Both Dachi and I were tired out from skiing, so this was a quick tour. What I noticed most was the beauty of the mountains with its reddish glow of the setting sun, the fortress itself and when we entered then church, Dachi blessed himself. I was a bit shocked by this, as my tour guide doesn’t give any indication of being religious, but he comes from a religious family who attend church every Sunday. I asked him if he goes to church every Sunday with his family? He smiled a coy smile saying sometimes…
Speaking of families, Dachi tells me the ‘rule’, though you don’t have to follow it but he likes it because his parents still care for him, is that you live at home until you’re married then when parents are older they live with their children.
View of Greater Caucasus Mountains and Jinvali Lake
Setting sun on Greater Caucasus Mountains and Jinvali Lake
The market in front of the fortress, closing for the evening.
This fortress has been used for many purposes over the centuries and is on the UNESCO Tentative list.
The main church. The dragons and lions are symbols of protection.
The entrance to the church.
Entering the church, even though fully covered in snow pants, I had to wrap a scarf around my waist, remove my hat and cover my head with a head scarf. I was not allowed to take pictures inside the church.
The interior of the church was breathtaking. I felt as if I had stepped back in time with the tombs of kings lining the floors and frescos of religious icons covering the walls. Tourists were sneaking pictures. I couldn’t bring myself to take out my camera.
To give you an idea, I’ve found a picture on the internet of the interior of Ananuri Fortress.
Photo Credit – Trip Advisor
The bell tower is separate from the main church.
Papakha hat time!
The bell towers are where the priests lived.
The priests are buried with the church.
Next stop…..to see the Christmas light of downtown Tbilisi!