Paragliding in Gudauri
250.00 ₾ per person
It's getting more and more interesting to search for the forsaken places in the world. Those people, who are engaged in this activity, are called stalkers, diggers, and even “urban researchers”. In Georgia, we have a great number of such deserted, forgotten places, from military bases to tunnels, wells, and mines. There are also semi-researched caves, once powerful, but now demolished buildings, with mystic aura. Everything together creates real heaven for urban “investigators”. But, to tell the truth, in Georgia, quite a few people are concerned with wandering and discovering old places.
Alex is a stalker, who is professionally dedicated to urban tourism. Alexander was fond of detecting and looking through the ruins of the buildings, getting to know their history, fast. Later, all this turned into a lifestyle hobby, and after some time, turned into a profession and main activity. This is how Geo Stalk - Urbex in Georgia created.
“While visiting those old ruins of the buildings, or less known tourist units, I used to come across the people, who just don't get this, why I am here, what is the point of it… even in social media, we see such astonishment among people.”
Alex: even from the late childhood, I was barely interested in typical, standard games, instead of this, I adored roaming around different territories with friends of mine, clambering about the old constructions. We used to go together, exploring those locations, thinking what this or that building should have been years ago, before demolishing. Time after time, this interest got even bigger. It especially increased after finishing university. So I started to find people, who had the same interests, I was looking for stalkers in Georgia. At first, I was walking with them, taking pictures of various places, but then, I decided to walk and discover stuff all by myself. I had my camera, other resources also, that are needed for slumming around the places, searching and finding those places. After some time, all this came together and created an idea, which is called now Geo Stalk. We have Facebook and Youtube platforms, where people can get to know about our travels and adventures.
- No one is working in this field in Georgia, but you. What do you think, is it possible to popularize stalking?
In Georgia, mostly, people like places from their own homes, I mean, from pictures, taken by me. But, as soon as I arrange everything for the next adventure, almost everyone refuses or finds a reason. Fundamentally, these rejections are caused by fear. In Ukraine and, especially, in European countries, stalking is very popular and widespread. In Georgia, they did not really care about it. I think, developing tourism in such a way would be great for our country, all the more so we have a wonderful opportunity for this, Georgia has potential for this. Nowadays, mostly, tourists are coming to such places to survey them. There is a great involvement from them.
- How do you choose the places?
Basically, I search for them on different maps on the internet, this process itself, looks like a chain reaction., you start reading history about one destination, then you just find out about another, and suddenly, you find yourself in quite a different place, which is much more interesting and intriguing. Then, if I find it valuable for my interests, just make notes of them. Also, communication with people helps me a lot. There were moments when I was in the countryside, or in a village and some old fellows had told me about the strange places, like “there is an underground shelter”, or a tunnel. And no one but them knows about these places. Some people just write to me about interesting ruins on the internet, those who are observing my posts. If I have enough time, I immediately go there. Also, there were many occasions when foreign stalkers found new locations, really good ones, in the dimension of Georgia, and of course, they share these findings with us.
- Are you unveiling those locations? And if now, why?
We don't declassify those locations. The reason is simple: a person, who saw our post, decides to go there unprepared. Some of these places are really dangerous, so there is a threat of injuring something, or maybe someone just fell, or dislocated his or her arm or foot, and so on. According to these risks, we don’t share our “achievements’” locations. We don’t need this responsibility. When people are asking for exact locations or coordination of it, we just answer, that they can find this information by themselves, if they find it, they can get there. Also, there is another reason for hiding this information, after relieving its location, there is a chance of vandalism. People may get there, they love leaving their initials, painting some graphites, or smash old pillars, or even put them into a fire.
-Who are the people who stand by you in this activity?
Most of all, foreign people. There are moments when some groups of them are coming here, sometimes, just one person comes. Urban tourism mostly is the thing for foreign journalists, actresses, and even the directors of movies. Especially, European people, especially like post-Soviet, abandoned locations.
- From your point of view, do adventures and discoveries change a person?
Of course, it does. While traveling, you learn a lot of new things. You get to know the past, and your inner world starts to increase. Your philosophy of life changes, something new starts in you. I think it is very good.
-What will you advise travelers, according to today's situation?
2020 was a harsh year for everyone. Especially it had an influence on travelers. But, I think, everything can be arranged time after time. I advise all of you to spend more and more time in the fresh air, and if you have the chance, don’t miss t, discovering new places in our little Georgia will gain you real happiness.