Monastery standing over the sea in New Athos visible from afar, newly covered with gilded domes shine against the backdrop of mountains and blue sky, walking steeply towards it is high, but shady and this is pleasant.
The main temple has been completely restored from the outside, restoration work is being done inside without bothering it, the monks are busy with the housekeeping.
Chief saint, patron of the monastery of St.. Panteleimon, thrown to the lions by his tormentors, stares intently from Greek and Russian icons, and next to him is a lion with a sad human face.
Stay in the temple a little longer — half-destroyed murals on high ceilings in two minutes can not make out.
Leaving, be sure to go down to the church shop in the semi-basement: in addition to the standard set — printed on plastic faces of saints, candles and prayer books — you are waiting for icons drawn by monks on old boards found on the territory of the monastery.
Station New Athos — an incredible beauty built in 1888 (about a visit to its august family says a modest marble plaque on the stairs). The rotunda opened to the winds with broken glass and Kabbalistic signs on the floor, lined with mosaic, in its desolation produces some kind of completely magical impression.
It is as if cast-iron benches and graceful columns filled with various “we were here” pulls to themselves — Olya and Yasha from Novokuznetsk, 1962 … now Dnepropetrovsk, 1959 … can one really perpetuate oneself? Neither the box office, nor the switchman — only a large shaggy dog barks lazily from the booth, reminding that the station is operational, the train costs five minutes here.
Directly under the station is the water of the dam, a former hydroelectric power station that has become unusable along with the Soviet Union. The water is blue and green, as if it has been tinted, has been flowing for 20 years without any sense, waiting for the next batch of millions to restore the power station. Seven million have already been collected once — but then the war …
War in Abkhazia ended almost two decades ago, but it will never leave her. AT Gagra you can live a month without finding almost any traces, but it is worth stopping by Gudauta or Sukhumi — and in the midst of brand-new houses there will definitely be a Soviet-looking nine-storey building: five euro-renovated windows and velvet curtains, twenty windows — ordinary windows of average wealth, the rest black, failed, wide open, nobody has been living there for 17 years.
AT Gagra on the pedestal of the BTR — it appeared even before the war, the memory of the local authority, and was without a gun. When the fighting began, they attached a wooden one — a dummy and covered it, as if an armored train was standing on the siding, but if it was completely tight, it would be uncovered, of course. But the beautiful Gumista River flows into the sea — the front line, hundreds of dead, passed along it, now everything is serene, pastoral: if you don’t say, you will never guess.
Swans in the pond next to Athos there were only two, and now not less than fifteen — and the leader is so strict with his wives that they have to be carried in the water.
Just above the pond up the steps are the best khachapuri boats that we tried on this trip, from a wood-burning stove, with the most delicate cheese, two eggs and a huge piece of melting butter inside — 70 rubles for happiness.
I don’t know if there is another such wonderful city in Europe, on the streets of which history is written in such large letters.
On the main Sukhum promenade, the Makhadzhirov Embankment, the ladies, as before, are walking diamonds, new husbands and fashionable dresses, and on the walls there are hollows from bullets, and the maritime station looks like it is too lazy to recover.
Immediately, a brand new facade of a private house is whispered, who is the owner.
A little further the famous “Brekhalovka” is the official name of “At Hakob”, however, it is not written anywhere. Five plastic green tables, a tent, a tiny booth and pieces of paper pasted on the glass: “coffee”, “ice cream” and “coffee glacé” — the price is not indicated, but the coffee is excellent and very cheap. One table is always busy playing backgammon.
For the rest, too, do not sit, and stand. Every morning of the working week the president’s Maybach pulls up. The president comes out, greets everyone, drinks black coffee and discusses important issues.
Security is crumpled nearby, the game of backgammon is not interrupted.
Then the president takes his leave and goes to his office.
Once we saw the president driving by Gagram: in front of «Maybach», behind the police «Mercedes» with a flasher, and that’s it. “They would try to block the traffic,” the locals grin, “no one would have thought to stand. And in the morning he would have all been expressed in “Brekhalovka” … ”
At the direction of the previous president, one of the main attractions Sukhumi — monkey nursery — almost all of them were restored. If you have ever been to a new era Sukhumi, surely remember him.
It looks quite good, and again there is why go there at least for the whole day.
And then you can go back to Gagry — swim, play tennis and drink mojito ..
Travel to Abkhazia: Gagra, Pitsunda, Ritsa
Once upon a time Abkhazia was, as they wrote in Soviet newspapers, a “favorite vacation spot for citizens” of the entire territory, which is now called the Russian Federation. Then came the troubled times of war in the Caucasus.
But the world returned to the Abkhazian land — and it is time for us to return there too.
Journey to Abkhazia: the boy and the kitchen
Patsha is a traditional kitchen in the courtyard of the Abkhaz house. In the life of the Abkhaz, the role of the patkhi is very significant. “Do you know why the Abkhazians are so thin?” — the Abkhazians ask and without superfluous words they lead you to the stepsu. “Here,” they say, “the shop, but the burqa. The master of the burka will wrap up, he goes to bed on the bench.
You will be fat, you will not fit on the bench, you will not be able to sleep. ”