Kazbegi

Mount Kazbegi lies on the border of Russia and the far northern border. It is a really popular backpacker’s city, so expect tons of tourists and backpackers. The main attraction is the Holy Trinity Church seen during the morning, but around the afternoon to night, the mist comes in. The temperatures can get pretty low, even in the summer. Make sure to come well equipped with cold gear.

We stayed at the Nazi Guesthouse which had delicious breakfast, for a charge. The trail for the Holy Trinity Church goes pretty far up, but you can also take a bus/shuttle/taxi up. The hike isn’t anything spectacular and is much longer than advertised. Try keep going up, regardless of road. If you see stairs go up, otherwise it gets confusing. It offers pretty awesome views on the way up.

Once at the church, there is an additional trail but don’t go on the “easy” looking one of the left. LP recommends it, but it doesn’t seem to go up, rather abruptly ends. We learned that the hard way. The trail goes on for a couple of hours, leading through spectacular views and the upper cliff of a mountain. The temperatures will continue to drop faster. Hiking sticks would be nice and the trail is pretty strenuous. Also there is no place with water so bring plenty.

You will reach a cross on top of stones and can potentially see the glacier, but you should continue down the trail for a better view. To reach the actual glacier requires crossing a fast moving river. We were unable to do this, although some made it across with proper equipment or horses. Some followed the river down and succeeded in crossing. If you make it across the river you can camp there or make it to the glacier. At that point you can walk on the glacier. Athletic people can make it to the glacier and back within the same day.

There are some restaurants for “victory” dinners in the town. It is better just to search, prices are likely high as they cater to the thriving tourist industry. Marschrutkas leave every hour, make a reservation a day in advance or you could be stranded.

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