Gorgestan ski resort

24 Jun 2020

Fereydunshar, 27 of December, 2019

Diaspora: dispersion: dissolution: a forced transplant: resiliance: memory.


Georgia became in a short time a personal thing. The designated limits of its dimension turned out to be a comfortable knitting and its borders special bridges connecting territories that haven’t been spoiled by the progress of the boring, unifying, and alienating globalization of the 21st century, made of white smiles and glimmer.

While Georgia could be compare to an observation tower from which to look the merge of peoples and cultures, Iran has remain loyal to its image of bellybutton of the world in spite of the big theocratic veil in which is covered.

Not always a trip comply with expectations and itineraries: often travelling is a collection of death hours, or is a bulimic activity, an excessive consume of places, things, foods, drinks, people, roads, smell..a nevrosis

Outside from this load it is possible, sometimes, to slip into more gentle currents, almost magical ones that flow into desires that we fail to even imaging to have.

After a few hours hanging out in a park in Isfahan, the idea of going to ski in the Zargos Mountains that surround Fereydunshar, only a 3 hours drive, popped out.

I spent relaxing days in Isfahan, I let my self being snuggled by the serenity and by the cosmpolitan profiles: I was enjoying the effect of walking in an armenian neighborhood, to later wander in the jewish ghetto adorned by dozens of tiny synagogues, to sneak in hidden gardens to drink tea by the rythm of the church bells next door, and ending the day among the other rythm, the one of a imaginary tide inside of the big and majestic Mosques of the city.

However I was starting to be bored: my energies started to fade: I felt I became a fake citizen, with a fake routine: I was nevertheless happy to be in that place, surrounded by new and lovely friends.

I did little to none research on the Zargos, even less on Fereydnushar. My head wanted to feel the thrill of the bazar, to feel the presence of Ahura Mazda, to sneak into jewish ghettos.


We departed before sunrise the next day: there were four of us. A. C. P. and me:

A. started his journey from his tiny town in Piemonte, Italy, with his shiny vespa and was documenting with clinic precision his circumnavigation, C. came from New Zealand, he is the synonymous of the adventurer of the new century, he travelled the silk road with any possible means of transportation, he became ,in each country, an adoptive child, P. was our beloved iranian spiritual guide.

It was a silent and suggestive trip: the lack of sleep the night before had a psychedelic effect in that frozen, snowed, moutanous, desertic, and reddish panorama.

After a brief breakfast in which we had to wake up the clerk of the shop, we departed again: we were halfway

P. was speaking about the mountains, about his skiing trips, he gave us a short excursus, to which I payed little attention until I heard him talk about Georgia, georgian, their diaspora, their forced convertion into slavery to the service of the emperor when the Safavid dinasty conquered a big chunk of the georgian territory in theXVI century until the Qajar dinasty lost it at the end of the XVIII.

This information filled me with an odd nostalgy.


Skiing was the main goal of the trip. However while we were slowly entering into the county of Fereydnushar, it was possible to see scrambled around georgian signs on the shops: most of mini markets.

Like a kid who is learning how to read I put effort into reading every sign of those shops, on those villages that all of the sudden were an emulation of any other georgian town at the skirt of the caucaus.

To ski in Iran is something between a supernatural experience and an invigorating one. Is ideal to anyone, expert or not, who wish to enter into close contact with their own limits, to wear scrapped skiis, scrapped gloves, scrapped goggles, and any excuse of a warm and semi waterproof clothing, to arm up with a lot of humility, to keep high the adventurous spirit, to renounce to any adversion to risk, and to be with laughging friends: only in this way is possible to have the greates of the funs.

A . and C. skilled skiers, were occupied in backcountry skiing, P. got lost somewhere, and between a slope and another I was taking incredibly long the breaks with some of P friend that reached us.

We chatted but my head was taken by Georgia, by the fact I really wished to visit those towns, to enter in any shop, to wander, to stutter the few georgian words I knew.

It was not possible.

IV\ \ I realized few hours before the sunset, before the slopes were about to close, that probably we would have head back home.

I felt absent. I had a strange sense of guilt: I did not want to pull the group into an adventure they did not feel like doing until I noticed the obvious behind my back: the only bar of the ski resort had its sign written in georgian!

- "Gamarjoba!"

- "Gamarjoba!"

In that moment I thought on how tremendous are the convulsed branches of destiny, how banal, absurd and beautiful do seem to be the combinations we manage to take place into, they make total sense.

I was born in Caracas, half italian, I received an european education, I escaped to Italy after school to be closer to my other roots, after university I went to New Zealand where I did not find myself but had tons of fun and valuable experiences, after a while in Spain, where I had an intense relationship with A. a moscovite girl who was eager to travel, even settle, in Georgia, all of the sudden I happen to get a unexpected job in Tbilisi after we broke up, and after I decided to settle down in a semi abbandoned town in Italy.

I was by pure chance into the heart of the georgian diaspora in Iran.

When someone ask me who I am, where I am from, what do I do, I often give cold annoyed answers, or invent a quick story;, that day I was dissapointed I could not talk in a language I barely know.

However I was there, suttutering in my broken georgian, summarizing in the shortest of words who I was, where I was from, what I was doing, ordering black tea in that stage of surprise d eyes.

After few minutes C. joined the talk. He lived in Tbilisi for a few months, and was also happy of what was going on, P. noticed and became our interpreter, our bridge between us and those impossible guys. A. that evening gained the simpathy and admiration of the rest of the snowboarders. Was a good day.

\ Finished the tea, the laughter, the photoshooting, the hugs, and the handshake between all of us strangers who thanked our encounter on planet earth we decided to grab something to eat.

We were super hungry, the idea was to eat iranian: destiny wanted that the only iranian restaurant had just chicken and rise on the menu and since I do not eat meat we ended up in the georgian restaurant next door. We ate lobiani, khinkali, home made potatos, kachapuri, lobio, gerkins, and georgian bread: only wine was missing from the table but the tha was fantastic and in my exhaltation, in my thoughts,I felt home and tipsy.


Unfortunately we had to rush: we needed to give back our gear: the manager of the renting place was a grouchy one in the morning, by dawn almost as the news of foreigner who lived in Georgia and spoke few lines of georgian, the atmosphere changed: his face now looked more like the one of proud grandfather.

Again there were long goodbyes, long photoshoots, joyful hugs between strangers who briefly met on planet earth, for the first and last time.

We took part into a improvised party at the parking lot, there were singings, live instruments, some were dancing in a big circle and all of us danced aswell for the longest of the instants.

All around us was an universe of families and friends togheter around bonefires, facing the mountain, almost as if that gathering was a sacred ritual, an excuse to absorb the forces of a prehistoric place, inhabited without interruption by the passions of homo sapiens that met the neanderthal man, by other diasporas of even more remote times.

A long way awaited until Isfahan.

The night was setting down. I was a visitor in that remote and painful strip of heart taken away with fury from the love of georgian families and friends few centuries ago, and in spite of that tragedy absolutely nothing changed in the heart and spirit of their long lost heirs.

#Iran  #Isfahan  #Georgia  #Fereydnushar  #Zardos  #Skiing  #