I was in a bookstore flipping through a photo book of Georgia looking for last minute purchases before leaving Georgia when I saw a picture of an amazing looking fortress perched on a mountainside.
I decided then and there that this place would be my last destination.
I got home and researched online where it was. Good news and bad news. Good news was it was really close. It was in the next region over. But the bad news was it was also in one of the occupied territories of Georgia; occupied by the Russians. Oh well, you win some you lose some.
I spoke to Zura about it and he said, “Oh yeah, Ksani. I was there yesterday.” What!?! Come to find out, Ksani is not as close to, i.e., into south Ossetia as previously indicated. Anyway, Zura said we could take a trip to see his summer home one more time and then go see this fortress.
Ksani is halfway between Tbilisi and Gori right off the main highway. Zura wasn’t exactly sure how to get there, so we meandered a bit. We got pretty close when Zura got a phone call. I told him to pull over so I could get some pictures. He did.
At this very spot was a sheepherder with him flock. Zura asked him how to get to the fortress and the man pointed to the dirt road immediately behind him. But he advised that we could only drive halfway, the other part of the road was washed out.
He asked if I was Indian… Whatever.
He also told Zura that the fortress was nicknamed (roughly translated) “suck my dick”. Named so because even though conquerors laid siege to the fortress, there was a secret tunnel out of the mountain to the local river where they could fish and therefore feed the besieged population. This emboldened them to taunt them with the yells aforementioned.
Sure enough we have to walk the rest of the way. It was steep and dirty enough for me to wish I wore my boots. Without serious investment, roads have no chance here.
It was good to have Zura with me on this trip, too. He is a good guy. He always tells me he wants to travel and camp more often, but because Mari is pregnant, he doesn’t have the opportunity.
We finally get to the top and it’s a beautiful site! I wish the weather were clearer, because the view would have been breathtaking. I highly advise anyone else to hike there and camp in the fortress probably during summer or fall. It reminds me of Weathertop in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings- Fellowship of the Ring.