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This day we get up early since we're going on a trip to the mountains. Dato once again picks us up with his mini bus. Two of Tamuna's students, Nino & Achiko, joins us today's trip. Yet another Nino shows up to join, a friend of Achi's who knows everything there is to know about the mountain areas. This makes us ten people heading north, out of Tbilisi. Pretty soon we leave the n road where the signs say "Kazbegi" and "Vladikavkaz", and are now on the "Georgian Military Highway". The name highway is a bit misleading, since there isn't much asphalt left om the road, and it's often not wide enough to allow two trucks to pass. Our first stop along is the Anauri church, surrounded by a fortress with high towers. We continue on the narrowing road leading us higher for every kilometer. This is the only open land road between Georgia and Russia, and there are a lot of trucks transporting goods between the two countries. We stop now and then to admire the views or to drink some water from mountainside springs. There are also a roadside "shops" here and there selling various hand made items. After three hours we reach the Jvari Pass at 2380 m above sea level. The water flowing out of the mountain sides have formed interresting orange-brown sculptures due to the Iron- & Calcium rich soil. The water tastes a bit bitter but is carbonated and ready to drink! It is said to be good for stomach problems. A while later, after decending into the Tergi valley, Dato has to navigate through a sea of sheep before we can continue towards Kazbegi. Four hours after leaving Tbilisi we finally arrive to the mountain village Kazbegi, the main settlement in this area. Achi walks around asking for some kind of restaurant and finds one able of serving Khinkali, a Georgian speciality. The chef asks us to be back in forty minutes and he'll have a meal ready for us. The border between Georgia and Russia is only ten kilometers further on the Geo Mil Hwy so we decide to check it out. We learn that it's forbidden to take photos of the border area, but a friendly guard takes Sande & HJ behind a house, and lets them take some of him :-) On the other side of the border line lies the Russian republic Ingushetia, neighbouring the troublesome Chechnya. Back at the restaurant we eat as many Khinkalis as we can. They taste delicous with some black pepper. With our stomachs filled, we start the 40 minute walk up to the church Tsminda Samebo, lying on a hill 500 m above the village. Behind the hill, the 5047 m mount Kazbek streches towards the sky. The ladies don't feel like walking, so they make Dato run his Mercedez bus up the steep dirt track. The walkers soon get company, as a playful dog decides to join us. A lady from the village shows us the way up, through orchid filled meadows and steep narrow paths. After an exhausing climb we approach the church. Everywhere one turns, there are truly stunning views. Deep-green valleys, rippling mountain streams and snow capped mountains. We stay by the church for an hour, enjoying life, before we start the decent. Now, everyone wants to ride with the bus. Dato's experience and skills take us down alive, but at some points we all though the bus were going to fall over... Safely down, we start the long trip back towards Tbilisi, stopping only for a short swim in the Zhinvali reservoir. At sunset we reach Tbilisi and take a detour to a wine shop before falling asleep in our hotel room.