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Friday, 21 October 2016


Svans and Estonians are brothers forever

2011-01-17 17:19

12369.jpegMestia, a new ski resort in Svanetia, opened the season at the turn of the New Year. Instead of lacking snow, there was Ukrainian salo and inauguration of the first and only Mestia's twin in Estonia - Otepya ski resort with an off-beat name. In Russian it sounds very much like the word "thaw". That is why those Georgians who preferred going to Mestia on New Year vacations were long-sighted enough: there was little snow but tons of fun.


Gudauri and Bakuriani, two other ski resorts in Georgia, weren't covered with much snow either. Besides, there are no entertainments. It was not incidental that Mestia got a "godsend" in the form of an airport, festivals and attention of media. The point is that president Saakashvili wants to transform this new holiday resort into "Georgia's Switzerland". At the end of last year he organized a visiting session of the government promising that this picturesque spot will gain the glory of an international holiday resort.

However, grandiose plans almost melted with sleet that won't stick to the Mestian land. Local workers, Svans, made a mistake fixing supports for the ropeway as was pointed out by the project investors from Italy on their visit to the new cable way that was supposed to start operation by the New Year.

Svan contractors fixed the posts upside down shifting the center of balance to the top. The Italians claim "they have never seen anything like this anywhere else" and ordered complete rearrangement. On the whole, a new anecdote about Svans the fitters appeared due to the pre-New Year fuss.

But the exploit of Svan builders paled into insignificance when new rumors on coming Estonians, direct opposites of Georgians, spread across Mestia. The Estonians are from Baltia's biggest ski resort Otepya that is better suitable for "hill skiing" with the highest peaks being 120 m above sea level.

Mestia and Otepya will become the world's first twin ski resorts. Otepya is also nicknamed "Estonia's Switzerland" so the "twins" do have something in common - a borrowed place-name "Switzerland".

Leaders of Estonian Association of cities and municipalities, expected to arrive in Georgia in near future, are carrying projects of historical treaties on town twinning in their suitcases.

Recently Estonia greeted Georgian minister for regional affairs Ramaz Nikolaishvili who came to have a look at Otepya ski resort organization. As a result of this visit it was decided to foster cooperation.

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