There was a monastery on a hill overlooking Mtskheta. It was called Jvari, and I had seen it before, first on the map and then with my own eyes when I reached Mtskheta.
So today I took a taxi up the hill to check it out:
The view was like something out of an Austrian tourist information brochure:
And the Jvari Church (the monastery was actually somewhere else) was pretty impressive, too:
There was only one old monk selling candles in the back of the church, unseen and unheard, with the wind brushing past the walls from outside:
I stayed for a few hours, watching the church getting pounded by the elements:
Then I went back to the old town and straight to… yet another church:
This one was called Svetitskhoveli, and it had been the biggest church in all of Georgia up until the completion of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi a few years earlier.
Also, it was supposed to house the robe that Jesus had been wearing at the time of his crucifixion.
I didn’t go in, though. Instead I stayed outside and looked at the fortifications around the cathedral:
The Jvari Church was visible from down there:
Then I took a little walk around Mtskheta. The whole place seemed to be asleep:
I decided to take a time-lapse in a quiet alley:
And before I knew it these two showed up:
They didn’t even ask if I needed their assistance or not. They just stayed with me and helped out.