Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rustavi: Rustavi Kalakhoba, Part 2: Pork and Ruins

Rustavi, Georgia

After being herded away from the Metallurgical Factory, Sandy and I walked by the adjacent, crumbling hospital that used to serve factory workers, then through some residential neighborhoods, to Old Rustavi's Youth Park.

Youth Park is a huge park that lies on Rustavi's edge. There's a man-made lake and the River Mtkvari runs by. The skeletal remains of a zoo, amusement park, and a theater tell a story of the park's grand past.

Rustavi, Georgia
We headed to the Arishi Fortress via a path through the woods. We spoke loudly along the way to alert frolicking couples wildlife that might otherwise be startled by our sudden appearance near their rutting grounds habitats. We saw many of these furtive shy woodland creatures.

Rustavi, Georgia
Presently we arrived at the ruins, which date circa 1050, give or take 600 years. To tell the truth, they're rather unprepossessing, but when viewed alongside the lake, with a view of the foothills on the left and the river up ahead and the trees on the right-side walkway ... everything together looks striking.

Someday the smug folks in Tbilisi and the apologetic Rustavians are going to wake up to Rustavi's latent beauty, even now undergoing a quiet, steady restoration to a city of note.

That night, we selected one of the svardi booths at the festival to have our dinner. Svardi is meat skewered and barbecued on a wood fire.

Our host:

Rustavi, Georgia


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