Thursday, after I finished my work at Radio Nor, we drove back to Tbilisi. Ararat told us that the more roundabout road, over a higher mountain pass above the trees, was better maintained than the road we came in on. The shorter driving time gave us some time to get out and wander a little at Phoka and the alpine lakes Saghomo and Paravani, sitting at about 2100 meters, or 6,850 feet above sea level. The land is green and gently folding. The light with patches of snow is enchanting. We visited a ruined church which had a hammer, sickle and star carved into one of the stones. We also visited an active nunnery and separate monastery along the shores of one of the alpine lakes. Both are dedicated to St. Nino. The monastery is small and the monks built a lakeside pavilion to accommodate the pilgrims who come for St. Nino’s day celebrations. The nuns have a nicely laid out store in which they sell honey, cheese, chocolate and handicrafts they make.