I came across this book in an online article by the German newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ where it said you can either order a copy from the Georgian Grand Hotel Ushba or from the Norwegian publishing house Forlagshuset i Vestfold.

The book is about the Svaneti region in Georgia which got me interested as my wife and I have been thinking about visiting Georgia for a while.

As the book doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, I went on the Norwegian website to order a copy. While they provide an English description of the book; the whole order process is in Norwegian which presented me with quite a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, I seem to have managed to complete the order process. Not really knowing what to expect, I was thinking probably some fairly simple and badly printed brochure, I was completely taken aback when the book arrived a few days later.

It is an exceptionally beautiful book. By the quality of the paper, the binding and the high-quality photographs, it would be a perfect coffee table book.

What’s more, the text is remarkably insightful and well written. The book describes two expeditions, one summer and one winter expedition, and provides daily accounts of the adventures. Together with the detailed maps, this really brings the astonishing geography of the Caucasus to life.

Moreover, and that’s the aspect I like most, the encounters and conversations with the Svans are described in such a nice way that, after reading them, one has the feeling of just having heard a few stories about some good old friends.

All in all, a highly recommended book! I decided to give it to my wife for her birthday. A beautiful book for a beautiful woman, together with the promise to organise a trip to Georgia later this year – what better birthday present could there be?