31 August 2006

"I lost my leg in Chechnya."

a photoset from the North Caucasus by Daniela Haußmann

27 August 2006


schota-arabuli-popstar, originally uploaded by grijsz.

Very unexpected I met my Khevsurian friend Shota Arabuli from Korsha this night in Tbilisi on a billboard ...

24 August 2006

Wild West Georgians

From the many possible discoveries on Georgia and Georgians, one of the most extreme to me was the role of Georgians (mostly from the Black Sea Region Guria) as trick riders in Buffalo Bills Wild West Shows. Irakli Makharadze and Akaki Chkhaidze published a booklet in English about an almost forgotten part of individual Georgian history and a nice website with lots of information too.

One of my favourite photos is this one

as you see, the Sioux has no chance ;-)

Paragliding in Georgia

The Georgian Paragliders you can find here:

21 August 2006

Where are we going to ?

Where are we going to, originally uploaded by grijsz.

Nostalgic Karakalpakian Moments and a nice song

Thanks to Registan.net for finding this nice song. As one commenter, Bill Walsh, said:
"Man, I love the stock footage in “I am a Karakalpak."

Uhh, I am missing Uzbekistan ! Hope to go there this winter.

Vasil Rukhadze on wasted years and new hope for Georgia

"But besides the misfortunes, the dissolution of the Soviet Union has been the most progressive event that happened to Georgia in the 20th century:..." Read the full article here

Flowers from Nationalpark Lagodekhi

vater 011opt_opt, originally uploaded by grijsz.
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

Gentiana spec. in the alpine zone of the National Park at 2750 m altitude
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

vater 018_opt, originally uploaded by grijsz.

Colchicum autumnale
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

vater 014opt_opt, originally uploaded by grijsz.
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

vater 013_opt, originally uploaded by grijsz.
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

vater 021_opt, originally uploaded by grijsz.
Photo: Dr. Hans Jürgen Buhr 2006

11 August 2006

Jörg Herold, the artist

Jörg Herold and his charming wife Jackie are our guests in Georgia. They enjoy Georgian food and drinks, the sulfur bathes and massages and are busy with some very urgent and secret projects on the Caucasus theme. He told me great stories, eating Kebab, spicy Khinkali and drinking Kazbegi-Beer about his discoveries at the Crimea on behalf the plane crash of Joseph Beuys in 1943 near Maikop and about his archiviing projects of inventarizing every single object in 1 room households of accidential citizens. He did this in Wolfsburg and plans to do it now in Georgia. There is a fresh release of a catalogue of his works called "Jörg Herold. Zeugnisse und Schriften der Reise eines Dokumentararchäologen" very interesting to study, in German language, you may order it here:

See a portfolio of Jörg's works at Eigen Art here: http://www.eigen-art.com/Kuenstlerseiten/KuenstlerseiteJH/mappe.pdf

Die schönen Seiten des Kaukasus

bbbb, originally uploaded by grijsz.

09 August 2006

Cool things in Georgia 1

inspired by Cool Tools from Kevin Kelly from time to time I want to show the things I like here in Georgia. They are not always from Georgian origin, like this first example, but you can get and enjoy it here.

MacCoffee strong !!! was invented for artists and bloggers and gourmets... It is so tasty in its unique combination of coffee plus milk plus sugar. Even Otari, the artist from Rustavi, who told me that he does not like coffee very much, became addicted to this drink after I sent him a package to his studio. Thanks to the Danish House in Tbilisi it is imported from Singapore and a package of 50 packets (thus 50 cups) costs 8 Lari, what is a reasonable and very tasty 16 tetri per cup (not counted the costs of the water here.)

Welcome foreign visitors to Georgia

bath-alasani, originally uploaded by grijsz.

Tourism seems to grow this year again. The best promotion are doing those guests, who have been here in the last 2-3 years already and then talked and recommended Georgia to their friends and collegues at home. They do this best, when they are satisfied with impressions, experiences and services here in the mountains of Georgia. Far from beeing usable for any statistics here are a few of my impressions lately:

Amazing, how many Israelian citizens coming to Georgia, organized by Tour Operators or as Individuals in small groups. Shall the long friendship between Georgia and Israel further continue !

