I spent much of my time in the Elbrus region at the hotel in Cheget, a small village about 3 miles from the Azau, the village at the base of Elbrus from which the Tram and Gondola run up the flanks of the highest point of the European Continent. When I first arrived on Monday, September 3, I was wasted from jet lag from the flights in.
I completely unpacked and organized my gear into the wardrobe and did some laundry, which since the room is typical foreign chilly, would take a few days to dry. I purified enough water to last the night, about two quarts. The beds weren’t as small as some foreign beds, and had large duvets and unusually large pillows. Atop all that were pile blankets in a leopard print pattern. — Elbrus, My Waterloo – publishing October 2012
I had breakfast and dinner as part of my hotel rate, and for the most part it was good service and good local food without the hassles of trying to cook for myself. I really enjoyed interfacing with the people in this region of the Caucasus.
The meals take place in a communal dining room just off the kitchen, with one to three serving or cooking staff, typically elderly women. They quietly bring you things and take empty plates away. Some things, like salads and breads are there when you arrive, and others are brought to you as you eat, including hot water in a kettle for whatever type of hot drink you prefer. — Elbrus, My Waterloo – publishing October 2012
I had a couple of days of rest when I visited the local market in Cheget. There you’ll find a larger wool market building with several stalls, a few souvenir shops and kiosks, and a row of cafes leading up to the chairlifts for Cheget Peak, one of those used for acclimatization by many packaged expeditions on Elbrus.
Smoke rose from the many open welded iron stoves stacked with skewers of grilling spiced meats. People bought and sold and ate and drank and just milled about like me – absorbing the life. I probably hung out like that for a couple hours, which could be tough for some people considering how small the market is. — Elbrus, My Waterloo – publishing October 2012
Photo Gallery Cheget and Market near Elbrus in Russia