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Thursday, August 25, 2011

SIGHNAGHI OVERNIGHT

GUESTHOUSES

I'm beginning to equate guesthouses with 'staying at old people's houses'. They have a lot of the same things - big, solid furniture inherited from relatives who knew enough to get rid of it. The house it is now in is always two sizes too small for this furniture. There is also the perpetually dying mother/grandmother in one of the rooms. Beds whose surface looks like the inside curve of a banana. Surfaces crammed with nicknacks. They also have unspoken rules of the house which I haven't found out yet as I've been pretty careful to not break any of them. [I'm sure the rules are standard 'anti-Doyle' stuff like no raping the family pet in the living room while the family is trying to watch TV.]

Speaking of TV, it seems to be a Georgian tradition to have the TV, radio, telephone ringer and such at as close to concert level as possible. I'm not sure why but it could be to try to match the way the Georgians sometimes talk to each other, often very loudly. Mind you, I've encountered blaring TV's in other countries but usually there are some softer ones mixed in. Not so here.

Add to this that often there is some single mother living at or working at the guesthouse. Their child is often male and hyperactive. Georgians tend to be extremely indulgent with children. If some kid is wanting to yell at the top of their lungs and run in a circle for a couple hours, they're OK with that.



MOVING ON

The bed about killed me so I moved some of the padding onto the floor and managed to get some sleep. It was kind of a shame that the place wasn't very good. I could tell that the lady really wanted to be a good host. Unfortunately, the people who have guest houses often rely on whatever income they get from them just to live. There doesn't seem to be any money left over for for things like 'fixing up the place'.

I had gotten a message from Lasha #1 on Facebook that he was working on finding out when we could go to his village. He wasn't sure when it would happen. I am very excited about checking out his village. Lasha suggested that I return to Tbilisi to wait until the village could be arranged.

I agreed and told him I was on my way.

I really didn't get an opportunity to see much of Sighnaghi other than what you saw in the videos. It's one of the smallest Georgian towns, looks nice and all of that. I could have used one or maybe two more days there but the prospect of getting to go to Lasha's village trumped this touristic town.

Plus the village was completely fog bound when I woke up. Hence I wouldn't have seen much.

So, I took off in the marshrutka. The beginning of the journey kind of reminded me of riding a mechanical bull. On the marshrutka I met up with one new person from Israel as well as two I'd met in Telavi. It's always interesting how often you can run into familiar faces. We got to visit until the marshrutka got full enough it became impossible.

What very much turned out to be odd is that when I finally arrived in Tbilisi, Lasha's father picked us up in his car and we went out to Lasha's village. The village was back in the general direction from which I had just come. The fact that I spent only a few hours in Tbilisi before getting back on the road again made me happy I had returned as early as I did.



VIDEOS

Road to Sighnaghi

Natias House

Secret and Silent

Great Wall of Where

Castle Tower

Bodbe Monastery

Descent into Pain

Hose Fed Holy Spring

Pilgrims

Return to Sighnaghi

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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