(ENG) Caucasus: travel documentary (from Baku to the Black Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia)

The Caucasus is an interesting region suspended between Europe and Asia. It is at the crossroad of the two continents and has a compelling blend of East and West. The 3 republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia have a lot in common, despite each proudly retaining their unique features

 

We visited Tbilisi for the first time in Spring 2017 and we soon fell in love. So we decided to come back with a proper adventure. We started off in Baku, a cosmopolitan city whose recent history is intrinsically linked to the oil industry. Thousand of oil drilling machines are scattered in the Absheron peninsula, despite as of today, the main extraction comes from the platforms on the Caspian Sea. Baku urban pattern is a core historical center resembling an old Persian town of the Silk Road. Around this, there is the European city, built in the late 1800 and inspired to Western Europe. And then there is the modern city where old Soviet blocks are being teared down and replaced by futuristic constructions

 

From Baku, we took the train to Tbilisi, Georgia. Having visited the city the previous year, we decided not to stay in the city center but go alternative and sleep in a hipster hotel built in an old sewing factory. From Tbilisi, we spent a day in the Kakheti region, famous for its wines

 

We crossed the border to Armenia with a car. The road immediately turned to be more difficult as we followed the route across the Dabed canyon. We chose this way to visit to monasteries, Haghpath and Sahin, of an incredible beauty. It was a touching experience as we were the only visitors

 

In Yerevan we had the opportunity to meet Naregh, on old schoolmate of Valentina, who decided to move to Armenia about a year ago. We spent a day with him and he told us about the recent Velvet Revolution and what to expect in Armenia. On the same day, we met with Yun and Nonno, who will be travelling with us for about a week

 

Armenia has two incredible assets to offer to visitors: beautiful UNESCO monasteries and amazing landscapes. But it is not only that. Yerevan, which at first sight seemed quite uninspiring, turned to be an extremely lively city after dusk and at night, when it seemed that the entire Armenia was walking on the streets and enjoying the warm Summer nights

 

Squeezed between the mountains, a travel to Armenia is an adventure through old traditions and amazing scenarios. Armenians was the first to convert to Christianity, even before Rome. In this documentary, we arrive in Armenia from Tbilisi. We use Yerevan as a base to explore amazing valleys and remote monasteries

 

In one of the visit to the monasteries, we met Giorgio, a student from Italy with Georgian origins. He is fond of Caucasian architecture, and was impressive to hear from him the various features and characteristics of the Armenian monastery. We gave him a ride with the car and visited a few places with him

 

Crossing the border with Georgia was necessary to complete our coast-to-coast. We stopped in Vardzia, an ancient cave city and visited the fortress of Khertvisi. Both placed in an incredible canyon. Breathtaking 

 

The next stop was Batumi, on the Black sea. A sort of Soviet version of Atlantic City, Batumi was not our cup of tea. We much preferred the city of Kutaisi, where we enjoyed the local market, the cathedral and the nearby monasteries of Gelati and Motsameta 

 

In Kutaisi we left Nonno and Yun. They head north to visit the remote region of Svaneti. We had to go back, but before reaching Tbilisi, we stopped in Gori, the hometown of Josef Stalin, and Uplistikhe, another cave city near Gori

 

DIRECTED

Valentina Vitali

Guglielmo Biason

http://www.travelvideographers.com

 

MUSIC

Valor by Bryant Lowry

The Inside Job by Hawksilver

Sun and the Moon (remix) by Falls

Race by Oboy

Long Road to Infinity by Mikki Aglaganov

Coming Back by Hawksilver

Like an Angel by Strenght to Last

Far from Home by Stephen Keech

Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle

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