Woke up Thursday morning and still hadn't found my debit card. This does not make me happy, obviously, and I tore my way through every possible place it could and couldn't be. No matter, as the card was already burned at the bank. Luckily I have some Euros and can change them in for Georgian Lari. Cash is king here anyway.
I decided to catch a taxi over to Mtskheta, a town known as the spiritual heart of Georgia. Thirty minuets pass in the car quickly and the next thing I know I'm in yet another restaurant, eating even more Georgian food and drinking a cold beer. I started walking this fairly ancient looking road and wound up at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. To say it's breathtaking would be a huge understatement. I barely made dress code and they let me in. The place is huge, with ceilings probably 50 feet high. It was built in the 11th Century, and is surrounded by a huge wall. There's grapes growing on the property, and vegetables as well. There's a cheese whiz gift shop, but hey, this is now a capitalist country. There are monks strolling around quietly inside, keeping watch and going about running the cathedral. The paintings on the wall are beyond impressive and I'm told that the robe of Jesus is buried under this small tower inside the cathedral. I see lots of people going up to the tower, kissing it and crossing themselves. There are people reading the bible and others are lighting incense and candles. The dominant religion here is Georgian Orthadox. To me it seems somewhat like the Catholic Church but I could be wrong. My mother was Catholic, so I light a candle for her, walk around and take a few pictures. and head off to the next destination. Completely thinking I'd now seen it all. I hadn't.
The next stop is Jvari Church. A monastery built in the late fifth century and said to be the holiest site in Georgia. It is on top of a huge mountain on an insanely long winding road in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The view is mind blowing. There is church service starting as I go in. Amazing. Beautiful music and very solemn. Lots of people around, some I'd seen back in Mtskheta. Words actually fail me to describe this place. It was a heavy experience and I'd recommend it to anyone.
After an hour or so, I head back to Tbilisi and sit with the Gretch and a R Y J Numero Dos. The evening is gorgeous and I'm ready to pick a little bit on the balcony. That's just what I did as the sun went down. I'm working on something different. I don't want this next CD to be too "country". I'm not talking about Brantley Gilbert or anybody of that ilk. There's no chance of that happening. Truth be told I hate new country music with a passion. As bad as I hate techno. But I love George, Merle, All Hanks, Waylon, Shooter, Jerry Reed…the list is endless. But this stuff I heard before I left on tour actually made me laugh, it's so absurd. No need to name the "artists", you know who they are. That one guy with the cowboy hat and big ass earrings is a riot. The next SM CD has more of a chance sounding like Georgian Monk chants than it does these "country" clowns. But don't worry. It won't sound like Georgian Monk chants either.