Hitchhiking to Akhaltsikhe, home to Rabati Fortress
The Rabati Fortresss looks over the town of Akhaltsikhe borders Armenia, in the South of Georgia, with a desert-like landscape and small villages dotting the hills.
We hitchhiked here from Batumi as it was on route to Tbilisi, and famous for its hilltop fortress – Rabati Fortress – first built in the 9th century, and occupied both by the Ottomans and the Turks. It is no longer used as a religious site, but has recently been renovated for touristic purposes.
At a first glance, the Rabati Fortress reminded me of the Alhambra in Granada.
The medieval complex was impressive; its stone walls dramatically sprawled over the hills, golden domes glittering in the sun, and decorative Persian gardens.
The best part was the lack of crowds, and that it was completely free to roam. Bits that would have been almost certainly closed off in West Europe, were open and unguarded, meaning I could climb to the top of the towers while taking in the sunset.
The town of Akhaltsikhe wasn’t much to look at. A day spent there was more than enough, so we took advantage of the quiet evening to catch up on some well-deserved sleep before departing to the City of Caves, Vardizia, the next morning.