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By hrsimages
Ushguli is a remote mountain settlement of some 200 people lying at an altitude of almost 7,000 ft in the Caucasus mountains in Georgia. It claims to be the highest continuously occupied settlement in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ushguli is reached from the administrative capital of Svaneti, Mestia by taking a mainly single track mountain road which winds its way 50 km into the mountains until until you can see Georgia’s highest mountain Shkhara at 17,000 ft.
Wandering among the four small villages that make up Ushguli you get the impression that life has not changed very much over the centuries. Wooden sleds are still used to cart away animal dung and cow herders can be seen moving their animals over a snowy landscape. In reality, however, life here has changed quite a lot for the better in recent times.
Before mechanised snow clearing, Ushguli was frequently cut off during the winter for months at a time. Fortunately, that is now a thing of the past and has guaranteed a future for the settlement, but even now it is never 100% certain you can reach the place in winter. We were lucky to have settled weather to make a day trip there in a 4WD vehicle.
We learned another hazard of living here (particularly if you were a woman or young child) was the cruel local practice of ‘bride kidnapping’ enshrined until only quite recently in Svaneti law. We were shown this rather poignant ‘ethnographic’ short film by a local filmmaker based on stories as recounted by her grandmother. This certainly dispelled any illusions about what living in a place like this must have been like even 40-50 years ago.

Tags: Cultures Georgia Landscape and travel Local history UNESCO world heritage site 2019 Caucasus mountains Svaneti Ushguli

Voters: AlfieK, NDODS, mike9005 and 32 more

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cats_123 Plus
17 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
20 Feb 2019 8:17AM
Thanks for bringing this beautiful part of the world to us 😁
viscostatic 14 50 10 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2019 8:27AM
Beautiful images. Thank you too for the link and the fascinating information. We often don't realise that change can be a good thing in some remote places. It may be good to preserve the landscape and some local customs, but not all.

20 Feb 2019 8:42AM
Great shot, Howard - and very interesting commentary on a beautiful part of the world, its customs and how these are changing. Peter
20 Feb 2019 12:05PM
A beautiful winter scene.
20 Feb 2019 1:18PM
Beautiful and interesting set
adagio Plus
2 3 2 England
20 Feb 2019 2:00PM
Beautiful scenes with the bright blue sky adding some warmth to the images. Brrrr, it looks so cold!!!GrinGrin
richmowil Plus
12 446 2 England
20 Feb 2019 7:07PM

Quote:Thanks for bringing this beautiful part of the world to us 😁

I agree with this sentiment Howard! Super images of a beautiful place abut a hard life for those that live there.
20 Feb 2019 9:17PM
Gorgeous images Howard. Pam
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2215 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2019 9:51PM
A beautiful image, and I got completely engrossed in the video.
KingArthur 14 8 Malta
21 Feb 2019 10:22PM
Wonderful set of images Howard, looks pretty cold but rather beautiful too.

Joe Smile

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