Monastery Tour Impressions, June 2006
My trip to Georgia was a remarkable experience. Of all the beautiful sites and experiences we enjoyed, the most spectacular was an overnight trip to the town of Kazbegi. The stark beauty of the countryside and the amazing mountain vista were visible as we drove to the town.
Nothing, however, compared with the walk to the monastery, the awesome spirituality of the monks, or the overwhelming beauty that we encountered the next day in the Dariel Gorge.
I have visited many places in my life, but these two days stand out for me as two of the most beautiful and moving days of all my travels. I have never encountered spirituality as palpably as I did in this isolated monastery with these humble monks as dusk gathered around the mountain on which we stood. And of the wildernesses I have visited, from the Grand Canyon and Yosemite to the deserts of Cappadocia, never have I been so struck by the power of nature and its ability to create a place so remarkable that I have found no way to describe nor seen any picture that can capture its beauty, its ferociousness, or its awe-inspiring heights.
Georgia has many things to offer - beauty, music, food and wine - but the
most spectacular and unique of all its gifts lies in the peaks and valleys
of the Caucasus.
Alexandra Lucs is a biologist in New York City, and a member of the choir at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection in New York City. She came on the 2006 Monastery Tour with her husband David Lucs.