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Research Team
Relive the day's action and insights with daily journal entries, digital photos, audio reports and more. Select one of the teams below to visit their latest entry.

Field Team
Follow Pat O'Hara's search for the perfect moment in the national parks of the Eastern Caucasus. Eleanor O'Hanlon reports, with photos by Russell Sparkman.

Georgia veteran Peter Nasmyth returns to guide us into the history and heritage of the region. Denise Rocco captures it all in digital images.

April 29:
In Ancient Groves

April 28:
Batumi and Beyond

April 26:
Fly Tusheti Air

April 25:
An Image of Eden

April 24:
The Road of Friendship

April 22:
Patriarch of the Forest

April 21:
Monastery in the Desert

April 20:
Vashlovani Reserve

April 19:
The Living Pillar

April 18:
Preparing for the Journey

April 17:
Georgian Table

April 12:
Tbilisi Overview

Email Teams in Georgia


Previous Dispatch

From: Peter Nasmyth
Date: April 19, 2000
Mtskheta, Georgia

The Living Pillar

So finally we're on the road. The jeep shimmers down the brand new tarmac of the Mtskheta Highway, its nose aimed back into the past and Georgia's ancient capital of the same name. It used to be a 25 minute, pot-hole avoiding journey, now it's just 15 as roads slowly improve in an increasing radius outward from the money-hugging capital.

We head north. Through the windscreen glimpses of high, snow-filled passes inject a more serious atmosphere into the team. The great northern Caucasian barrier looms, holding out its threat and dare to travelers. But this time we resist, following the wild brimming Mtkhvari River only a dozen kilometers or so. Suddenly a dramatic, cliff-hanging church appears up to our left, perching on a hilltop like an erect nipple. This is the 6th century Jvari Monastery, recognizable from many Georgian calendars and much praised by the Russian poet Lermontov. Immediately it becomes the destination of Soso's unusually law-abiding (for Georgia) driving.

Next Dispatch

SLIDESHOW: Religion in Georgia
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(Real Media)

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Contemplating the View

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