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We have mountains, you know, the mountain!
You are in a zoo was?

They saw a camel, the camel?

(from "Mimino")

Gudauri, March 2016. Vasiliy Kovalenko
Just stepping over the threshold of the plane to Georgia, I remembered my uncle told me about the students and their practice in this country. And one of the most exciting and heavy memories he has left from holidays in Georgia - is to pass as ochnёshsya only a week, and then, if you're lucky.
Country of Mystery
As you can imagine the country, if you go into it for the first time?

Thoughts swirling around sultry meadows, and the roller tarahtyaschy helicopter returned with the Dutch chickens on board. First, only the kind film George Danelia helps me to describe the picture that awaits me. Then his father and uncle memories Soviet hiking, tents, kayaks. Canvas jacket, fire and songs with a guitar. Leisurely walk in the mountains with a sketchbook, warm talk about life with the elderly in every village, and the smell of oil paints that carry light mountain wind down.

But it's summer, and a completely different life, and what to do if you are a snowboarder?

You buy a ticket, being late pakuesh board and in case you run down the stairs, discussing with border guards on the control of public places to ride better.

When in doubt or not, you have to come and try everything himself, with his own hands and eyes.

One of the main reasons, why is to come here to surf snowy expanses - the vast breadth of view before his eyes when nesёshsya down like a bird, and the clouds in front of you at the bottom, like a snow-white sea lapping on the rocks protruding peaks. Of course, there are many competitors with such kinds of strange and obscure places - Karakol tightening to eternity views Pamir Chimbulak like snow oasis in the burning steppes of Kazakhstan, Zach-supervised at all here next to the fortified aroma of oak Armenian cognac barrels, but still, those sweet words of friendship, hospitality, sweet wine and hot khachapuri bribe, is not it?
mountain nature sky nature Gudauri Georgia ski lift
Snowboarders soul
Better mountains can only be MOUNTAINS
I wake up, as always, seven alarm clock. Around the small cozy room apartments. The first sliding eye always at the window: hope or sun-drenched view of crashing into the blue stone ridges around the valley, with the thoughts of the highlights on the billions of snowflakes underfoot, or read mantras in hopes beg mountain snow deity as more snow is possible that used his plow up in front of him with splashes and dust in all directions, passing through untouched virgin. Whatever you enjoy everything.

Legs filled with lead, every step is not too easy, because we are without a break Kata for several days until it stops. Stingy monastery breakfast of oatmeal and nuts like here on the best and most appropriate treat for easy morning ride. He lost in the everyday life the excitement rise every morning, because you'll get the slope, fun, snow and bluish silence netoptanyh distant slopes. After all, remember, as a child, get up quickly, no breakfast - the courtyard to friends. And then the work, home, work, and somehow already difficult without enthusiasm. But here he is again waiting for you in heavy boots, with shiny board, reflecting in the sparkling snow bubble visor mask.

