The first trip of the tourist project White-Rex – ” Vandals” outside our country ended successfully. The period of over 10 days turned out to be the most lasting and wide – scaled. Since the first days of the new year we have discovered new horizons of the mysterious country of ” Golden Fleece”,learning traditions, customs,history of this beautiful and picturesque country. They say, you will spend the new year in the way you see it in. “Vandals” made the first step towards amazing year, full of new adventures, impressions, friends and endless fun.
Apsniy( Abkhazia),one of the disputable territories of post- soviet space spreads along the northern -eastern coast of the Black sea. This country represents a contrast between magnificent nature and towns battered by the war,with ruined infrastructure. We sacrifice our winter holidays to the”God of Travels” and start off to the “Country of Soul” through Rostov and Adler.
After crossing the border we see the atmosphere of timelessness and destruction,replacing accurate Olympic landscape. Just a lonely thin cow is seeing us off and there is nobody around except one public taxi ” Sochi -‘Sukhumi” on the opposite side. The road lodges through the jungle demonstrating half destroyed buildings,and finally it leads us to the famous Colonnade in Gagra. A guy is walking with a lion along the beach. ” don’t take photos of the lion,it’s not for free. ” Thanks for warning, friend!
We are heading to Sukhumi,but on our way pass through Pitsunda – a relict forest at the sea. Suddenly a man with a louble-barreled gun is crossing the road,that is typical for local fauna representatives. We continue our trip to Sukhumi after walking along the lonely beach and breathing pine air.
The railway building attracts our attention at the entrance to the town. One aborigen told us ,the building had been destroyed during the war and was not reconstructed afterwards. it is a typical picture,as nobody likes and wants to build anything in Abkhazia.
Late in the evening we got to the lodging,where a woman, Oksana by name,met us. She comes from Perm but several years ago moved to the ” Soul country” and became the second wife of Asik,a local man. His greatheartedness of having two wives is probably dictated by the law of improving demographical situation. Local vodka ( Chacha) can be called his third wife,so he failed with demography. We should mention,you will insult hospitable locals if you refuse to drink Chacha,so “Vandals” always had a bottle of water to replace it. Hospitality is a typical feature of Abkhazia,and the tourists are offered same dishes at the agreed price.with some extra cash the traditional range can be changed.
Finally ” Vandals” go on their first excursion in the snow white “Mercedes” public taxi. An active guide who named himself after Greek god Dionissiy jumped into the car. He was really patriotic and told us that Abkhaz people had set a flag over Reichstag, flown to the space, made incredible discoveries and resisted invaders wishing to occupy their Motherland.
New Athos became our first sight. We visited ruines of a power station, the new Athos monastery and a large cave with its own railway. The landscape from the mountain height seemed to descend from the Greek painter canvas. That place was inherited by different peoples and generations, passing the tracks of different epochs and cultures,besides being a strategic height – a real tasty. Empires recovered and ruined, but nature remained the same as it has its own time vision, like a stalagmite in the new Athos cave growing up just a few centimetres within a thousand years.
A high mountain lake Rizza,the perl of Abkhazia,became the next point in our route. We saw other sites on our way: Abakhvazza fortress, built in the11 century, “Girls tears” waterfall, Blue lake with a gigantic unstudied cave,70 m deep. We are going up to the mountains, passing by the edge “Good bye, motherland”(according to one amazing legend those words were shouted by the drivers,serving Stalin’s cottage,who fell down into the gap. The temperature drops and there is snow everywhere, and finally there was a lake,enormous, great, surrounded by forest hills and with green- blue water in every season the lake has its own unique tone and we were lucky to see the best one.