The Georgian Military Road, an ancient trade route over the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Pliny wrote of it. In 1799 Russian Tsar Alexander I ordered the road paved and the rivers bridged as the Russian Empire annexed Georgia and moved further into Armenia. The road was “completed” (If such a road is ever completed) in 1817. It is one of the highest paved highways in Europe. There are watchtowers along the route as it travels river valleys and switchbacks up mountain sides. The road passes the Zhinvali River Dam and we had one cigarette break the Ananuri Fortress-Monastery which was a lucky break for me. We continued to climb into the snow. We reached Gudauri, our destination, before we got to the part of the road travel writers say is the most spectacular.