"Każda podróż zaczyna się przecież od oczekiwania, od jakiejś wizji tego, co chcemy zobaczyć, co poznać chcemy." Dariusz Czaja, Gdzieś dalej, gdzie indziej

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mestia. In Orchards of Svans

"...I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light..."

 Fern Hill (fragm.), Dylan Thomas

      Getting to the apple town... Well, it took us well over three hours to get to Mestia from Zugdidi by marshrutka. Additionally, it took about two hours for our folksy and taciturn marshrutka driver to depart at all... Never mind. On the sweeter side of the journey, during one of the stops, a fellow passenger, a quiet Georgian man bought some bonbons for all of us in the van... 

   Mestia is situated in a valley surrounded with picturesque slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Somewhere about thousand metres above the borough, almost a two hours trek up (or quicker via alternative road by a SUV) there is a lea on the top of the Cross Peak with a clear panoramic view of eternally frozen Caucasian summits, including the most deadly one: Mount Ushba.

   Mestia has been for centuries a cultural heart of Svaneti Region in Georgia. The land inhabited by Svan people, who speak unwritten Svan language. Some distinctive features of Svan culture are: their traditional poetry that has never been separated from melody, polyphonic folk music and healing lullabies called iavnana. Worth a recall are also artefacts of their material culture. Unique medieval-type villages and tower-houses of the Upper Svaneti region have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1996.

   It all sounds quite pastoral so far. However, guides' authors hint at the Svan territory that "an undertone of wildness hangs over these villages" (Nasmyth, 2010: 141) considering safety of your holidays. Well, "all inclusive" in an Eastern way, I would say. 

   For me, Svaneti is a definite must-visit place and if I ever come back there it would be spring bloom time. I would love to see all the uncountable Mestia apple trees covered with blossoms!

უშბა (Mt Ushba) 4700 მ



Kalandadze-Makharadze Nino, 2010, The Multipart Lyrical Cradle Song in Georgia,
Nasmyth Peter, 2006, Walking in the Caucasus. Georgia, London: Mta Publications
Thomas Dylan, 1946, Fern Hill (from "Deaths and Entrances")
UNESCO Website, The ListUpper Svanetihttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/709

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Morris Dancing in Hastings

      Hastings, 5go maja 2013. Drugi dzień dorocznego majowego festiwalu rozpoczął się o godzinie 10tej w kościele Św. Klemensa. Dźwięki dzwonków, skrzypiec, fujarek i akodreonów rozbrzmiewały na starym mieście przez pięć godzin gorącego niedzielnego dnia. Był to czas popisów ulicznych performerów -  tancerzy Morris.
    Morris dance to najbardziej popularna forma angielskigo tańca ceremonialnego. W Hastings tłum zabawiany był, między innymi, przez grupy: Mad Jack's MorrisHannahs CatSteampunk Morris i Clerical Error.

       Hastings, the 5th of May 2013. The second day of  the annual may festival began at 10 o'clock at Saint Clements Church. Bells, violins, pipes and accordeons had been resounding through The Old Town for five hours of a hot Sunday. It was a time to show off for street entertainers - Morris dancers.
      Morris dance is the most popular form of English ceremonial dance. In Hastings a crowd was amused by Mad Jack's MorrisHannahs CatSteampunk MorrisClerical Error and others.

With many thanks to all the Hastings performers for joyful welcome to spring!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Poland. LDZ

Łódź. Widzew

Łódź. Retkinia

Łódź. Widzew

Łódź. Retkinia

Łódź. Retkinia

Łódź. Retkinia