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Jan-Michael Breider | profile | all galleries >> Caucasus - Georgia 2005/2006 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Caucasus - Georgia 2005/2006

The foreign name Georgia, used in many languages of the world, is derived from Greek: George (Greek: ), a Greek name meaning a farmer and therefore Georgia indicating a farmland.

The landscape within the nation's boundaries is quite varied. Western Georgia's landscape ranges from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rain forests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains characteristic of Central Asia. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia's territory while the alpine/subalpine zone accounts for roughly around 10% of the land.

The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range separates Georgia from the North Caucasian Republics of the Russian federation. The southern portion of the country is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The main Caucasus Range is much higher in elevation with the highest peaks rising more than 5,000 meters (16,400ft.) above sea level. The highest mountain in Georgia is Mount Shkhara at 5,201 meters (17,059 feet), and the second highest is Mount Janga at 5,051 meters (16,572 feet) above sea level. Third highest peak is Kazbegi at 5,047 meters (16,554 feet).

The climate of Georgia is extremely diverse, considering the nation's small size. There are two main climatic zones, roughly separating Eastern and Western parts of the country. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range plays an important role in moderating Georgia's climate and protects the nation from the penetration of colder air masses from the north. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains partially protect the region from the influence of dry and hot air masses from the south as well.

Georgia's current population is 4,661,000 (July 2006 ) , with ethnic Georgians forming a majority of about 83.8%. Azerbaijanis form 6.5% of the population, Armenians 5.7% and Russians 1.5% (most Russians have emigrated since Georgia declared its independence). The Abkhhazians in Abkhazia and the Ossetians in South Ossetia (and across the border in North Ossetia) have tried to secede from Georgia since independence. There are numerous smaller groups in the country, including Assyrians, Chechens, Greeks, Kabardins, Kurds, Jews, Tatars, Turks and Ukranians.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia has suffered a serious population collapse as the rebellion in Abkhazia, the strife in Ajaria and South Ossetia, a fragile economy, and bad job opportunities led hundreds of thousands of Georgians to emigrate in search of work, especially to Russia. That problem is exacerbated by a very low birthrate among the remaining population. The population is currently estimated to be a full million less than it was back in 1990, and some observers suggest the actual number is even lower. A side effect of this emigration is that the ethnic minority proportion of the population has roughly halved in the last fifteen years, as minority groups are more likely to leave the country.

Today most of the population practices Orthodox Christianity of the Georgian Othodox Church (83.9%). Georgia is the second oldest country after Armenia to declare Christianity as an official state religion of Kartli (Iberia) in 325. The religious minorities are: Muslim (9.9%); Armenian Apostolic (3.9%); Roman Catholic (0.8%).
Mt Kazbegi in Caucasus - Georgia 2005
Mt Kazbegi in Caucasus - Georgia 2005
Georgian flags
Georgian flags
Buying cigarettes outside Tbilisi
Buying cigarettes outside Tbilisi
Policeman waiting for president Saakashvili
Policeman waiting for president Saakashvili
Sheep on the road - a common sight
Sheep on the road - a common sight
One lane left on bridge
One lane left on bridge
No place for cars on this bridge
No place for cars on this bridge
How many???
How many???
Climbing high on Military Highway
Climbing high on Military Highway
Snow melting on Military Highway
Snow melting on Military Highway
All Russian trade have to use the old Military Highway
All Russian trade have to use the old Military Highway
Tussilago - early flowers
Tussilago - early flowers
Difficult passage on Military Highway
Difficult passage on Military Highway
The high pass on Military Highway
The high pass on Military Highway
Truso valley in high Caucasus
Truso valley in high Caucasus
Small village in high Caucasus
Small village in high Caucasus
Ossetian children
Ossetian children
Ossetian children - Caucasus 2006
Ossetian children - Caucasus 2006
Dawn in Kazbegi village
Dawn in Kazbegi village
Terek river
Terek river
Kazbegi village and mountain
Kazbegi village and mountain
Bosse on a steep walk to see Caucasian Snowhen
Bosse on a steep walk to see Caucasian Snowhen
Caucasian flowers on 2500 m altitude
Caucasian flowers on 2500 m altitude
The slopes around Kazbegi
The slopes around Kazbegi
Watch up for children.....
Watch up for children.....
Georgian house in Kazbegi
Georgian house in Kazbegi
Caucasus view
Caucasus view
Bying sweets in the kiosk
Bying sweets in the kiosk
Kazbegi kiosk 1
Kazbegi kiosk 1
Kazbegi kiosk 2
Kazbegi kiosk 2
Kazbegi kiosk 3 (and there are many moore...)
Kazbegi kiosk 3 (and there are many moore...)
Living close to high terrain
Living close to high terrain
Evening bull-walk in Kazbegi
Evening bull-walk in Kazbegi
Frogs playing in Kazbegi
Frogs playing in Kazbegi
Georgian orthodox priest
Georgian orthodox priest
Waiting to get inside?
Waiting to get inside?
Looking out over river Terek
Looking out over river Terek
Local footballgame...
Local footballgame...
Kazbegi ambulance
Kazbegi ambulance
The square in Kazbegi
The square in Kazbegi
Taking the local bus in Kazbegi
Taking the local bus in Kazbegi
Local bus
Local bus
Kazbegi bakery
Kazbegi bakery
Leaving Kazbegi - passing 2379 on Military Highway
Leaving Kazbegi - passing 2379 on Military Highway
Georgian roadrestaurant
Georgian roadrestaurant
Sleeping guard
Sleeping guard
Shepard resting his feet (and it smells!!!)
Shepard resting his feet (and it smells!!!)
Anaurni church north of Tbilisi
Anaurni church north of Tbilisi
Woman at Anaurni
Woman at Anaurni
Waiting fot tourists at Anaurni
Waiting fot tourists at Anaurni
Georgian dinner
Georgian dinner
Everybody needs it (but it`s not easy to use)
Everybody needs it (but it`s not easy to use)
Caf outside Mtskheta
Caf outside Mtskheta
Parking guard
Parking guard
Small lake west of Tbilisi
Small lake west of Tbilisi
Orthodox priest at Dzvan church
Orthodox priest at Dzvan church
Lighting candles i Dzvan
Lighting candles i Dzvan
Child lighting candles in Dzvan
Child lighting candles in Dzvan
Girls posing outside Dzvan church
Girls posing outside Dzvan church
Entering Rustavi
Entering Rustavi
Rustavi, a small town southeast of Tbilisi
Rustavi, a small town southeast of Tbilisi
Sheep dogs near Azerbaijan border
Sheep dogs near Azerbaijan border
Homeless people at Ubdano (after avalanche destroying their houses)
Homeless people at Ubdano (after avalanche destroying their houses)
Ancient monastery Davit Gareji (with rooms in the rock)
Ancient monastery Davit Gareji (with rooms in the rock)
Davit Gareji monastery
Davit Gareji monastery
Drinking water in roadpits
Drinking water in roadpits
Shepherds from Azerbaijan
Shepherds from Azerbaijan
Shepherd
Shepherd
Proud shepherd (goldteeth rather common)
Proud shepherd (goldteeth rather common)
House close to Tbilisi
House close to Tbilisi
Cleening his taxi in Tbilisi
Cleening his taxi in Tbilisi
Evening light over Tbilisi
Evening light over Tbilisi