Last weekend, I was able to take a day trip to Uplistsikhe, cave city near the city Gori. Uplistsikhe, is an ancient town which played a significant role in Georgian History for over 3,000 years. Between the 6th century BC and 11th century AD, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political, religious, and cultural centers of pre-Christian Kartli (name for that part of Georgia back then), It was ravaged by the Mongols in the 13th century. It was a major city situated on the silk from India and China to the Byzantine Empire.
Gori is the city where Joseph Stalin grew up and it is said that in his youth, he and his friends would spend the day at the caves.
After a short marshrutka drive out of the city, we were dropped off at the edge of a village. After that, one had to walk the rest of the way (unless you had a private vehicle). It was a beautiful fall day and landscape was amazing. It reminded me of Arizona, or some of the topography from the western United States. The walk was pleasantly short.
I really enjoyed this site. The city was perched up on a cliff over looking a river. One can only imagine how beautiful this city must have been in its day.
Oh, when leaving the cave city, you have to go down rock tunnel. It’s dark and creepy and cool. But it also has bats! A real bat cave!!
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.
Ozymandias, Percy Shelley