Buying vans from Russia and importing them into Georgia is always a tiresome combination of long waits at border crossings and seemingly endless amounts of paperwork. At the same time though it’s a great road trip through the ever-changing landscapes of Georgia.
The drive really gets interesting as you approach Vladikavkaz, the last city in Russia before the Georgian border, when the Caucasus mountains begin to loom up ahead of you, like a wall of jagged white teeth cutting off the horizon. After Vladikavkaz the Georgian Military highway begins, winding through the Darial gorge where you cross at the Lars border, amidst towering snow-covered peaks.
Coming down from the border the country opens up in front of you, with spectacular views taking your breath away at every turn. On the way down the mountains to Tbilisi you pass by quaint little towns like Stepantsminda with its famous Gergeti church, Gudauri village with its world-class ski resorts and slopes, Pasanauri (one of the birthplaces of Khinkali), eventually arriving at Tbilisi; where we base ourselves.
It’s a long drive, but it hardly feels like it when you’re in awe of your surroundings so much of the time!
Next time, we definitely have to make more of a trip out of it and do it at a slower pace!
Music credits: Endless Motion from Bensound.com