Saturday - Drive to Kutaisi

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Another day, so another location. Today we drive to Kutaisi, so we are up at 8.30 for breakfast. Today Steve did not eat, something to do with his stomach. Usual water stop at Borjomi. Then on to the M27. Today we had to pay a toll as we went through a 2km tunnel. Today we saw some men working on the road laying actual tarmac.
This road went through some hill areas, and suddenly we were in bee country. We had noticed in our travels, much of trade was done by the road from cars and shacks. We also noticed that where there was one butcher, that there were ten butchers and nothing else. (A butcher was a place where they hung a dead animal and skinned it by the road.). There were areas where everyone was selling petrol out of cans by the road, or it was vegetables, or it was baskets. Well now we were in bee country. There were hives and hives, all congregated around a house, there must have been twenty of these houses with their hives. Nino said it was a con, that there were no bees, and you were being sold colored sugar water.

On our travels we also noticed the school children. Every thing in Georgia was bit dirty, a bit falling to pieces, but the school children were imaculate. Well dressed, gleaming white shirts, or ornate blouses, socks and shoes, and often black skirts with bands of white. The girls hair was ornately ribboned

Somewhere along the road we saw a huge iron alloy factory which was now deserted. There was now no market. The Soviets left and did not continue to buy from Georgia.

We stopped by some stalls selling craft work, and we bough a huge carved wooden spoon, very plain but useful We also bought a wooden whisk, you used it by spinning it between the hands. It was used for stirring your beans.

At Ubisi we stopped to look at this charming little church. Built in the 9th century.
There were amazing 14th century frescos including the annunciation of Christ. Nino said the brush strokes for the hair are individual and there are no pink cheeks, both of which are unusual.
There were also some 16th century frescos of St George. The torch was useful for viewing because there was no light.

Now it was on to Kutaisi and the Bagrat Cathedral, no roof and scary wood scaffolding. There was a wedding taking place.

Bagrat Cathedral. It has no roof and is undergoing minor restoration to ensure it is safe. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Georgia is a funny place, iron is used very much more than we would use it. Most of the garden fences where made of iron, iron sheeting, or iron railings. We in the UK would use wood, or maybe brick.

When it comes to scaffolding, where we use metal, Georgia uses wood.
The Cathedral of Bagrat is high in the Ukimerioni hill across the river from the city center

Some parts of the Cathedral are in quite good nick. The Cathedral was destroyed by the Turks in 1691/92. Since then it has remained roofless.