EIGHTEEN DAYS IN GEORGIA

Prelude

I can still recall my habit of looking up names of strange countries in the school atlas. Steeped in their own history and geography, these countries have been around for centuries. But to me they were just an anonymous dot on the map. I was not even aware of how to get to most of them.

After returning from Amazon of Brazil, I set forth for one such unseen country. To Georgia. Unknown countries always fascinated me. Georgia is not only an ancient land but Georgians are also one of the oldest human races in the world. I also remembered reading that remains of Paleolithic men have been found in the Caucasian region, specially in Georgia.

It is believed that men had settled along the Black Sea coast of Georgia and along the tributaries of the Rioni-Kwirila between 100,000 years and 65,000 years ago. I had a chance to see a few of the pre-historic ruins myself.

Surrounding Georgia on all sides except on the west, is the Caucasus mountain range which also separates this little country from its four neighbours– Russia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Armenia on the south and Turkey on the south-west. With a long, chequered history of wars won and lost, territories ceded and gained, Georgia's cultural heritage is also an interesting

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