Rural areas of South Caucasus nurture a sense of exquisite wildness. Rural areas are crisscrossed by sheep, goat or cattle flocks. Mounted on a horse or a mule, the shepherd guides and monitors the movements, seconded by one or several dogs.
Rural areas in South Caucasus percolates also a flavor of timelessness. Rural areas look out of time, moderately busy but busy enough with their herding or farming activities. Still connected with other contemporary realities, they rather live their way at their own pace.
Many rural families rely much on agricultural activities for their living, complemented by herding or menial activities. Logging feeds usually not only the kitchen oven but also the heating system.
South Caucasus region exhales its rural charm even somehow in urban settlements. City-dwellers are anyway all strongly connected to the countryside, through relatives, properties and heart. The towns are rather quiet by international standards. No hectic vibes shake local life; instead, warm relationships as well as a strong sense of social solidarity lighten everyday’s life.
Local people cultivate traditionally strong social values. Family life shape the local social organization. Even abroad, they remain strongly attached to their relatives, their culture and their land. Today’s telecommunication technologies help also narrowing the distances.
Religious practice is still very much alive. The area counts countless religious buildings, be they ancient monasteries, churches or mosques. Those pieces of religious architecture are not only precious testimonies of the past, but also still visited and used. Inside, the old walls distill delicate ambiances fed by scarce light.
Leisure is not an empty word in South Caucasus. Hiking the countryside represents very popular across ages and genders. I spent my best moments of my stay hiking with local friends.
People in South Caucasus are quite hedonist when it comes to food and drinks. They love eating and love eating very generously. They serve visitors with food very generously as well. Local food is tasty, healthy albeit at times heavy. I will miss it for sure.
I also miss a special and lovely pub somewhere in South Caucasus — its very original decorum, the people met and the quality time spent there.