To learn more about Georgian history, a short day trip to its old capital—Mtskheta, would educate me. So, I booked a day tour so that a guide could grant me some insights.
Apparently, I was the only person in the tour group and had the tour guide for myself. It took just about 30 minutes by car from Tbilisi. The tour focused on the two main city monuments with the UNESCO World Heritage Site credential: Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. You could see the monastery up there while approaching the site.
It all made sense there, on top of the mount where Jvari Monastery was built and still standing. It’s the strategic vantage point overlooking the city with the confluence of the river Mtkravi and Aragvi. It was an ascending scenery. Moreover, inside the monastery, I sensed the similarly intense energy in Hagia Sofia and Göreme Open Air Museum. Perhaps, it was the Eastern Orthodox historical interconnection in the region. Then we drove downhill to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in the city centre. You could not escape the sight of the monastery on the hill, cementing the relationship between the faith and the city.
With respect to the holy realm, I didn’t take photos of the interiors as was told by the tour guide. Finally, we walked around the market catering to tourists and returned to Tbilisi. Although this trip was like a private tour, I missed the interaction with other visitors who could have different interests and questions. Nonetheless, I understand the country more from it: geographically, historically, and spiritually.