Monday, March 21, 2016

Zadzaria Monastery, Abustamani Barbecue, and the Observatory

Milton Bear looking at a telescope at the Jupiter and three of its moons.
After teaching, we visited Zadzaria Monastery and then the resort town of Abastumani. This place was awesome. It reminded me of being at Yellowstone or the Grand Teton's National Parks. The mountains were high, the air fresh, and it just had a very nice feeling to it. We hiked around a bit and then went into a bath house. That had hot natural spring water fed into from the ground. We explored the Romanov's abandon bath house. The Romanov's were Russian's last monarch It would make the perfect setting for a scary movie.

Zadzaria Monastery

Bones of dead monks.
A waterfall at Abustamani
Abandon Romanov Bath House
Wild horses. It was fun to see them run.

We then ate barbecue, which was fun. We fortunate enough that they just let us eat inside the cafeteria that featured a statue of Stalin. This was a very nice meal between the four of us, Lela, Amiran, Wendy, and myself. We toasted to friendship, to families, to the children, and to good relations between our countries. 

BBQ. Making pig and Kachapuri - For the first time in over 20 years I at meat. I ate it so that I could have the full experience. I also know that pigs are raised in humane conditions at someone's house. The pig was marinated in homemade wine.

Our most excellent guide Amiran.
Stalin overseeing our meal. 
We ended the day visiting the Abustamani Observatory. We met R. Natsvlishvili. He is an astronomer that has founded planets, stars, and 107 flare stars. This was a very cool place. We got to look at the moon and Jupiter and three of its moons. I was thrilled to talk astronomy with him through our interpreter.

The telescope looking out at the moon.


  1. With the statue of Stalin in the cafeteria, are there a lot of remnants of the Soviet Union in the country? What types of food were on the barbeque? Have you had anything yet that our students would consider strange?

    1. There are remnants, such as army bases, etc. But for the most part it seems that they are trying to distance themselves from the Soviets. They are very interested in joining the EU. Many of the tourist places have the EU flag. I have not eaten anything too strange. The foods are made up of a lot of cheese, bread, beans, and meat. The food is very filling. What I find most strange is the amount of food they eat. I cannot eat as much as they do.