Aug 2, 2015
We presented ourselves early in the morning at the Natakhtari airfield (Vanilla Sky) and were presented to the owners and pilots. The landowner Amiran Manjavidze built this airfield built a unique combination of a winery, an airfield and a hotel and swimming pool for the local youngsters with good music. When we arrived in the morning, the swimming pool was already full. Very cool !
After a short briefing, we discovered our plane we’re going to fly with: a Cessna 182. This airfield is not very formal from a setup point of view and we were able to take off quickly. The first thing which struck me, is how green the land is from above. We saw the Caucasus approaching in front of us and started to climb out on our way to the highest mountain of Europe, which is located over here: the Shkhara of more than 5200 metres ( forget the Mont Blanc!).
We passed a place I’m particularly interested in, which is Gudauri and which is high on my to visit list as this should be a great place for Caucasus skiing ( at inexpensive rates compared to the Alps). From the air, it proved promising as you can see hereunder
The views high in the Caucasus were spectacular and worth the voyage. We neared the border with Russia and South Ossetia but made sure not to cross it 🙂 The transponder was turned off btw.
From there, we flew over the mountains at a 9000 ft altitude with our small Cessna to the airfield Telavi where we landed for lunch
Will be continued….