Not yet nine, but the easiest route: the room, the key is to shut the door, elevator, door creaks locker with equipment, 100 meters from the door, and now in the fog and snow waiting for the closed lift, when the iron lift in the heavens work. Couple minutes and a sense of superiority to the first rays of the sun seize you: because you're one of the first to see the sun today, there- top of the gondola, until everything just wake up downstairs in the warm cozy rooms and brotherhood like penguins trudge to the lifts. And then, a moment of pleasure, of leisurely and viscous, when you know that no one sees, no one and nowhere to hurry, there is an opportunity to get the most out of every second. Empty highway, ice comb from the snowcat is not touched, and in front of darkened slopes and all this kind around - yours as well as the first track, which will remain on the slope today.
You know what is good to come in March? The ideal amount of snow and people. On tracks available in the morning, in the opening lines, you can consider yourself a pioneer and drive without regard for what you are waiting for the pass unlucky skier or snowboarder, crouched in the middle of the slope to rest. We have to slow down because of the irrepressible breakneck speed, which quietly plucked up and carried you on otratrachennomu slope at night, slightly icy from the morning sun. No queues at the lifts, just freshly baked khachapuri and general relaxed state at the resort. Here everything is quite convenient, though a place started to develop only recently - a new European type of area right in the middle of the slope, accommodation to 100 meters from the gondola, where there is a snack and relax during the lunch break between the "out of the classroom the track on the right top of" and "see there Pukhlyak no one has tried. " Mountain Spirit will bring a gift - and a couple of days will bring down the most delicate light snow, you go - nothing can be seen in the 30 meters, but the feeling of movement are worth. It is true that in anticipation of the summer is necessary to take as much snow and cold as possible, otherwise the winter will soon be over.
Panorama of the valley and the descent from the mountain Sadzele.
FRIENDS, hospitality and good old FALCON
It takes only a few days, and the main map of Georgia opens in front of you. Do not have time to arrive, you are greeted like an old friend. He returned from the slopes, closed lifts and more are not allowed - you take to a birthday celebration: sweet homemade wine and the complexity of the choices are endless dishes with beans, nuts and cheeses, endless talk about the mountains, skiing and casual acquaintances in common, running around under the tables, children and all those people that you see for the first time, but which is so easy and simple. Tomorrow you'll know know instructors on the slope, which every time the experience and are interested in your success today, that tried, whether by Pukhlyak rolled down from the top of Sadzele, looked at whether the shining surface of the right side of the web of trails. You laugh and surprised when you find out that the blond ski instructor and Alex - Aleko, which is equally without accent says both Russian and Georgian. On the morning of the mountain, and in the evening - guests. Little Hostel "Sokol" (in Georgian: "Mimino") with the cheerful company of new friends, travel and extremists, violent discussions trips, paragliding and of course the wine, which is in excess. So try chacha tasty flavored with fish, but it is necessary to know the measure, no training is not easy.
Panorama resort with top of the mountain Sadzele.
The way back
In no place like HOME TIME
In such places, time passes very differently: just arrived and it is time to leave. We stayed a little longer, and once it is clear that this is not enough, what would have time to try everything, meet everyone and roll all runs, untouched slopes. Gudauri is becoming the place that as a second home. It always nice to come back and know that you are waiting here. And when he left home for a long time in the eyes is the radiance of snow underfoot, long endless lines of fresh tracks, leaving down the hill, the distant blue line ragged ridges of the neighboring mountains and this fresh mountain morning.

Be sure to look around. If your road goes to the airport in Tbilisi, the leaving of Gudauri you strive through the winding roads and serpentine mountain gorge with very beautiful views. Neat old roof with reddish tiles in small villages and endless flowering fruit trees - in the spring of satellites already warm valley. Leisurely strolling along the old road, flock of sheep and lambs lush flash outside the window. Even closer to Tbilisi route will take place on the shore of the reservoir with the usual mountain lakes bright emerald color, sunny weather you should definitely stop and take a moment and contemplate the water surface of the dam mast, framing the lake.

If you, like me, the first time in Georgia, then a trip to the mountains is a great way to get acquainted with the snowy part of the country. Although the resort is young and not quite big, but the people and types of snow will make your days spent here pleasant, and I hope the result will be a strong mind and a desire to return, for example, in the summer. But that's another story.
I'll tell you one smart thing, only you will not be offended.
You may be surprised, but it's true, especially if you are coming for the first time in the winter in the mountains: be sure to bring your sunscreen with the highest index. The discharged mountain air, bouncing off the crystal white snow, the sun leaves a powerful tan in an hour. For a couple of days skiing without adequate protection can cause burns and it will be necessary to try the wonderful local dairy products on the face. Balaclava and mask also helps if you completely close the face. All our family completely burned and Gudauri left on us an amusing bright red sunburn on a contour mask on the face.
Relax - all Georgian wine is impossible to drink. If it possible you should try homemade wine aged in clay jars. The appetizer included an incredible number of dishes from beans, nuts and cheese. All is very tasty, with colorful spices and herbs. About meat and fish i will say - you have to try everything.
One of the main features in Georgia is its hospitality. Communicate, meet, share your contacts, and go on a visit to all. All people are very interesting, each lot of their incredible stories and really all great pleasure to receive you at his desk as a dear guest.
you can find a lot of variants to any request and features: from simple and democratic hostels and guest-houses, to apartments and hotels. I love to go out this morning directly on the slope, so I recommend you to pay attention to the apartaments in New Gudauri. There are all you need: grocery shop, cafes and restaurants, spa complex on the ground floor of one of the buildings. Rental, repair and instructor, everything is in one point to the incredible proximity to ski lifts, gondola.
What and where to do
Of course, all day ride in the morning before closing. Freshen up, relax, and in the evening you can, and walk / taxi to Khrekov restaurant, which is located just below the village. Whoever had been in Gudauri, be sure to recommend this place, really tasty with good-natured hostess. For particularly tired is a small complex of baths, that is all on the same main road between the upper and lower part of Gudauri. If not satisfied with the range of a small store, in the center there is a supermarket with more affordable prices, in front of him the way a good shop with a large selection of cheeses and churchkhelas.
View from the top of the mountain Sadzele. In the clouds in front lies the highest point of the area - Mount Kazbek.
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Mountain pass