Holidays in the Caucasus Mountains

Mountains of the Caucasus

My homeland is the Caucasus. But living there, I never once visited the mountains. And now, when I come there to my parents, taking this opportunity, I occasionally go on excursions to the mountains. I want to tell you more about the excursion from Mozdok, which took only one day.

First we went to the Chegem waterfalls. Chegem in translation from the Balkar language means “broken land”, and there is a legend about it. The hero Karashauai decided to test the strength of his horse. And the horse broke a hole in the mountain with a hoof, and water flowed from there. To celebrate, the hero shouted the word “Cheg”, which to this day is called the gorge and the river.

Chegem waterfalls (the Balkars also call them Su-Auzu, which means “throat water”) are located in a canyon with steep cliffs, whose height reaches 300 meters, and the width of the gorge in the narrowest place is only 20 meters.

First we stopped at the first waterfall. The only waterfall from the entire system that you can come close to. This is an indescribable feeling when drops of such a powerful waterfall fall on you from such a height. They say it’s good. Everything bad is washed off.

Here, during the Great Patriotic War, partisans hid in the rocks and in caves. And then, during the offensive, they drove a large group of fascists (the waterfall is in a stone bag – that is, there are tall rocks around and it is impossible to get out of there, there is only one entrance) and were shot by snipers from above.

Let’s go to the second Chegem waterfall. The road runs along the Chegem River and is cut into a rock with water dripping from above. On the right, the river roars and rushes its muddy streams. We went to a cafe, which is located in a natural niche in the rock. Decorated in national style – costumes, horns, skins. It looks impressive. They drank hot herbal tea and ate hitsyn, thin as pancakes, but also with cheese filling inside. Near waterfalls, local needlewomen sell a lot of knitted clothes. And you just need to see the waterfalls with your own eyes.

After visiting the Chegem waterfalls, we went to the Blue Lakes. The lakes include the Lower Blue Lake (Tserik-Köl, Cherek-Köl) and the Upper Blue Lakes (including Sukhoi and Secret). We were only on the lower lake. During the research, Jacques Yves Cousteau was not able to reliably determine the depth of the lake (approximately from 200 to 250 m). But there are suggestions that the depth of the lake is much greater, because no one has yet reached its bottom. In depth, this lake ranks third in Russia after Teletskoye in Altai and Lake Baikal.

The uniqueness of the lake also lies in the fact that not a single river flows into it, but about 24 million liters of water flow from it per day. Tserik-Köl – this is what the locals call this lake, which means “rotten lake”. There is a legend about the origin of this lake among the local population.

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