Sunday - Motsameta

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Motsameta is a small monastery on cliffs overlooking a river. It is also on a railway where there had been an accident a while ago. When we arrived there was a reunion feast for the survivors of the rail wreck. This monastery commemorates the brothers David and Constantine Mkheidze killed by the Arabs in the 720s for refusing to convert to Islam and where thrown into the gorge here. They are now saints, and their bones are stored in a weird coffin in the church. If you crawl under the coffin three times, without touching it, and kissing the coffin lid each time, your wish will come true.

The monastery was founded in the 8th century, the present church and bell tower were built by Bagrat III in the 11th century. The frescos were destroyed by the Bolsheviks.

When we arrived we had our lunch sitting on the rocks. The intention was to have it on a table in the settle by the rail track, but unfortunately there was a large party happening. This large party were the survivors of the rail wreck which had happened some time before, I say survivors, because no one had been killed in the accident. There were goats and sheep to be BBQed.
View of the river from the church. The bell tower. This was a place where the sheep and goats which were being led around the church three times were disappearing to. There was much bleating and then silence
Nino was asked to interpret for the 86 year old monk who lived there and whose grand children were visiting. He wanted to meet the foreigners, and especially the Australian Ian White. He put his long age down to herbs, his grand mother had appeared to him in an apparition when he was ill with kidney troubles after 12 years in the Soviet labor camps. She told him how to mix the herbs to cure himself.
He cured himself with these herbs, and has gone on using herbs as medicine for himself and others since. He wore long white line robes and two beautiful carved crosses. He gave an impressive speech about how Ninos generation must make Georgia great again.
He had appeared to have travelled to many parts of the world.