March 28th 2007

Borjomi-Javakheti

The region of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and Javakheti are situated south of the Transcaucasian Depression in the so called Lesser Caucasus (west of Tbilisi).

Jurinea sp. at Mt. Didi Abuli (Javakheti)plants: many plant-species typical for the Lesser Caucasus, Turkish Anatolia and West-Asia: Pinus kochiana, Aranariasteveniana, Minuartia woronowii, Silene dianthoides, Helianthemum numularium, Centaurea bella, Heracleumantasiaticum, Asphodeline taurica, Aethyonema salmasium, Coluteocarpus vesicaria, Nitraria schoberi. Endemits: Medicago djavakhetica, Scorzonera djavakhetica, S. ketzkhovelii, Eunomia rotundifolia, Erysimum krynitzkii, Onobrychis meschetica, Dianthus azkurensis, Cerastiumsosnowskyi, Draba meskheticus, Astragalus vardziae

Around Tskhra-Tsqaro-Pass interesting tall herbs can be found: Heracleum wilhelmsii, Angelica purpureum, Lilium szovitsianum, Cicerbita macrophylla, Angelica purpurascens, Doroncicum macrophyllum

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Virgin forests in Borjomi-Kharagauli NPforests, meadows and alpine mats in Borjomi-Kharagauli NPThis National Park was the first to be installed after international guidelines (IUCN). It has been established to protect two of the most important ecosystems in the Caucasus: forests and high-mountains.

Young and not so young scientist collecting plants in Borjomi-Kharagauli NPThe colline zone (hills) is covered by oak forests with the typical evergreen undergrowth of Rhododendron ponticum and Prunus laurocerasus. The montane zone ist characterized by beech-fir forests (Fagus orientalis, Abies nordmanniana) and species-rich meadows. The alpine zone is also developed in this National Park.

Ural trucks in Borjomi. Logs from the NP?BTC-pipeline at Nine Springs Pass south of BakurianiThe fragile ecosystems of Borjomi-Kharagauli NP are threatened by overexploitation of its resources. Main threats include over-grazing of the alpine mats, poaching and logging as well as by the construction of the Trans-Caucasus-Pipeline (BTC-Project), which runs through Borjomi-Kharagauli NP.

Bakuriani

Ripped-off Intourist hotel in Bakuriani (2004)Newly opened hotel in Bakuriani (2004)This is the most famous skiing resort in the Caucasus. During soviet times it used to be the training areal for the Russian winter olympics team and tourists came here from all over the Soviet Union. After perestroika and glasnost the tourism business went down - just as in most other parts of the Caucasus. Only resently are the Caucasians rediscovering this pearl of recreation and investments are made in hotels and other infrastructure projects.

Javakheti

summit of Mt. Didi Abuli (3300 m)Lake Paravani from the southLake Tabatskuri from the northeastThis region in southern Georgia can be reached most easily via the Nine Springs Pass (=Tskhra-Tsqaro-Pass, 2400 m NN) from Bakuriani. It is characterised by rocks of vulcanic origin and alpine plain-meadows heavily used for sheep grazing.

Points of interest are Lake Paravani, Lake Tabatskuri and Didi Abuli Mt. (3300 m NN).

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