Sulema Monastery to Batumi, Georgia - Pics and words by Steve Taylor

 
 
Above:  Sumela Monastery, eastern Turkey, near The Black Sea.
 
Greek Orthodox monastery dates to 386 AD and is said to have been ordered built by Justinian.
 
TIMDT can be seen in white top and black pants in the southeast quartile of the image.
 
The Monastery is located in Altindere (Golden Creek) National Park about 40 kilometers from Trabzug. 
 
The ride from the Trabzug Novotel Hotel to the monastery was the first segment ridden on the MotoDiscovery motorcycle tour, "From the Black Sea to the Caspian."
 
TIMDT and Mwah (sic) are riding tandem on a BMW R1200 GS motorcycle.
 
From Sumela monastery, 13 bikes and 17 riders backtracked to the 010 coast highway and the 120 mile ride along the Black Sea coast to the Georgia border.
 
Noteworthy along the ride were numerous high rise, sea facing, residential construction projects.  Kaz says cheap money in the US directed to Turkey is financing a construction boom of unprecedented proportions.
 
 
Above:  Fresco from ceiling of chapel of Sumela Monastery, eastern Turkey.
 
 
Above:  Tree roots' long term destruction of the path to Sumela Monastery, eastern Turkey.  Despite all humans can do, the earth takes it all back.  Several years ago I saw the temples of Angor Wat, in Cambodia, being turned to dust by imperceptible, but powerful, invasive jungle forces.
 
Man has been on earth but a short time when time's measurement is geologic. Likely time is also short before the earth becomes inhospitable to mankind.
 
I'm with Steven Hawking... who says, mankind should be working assiduously to hedge its survival bets by getting some of its species on other planets. 
 
Efforts to prolong earth's viability are folly considering the earth's inevitable demise whether by root invasion as above,  comet, blowing of the Yellowstone caldera, or 1/3 of California falling into the sea when the inevitable big one hits. 
 
 
Above:  Republic of Georgia, beyond immigration.  20 kilometers from Batumi, Georgia's port on the Black Sea.
 
Tour leader Kaz is in the blue motorcycle jacket.  His KTM 990 Adventure motorcycle (orange) is at left.
 
 
Tiflis (Tiblisi) Seminary  (Stalin's high school years - 1890's).
 
The Empire's seminaries were "notorious for the savagery of their customs, medieval pedagoguery, and law of the fist," comments Trotsky.  "All the vices banned by the Holy Scriptures flourished in this hotbed of piety."  This seminary, nicknamed the Stone Sack, was worse than most:  "utterly joyless," reported one pupil.  "Droningly boring - we felt we were in prison."
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