A journey through time
Joanna Lumley experiences both traditional and modern life as she travels across Georgia and Azerbaijan…
Joanna Lumley samples Eastern Europe’s extraordinary history and its burgeoning future in this week’s second leg of her Silk Road Adventure.
After exploring thriving Georgian capital Tbilisi, and learning how it has shed its Soviet past, she travels to the Svaneti Highlands in the Caucasus Mountains. There, she experiences the traditional way of life in the region by staying on a remote farm with an elderly, self-sufficient couple.
‘This couple live up there off what they grow or make themselves, but sometimes they’re stuck inside due to seven feet of snow,’ says Joanna. ‘I’ve never gone up a mountainside like that; there’s virtually no road!’
Joanna then looks at the country’s wine-making tradition that goes back thousands of years and, keen to learn more about silk manufacture over the centuries, she also meets a colony of busy silkworms who could help revive the country’s silk industry.
‘They’re so cute!’ smiles Joanna. ‘Their life cycle is only something like 28 days, which broke my heart.’
Heading into Azerbaijan, Joanna visits spectacular, futuristic skyscrapers in the capital city, Baku.
‘They have towers shaped like flames, and the light shows are a visual delight,’ she says. ‘I’ve a fear of heights, but I climbed on one building like Sydney Opera House – the scale of it!’
Education… Joanna learns about Georgia’ssilkworms (inset)