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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Svaneti Winter 2011

With a two hour concert by Ukrainian performers on January 8, the winter
season opened in Mestia in Georgia's mountainous region of Svaneti.

Senior officials, as well as people from Tbilisi and other parts of
Georgia travelled specially to Mestia for that day. Special flights from
Tbilisi to Mestia had been arranged; however the demand was not fully
met. Free buses ran to Mestia from Samegrelo all day long. The
repertoire of the Christmas show was quite diverse with the guests from
Kiev performing their compositions in Ukrainian, English, Russian,
Italian and Spanish languages. The Ukrainian singers and musicians
closed the concert with a Georgian song.

The Georgian President also attended the U show. Mikheil Saakashvili
said new ski runs are going to be constructed in Mestia very soon. He
said infrastructure development and the new regional airport will help
Mestia become one of the most developed resorts in Europe.

The Ukrainians also presented their traditional dishes in Mestia.
Mikheil Saakashvili tasted the dishes, after which he spoke with the
local population, emphasising his attention on the tourism potential of
the Svaneti region. He noted that the winter season had opened in
Svaneti and soon the new ski slopes would be open. He commented that it
was remarkable that the first snow fell on the opening of the season.

"We must understand what a big miracle is happening in Mestia. About 90
percent of Georgia's population has never been here. We are investing
several hundreds of million GEL on the roads alone, finally 500-600
million GEL will be spent here – not only will we get this money back,
but it will bring us many billions of income over several years
considering the climate, cultural heritage, cuisine, as well as the ski
slopes. This place is outstanding not only in Georgia and the Caucasus,
but in Europe as well," Saakashvili stated in Mestia.

Svaneti is a historic province of Georgia, in the north-western part of
the country. If you really want to feel the Georgian soul, its
traditions and history Svaneti is the perfect place in which to do so.
Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in Europe and is famous for its
mountaineering. Shkhara (5,201 metres), Tetnuldi (4,974 metres) and
Ushba (4,710 metres) are the most extreme destinations for mountain
climbers in Georgia. Svaneti is known for its architectural treasures
and picturesque landscapes. The famous Svanetian towers, built mainly in
the 9th-12th centuries, add to the charm of the region.