Towers built to resist the enemy rose around me. Not consecutively but scattered across the valley, each attached to a home built from the same worn blocks of stone. Time roughened their edges, rain nibbled their sandy grout and flashbacks of former raids hid between nooks and melted into shadows. Today, yellow flowers painted a tapestry at the foot of certain towers while white-blossomed trees soothed their memories, lifting troubles of past generations lightly in the breeze.
The towers stood for resilience. Resilience of the town’s ancestors and strength of community that still filters through neighbourly life. Koshkebi (“stone towers”) define the Svaneti region of northern Georgia, yet my eyes were transfixed by what lay lower to the ground.
“Stroll through a city where European comfort fuses with the medieval past to form a medley of arts, culture and contemporary urban venues", Searching for Unique
The Faroe Islands
“Like your moody aunt, the Faroe Islands display characteristics of cranky, wind-blown isolation in the most endearing manner, tempting visitors to chip away at her mysterious beauty”
How can a region rise above a deadly turmoil that caused the relocation of millions of people when its border was drawn and pivot such negativity into a mock stand-off that draws two stadiums full of cheering visitors every night? The Attari - Wagah border between India and Pakistan has managed to do precisely this by diffusing tensions with a one-of-a-kind and purely entertaining production.
Our particular route via the Schiesser Ledges to the Alpine Club of Canada's Neil Colgan Hut - Canada's highest, permanent habitable structure - had turned from a scramble into a low-grade climb. And I was a novice mountaineer quickly flying past my zone of comfort.
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