From the top a magnificent view opens out. Down below, nestling under a ring of misty blue mountains, stands a small Caucasian town Mtskheta. Just beyond on either side, two rivers meet, the Mtkvari and the Aragvi. Immediately one senses a presence and significance to this place. First those rivers, over millions of years carving their raging, milky brown tracks down from the Lesser and Greater Caucasus respectively. Not surprisingly the point where they join has been sacred to the Georgians, a unifying confluence for the whole nation.
I look out over the mountain ridges, imagining the millions of Georgian pilgrims who visited this spot during times of Muslim subjugation; and feeling the spirit of King Kartlos, legendary father of the Georgian people, inhabiting the surrounding soil and rock. As I look a family from Tbilisi arrives. Parents point eager fingers, directing their children's eyes down to the spot below where King Mirian converted to Christianity in 337 AD. The children stare down silently; one grips a small wooden cross, that unrelenting reminder of Georgia's resolute Christianity from King Mirian's time to today.