Georgian Military Road was originally built by Russian soldiers beginning in 1799, work that lasted more than six decades as they widened and improved the 130-mile road.
Built at elevations just under 2,379 meters, this highway was considered a masterpiece of quality in its time, with iron bridges and multiple lanes used both for strategic military and civilian transportation between Russia and Georgia. In World War II, German POWs continued improving the road, adding tunnels to protect it from snow drifts and falling rocks. Today it’s a road for sightseeing,
The Jvari Pass takes its name from a cross placed here by King David the Builder. The present red stone cross was erected by General Yermolov in 1824. The pass stays open for all but a few days most years.
Kazbegi, also known as Stepantsminda, this 1,740 m mountain village is best known for Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity), a 14th-century Georgian Orthodox church perched above the Chkheri River, in the shadow of 15,033 meters Mount Kazbek.
Unfortunately the weather was not photograph friendly. We spent two nights wild camping at Kazbegi before we head for Tbilisi. I found the Georgian Orthodox church depressing, something left over from the dark ages.