18 October, 2016 seen 1,876In fact I had to open a Wikipedia to learn the name of this place, as I mistakenly thought this is just some cool viewing platform located high in the Caucasus mountains, built by Soviets. Turns out it's not only built by Soviets, but…
I've been traveling to Kazbegi and the region several times, but just recently I started discovering other cool places like Juta or Truso valley.
It was at the end of July 2021 we just returned from Latvia, when an ex-pat German friend offered to take an easy weekend trip to Kazbegi together. As we had done the Vashlovani trip together a few weeks earlier I agreed. We installed our baby's child seat in his Nissan Xtra SUV car and the trip begun.
We left at 9 AM from Tbilisi, and our first stop was in Gudauri, we hoped to find a working cable car and maybe take a ride, but they were not working on that July day. Next stop Russia-Georgia Friendship monument. Made a few awesome Facebook photos here.
Next, we are moving towards Kobi, and we had an idea maybe to take a cable car ride and have our picnic somewhere in the hills. We learned that the ride in a cable car is about GEL 30 (round trip) to the highest peak (but there are several other options). Anyhow we decided head better to Truso valley this time and have our picnic there and maybe take a cable car on our way back or in the other day (after all, we didn't take it)
From here starts our offroad, with very very spectacular scenes, gorges, waterfalls, meadows, the smell of sulfur. Finally, we reach our destination along the Terek river and I can see a hot pool. I take out a drone, make some nice videos and photos
From here we move to the town of Stepatsminda (Kazbegi) and book online a guest house, I was using Booking.com and booked just the cheapest available one, it has a price of about EUR 14, per room. The hotel was located on Vazha Pshavela street 52 and had all the basic necessities. Good for a one-night stay. Paid GEL 125 for two separate rooms.
After checking in at the guest house, I invite everyone to go to the city and have some coffee. We chose Hotel Stancia restaurant with a great view towards Gergeti church. Our bil here GEL 125, for a few Americanos with milk, pasta carbonara, some chicken barbecue e.t.c
It's agreed to head towards Darial gorge, near the border of Russia. We actually reach it, but mistakenly thought that the Terek Valley viewpoint was already in the Darial Gorge (turns out it is not).
Last but not least we head for some additional offroad driving just to reach Gveleti waterwalls just shortly before it starts raining. Now we head back to the hotel, but before that order for takeaway some grilled meat and salads at another awesome Kazbegi restaurant (and again bill is GEL 125) and have a nice evening at our small guesthouse on Vazha Pshavela.
The next morning it lightly rains and the Gergeti church is fully covered in clouds, we still decide to drive up, but there comes another obstacle, turns out there have been some landslide and the main road is closed, local point to some offroad road and say - offroad. Ralph is happy for taking another offroad and we go up the offroad. At the church, it rains, but we still managed to take a few awesome photos and drone footage and now we return back to Tbilisi.
Just shortly before Tbilisi, we stop at one of our favorite restaurants - Chashnagiri Natakhtari and again spend here GEL 125.
See some of the best moments from this trip in this short video