James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Georgian Military Highway


Georgian Military Highway

The military highway is the historic route between Georgia and Russia, crossing the mighty Greater Caucasus mountain range. It has been used by invading armies for centuries, and was built in it’s present form by the Russians almost 200 years ago. We were keen to explore it’s length as a way of visiting the mountains North of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

We saw mountains taller than we had ever seen before, passed beautifully wooded hill sides and drove through mildly concerning avalanche galleries. In early afternoon we reached Kasbegi, which is about as far North as you can go without a Russian visa (which we didn’t have).

This photograph was taken towards the West and the disputed territory of South Ossetia. Georgia considers this area occupied by the Russian army, whereas the Ossetians see themselves as independent. Either way, it’s a beautiful landscape, but has been tragically scarred by fighting as recently as 2008.

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