A lot of individual backpackers are from European countries like Slovakia, Slovenia, Cechia, Poland and the Baltic States. They adopt to Georgian culture pretty fast, prefer English altough do rembember some Russian phrases as well if nessecary. Beside their interest in just relaxing and enjoying holidays some of those are always open to invent or combine a new business idea and put it maybe to life in Georgia. For them it is somehow easier to imagine a good business idea in Georgia than for other Europeans, because their home countries had to change into market societies 10-15 years ago similiar to the ongoing changes in Georgia today.

Young and very sympathic Russians discover Georgia as a excellent country for climbing, hiking and relaxing at the Black Sea. This gave me a big hope in the way, that politics did not succeed in the completely worsening of Russian-Georgian human relations. Beside the "new" Russian tourists it is also heard, that even the one or other Russian artist or journalist considers a permanent move to Georgia. Great climate, big diversities in cultures, contrasts of landscapes, good wines and still much lower prices for living costs than inMoscow or Petersburg makes the descision easier...

Armenians and Aserbaidshanians very peacuful enjoy next to each others the fresh subtropic breezes around the Batumi and Kobuleti Black Sea Beaches. Hey, dear friends from Baku, Yerevan and beyond, use your holidays for recreation and do not forget about the old dream of a whole, peaceful and even befriended Caucasus ! Dear Georgian hosts ! Couldn't be the beaches much cleaner ? If 5 or 6 hotels together would pay two boys each 30 Lari a day for cleaning the beach in your vicinity you could attract much more and more satisfied international guests. Beside it could have a good impact on the too slowly changing old Soviet "throw-it-where-you-stand-behaviours".

LOVE seems to play a big part in International-Georgian relationships. Two examples only from last week: Young successful webdesigner from Luxemburg falls in love to young sympathic Georgian girl. Marriage is planned. Young successful Polish businessman falls in love to young sympathic Georgian girl at the Airport (because his plane delayed by three hours.) Marriage is planned.

I always love to see astonished German faces tasting Georgian beers... Oh, they get so exited and do going on wondering: How the Georgians managed to brew such a good beers beside their born traditions of wine-making ?

On the Georgian side: Guesthouses in the Mountainregions looked very good booked this summer. Some new ones are still in construction. Locals in the mountains could at least this year make a decent additional income by guiding, horse renting, driving or guestbeds. My prognose: Next year will even be much better. My urgent advise: Start learning English (at least) now.

My favourite dish of the month August: Hot Khavitsi ( grilled and baked curd cheese similiar to Cheese Fondue) with herbs served in a Tushetian shepherders camp. Vodka or local Tsha-Tsha completes best.

aaaa, originally uploaded by grijsz.

02 August 2006

Strange observations

Some quite strange things I observed in the last couple of days:

- 03.00 woke up at a balcony on 1900 m in Cesho, Tusheti. Talk to my host Bakuri on donkeys. After 10 minutes- I hear him snurking. Sleepless. 05.00 the one rooster of this tiny village starts his cock-a-doodle-doo. 05.05 One of the 7 or 8 Cesho donkeys is screaming. I get up in darkness and make coffee. 05.20 in the first morning glow, the three spiders of Bakuris balcony are all working to repair their nets.

- Ninigori, afternoon: The TV-lottery bans everybody. My son outside whispers to me, that near the outside bathtube he saw a strange small animal. I join him quietly, and after seconds see elegantly mooving, almost dancing a beautiful weasel. Short tailed, nice pure brown coat and a yellow belly. We go a bit closer and it hides. We observe another 3 minutes. Another but bigger animal lurks next to the tube: A giant rat in a good well-tended shape. Was the weasel afraid of the rat ? Or do they live in co-existence ?

Later on Wikipedia I read:
1st it brings luck to spot a weasel ( I hope on big luck for Hansi first)
2nd Weasels can even beat big bad basilisks or hares, which can be more than 100 times its own size!

The Georgian name for weasel is: Sindiopala (how beautiful) and Georgian farmers say you should never harm or hunt them, as they get crazy and will kill all your chicken and rabbits at ones.

- Tbilisi, Embankment, Traffic, Stoplight near Metekhi Church. I turn my head right and see a young guy shouting in his cellphone. I look again, he speaks into a huge old shoe. When I came back from the airport an hour later, I see him still standing there and talking and screaming into his shoe... Seems Tbilisi gets a good piece closer to Amsterdam.

North American Longtail Weasel
Source: Wikipedia