Trans Eurasia travel

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Fifty km southeast of Gagra and 44 km northwest of Sokhumi on the M27, Gudauta is a splendid resort town situated on a slightly raised plateau overlooking a small bay of the Black Sea. Its sandy beach on the eastern portion of the shore is one of the best along the entire Abkhazian coast. The excellent subtropical climate is responsible for the citrus, tea, and tobacco production that flourishes here.

Archaeologists have discovered prehistoric sites in Gudaula, as well as first century) remains of the Abazghi tribe, the forefathers of the Abkhazians. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Italian merchants turned Gudauta into a trading center, calling it Cavo di Busco or "palm harbor." The present name comes from the Gudou River that passes through the town.

Five km due north on the ring road that goes to Achandara is the village of Likhny. This village is an important part of Abkhazian history. Until 1863 it served as the seat of the Abkhazian rulers, the Shervashidze Princes. An important architectural complex here consists of the ruins of the Shervashidzes' palace, a tenth-11-th century cruciform-cupola church akin to the Mother of God church at Bichvinta, and a belltower. Particularly noteworthy are the surviving 14lh-ccntury frescoes in the church which are a supreme example of the artistry of western Georgian fresco painting. A depiction of the comet of 1066 with a notation of the exact date has provided an additional clue to the age of the structure. While in Likhny don't miss seeing the Lime of Truth, a tree hundreds of years old under which Abkhazian nobility traditionally dispensed justice. The local market of this village is alive with a panoply of distinctive colors, sounds, and smells. From  Likhny, proceed north on the ring road to Duripsh and Achandara. These two villages are home to many of the 100-year-old Abkhazians who are part of a famous choir of centenarians.