From Batumi to Akhaltsike after 7 hours of travelling by minibus, from there to
Vardzia, amid breathtaking gorges, by another minibus, in one hour and half
of reckless driving. But it was worth it.
I stayed in a “hotel” in front of the monastery, wooden walls, garden and bathroom sink-hole in the wood behind the garden. 6 euros per night, rustic style.
There were Dutch husband and wife, and a family consisting of father, a nice German, a Swedish mother and child. But the highlight was Lazare, an Orthodox Monk who lives in the monastery: long beard as is traditional, blue eyes and a bit of belly due to beer and vodka. A myth.
About Vodka: they were preparing a gallon in the garden, and promptly offered me two glasses. After one of wine.