside. There they come, with green soft lights on both sides they come towards us making no noise and no light. We enter the second boat and while we are gliding over the water we cannot hear anything but our own heartbeats and the water drops falling from the paddle. Most of the way it is dark, only a few walls are lighted. Our guide whistles “Head!” from time to time and we duck below the low stones.
When we come closer to the exit we blink. Our eyes have to get used to the light again. The temperature rises quickly, we feel soft wind in the hair and the bright hole in front of us grows and grows. Everything happens quickly and just after a moment we paddle under the sunlight between plants and animals again.