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Kodory gorge rises from the past2011-09-22 15:37
Georgia is concerned over plans to make Kodory gorge a tourist destination. Local mass media have presented a series of materials about the region that used to be controlled by the Georgian side before 2008 awaiting construction of holiday resorts. There is no reason for worry: tourism is better than war. Particularly in a place whose natural beauty surpasses most popular tourist attractions of Caucasus.
An even, narrow line stretches for miles along the noisy Kodor river with fruit trees - apples and pears - growing in abundance on it. Summits of the Main Caucasian Ridge are above and mountainous forests and a river roaring its way through Kodory are all around. It is a place often visited by rare tourists from Sukhum and other districts of Abkhazia. For the night they stay in huts, barracks of Georgian soldiers four years ago. By the way, they were constructed on a NATO model. Tourists swim in the rapid and unsafe Kodor catching trout for dinner.
This gorge is the most fascinating part of Abkhazia (not deprived of bright natural sights). In the Soviet times all-Union routes from North Caucasus to the Black Sea and back were organized there. Then tourism was no more possible. The Georgian-Abkhaz war began with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1994 Abkhazia, the winner, failed to liberate the gorge heralding the time of stagnation. Local citizens - Svans - were left to their own devices.
In 2006 order was restored with the Georgian authorities coming back. Mikheil Saakashvili turned the gorge into a defensive position reminding that it's "Caucasian Switzerland" nonetheless. Regular air communication with Kutaisi was organized bringing tourists from other districts of Georgia and even foreigners sometimes. It was a strange way of holiday-making under watchful eye of the soldiers. Some people were walking along paths wearing shorts, others were fully equipped with ammunition. An obligatory attribute of a Georgian holiday resort (a youth patriotic camp) was here too constructed in South Refuge, the largest tourist center in the region since the Soviet times.