Some of you may know that I hiked quite a bit in Georgia on a few occasions, most won't know that I spent four weeks in the mountains last summer and will do so again this summer.
Here's a comparison of some picturesque mountain views in real life against their DCS counterparts. Some are somewhat impressive, others.....nnnnot so much.
Most of these are from the region Svaneti, around Mestia and Usghuli (Mestia is where the Enguri river leads if you follow it upstream of the dam through the valley). Some are from Kazbegi, which is on the main road to Russia just north of Tbilisi.
Let's start with Mestia, the largest town/village in Svaneti.
DCS version. This is the most underwhelming one, it gets a bit better . At some point after half a bottle of wine I actually thought the chimneys were modelled Svan towers that you see in the photo.
Here's Mestia from Chkhuti ridge. The green dot on the tip of the ridge is my tent with god shining his light down on it, wondering which idiot pitched a tent in the most suicidal spot on the mountain.
DCS version, my tent is disappointingly not modelled.
North of Mestia is one of Georgia's most legendary mountains and difficult and deadly climbs, the 4,700m twin peaks of Mount Ushba.
Here a closeup through a break in the clouds
Here obscured but surroundings visible
And DCS. The geography here is surprisingly accurate, including the glacier valley below, Mazeri peak (4000m) to the left, and there are even traces of Gulba, an eye-catching sub-peak of Ushba that almost looks like it's guarding her with its foreboding cliffs.
These trees certainly don't exist
Nearby Ushba, this outrageous valley that terminates in the Mestia glacier
The mountains do kind of all line up, they just look like poo. Imagine if you could actually fly through the above in DCS.
Moving on to the UNESCO village of Usghuli from a nearby small mountain
And DCS a little bit lower on the same mountain
Shkhara Glacier from the nearby smaller mountain of Karetta. Shkhara is Georgia's tallest mountain, and the third tallest in the Caucasus
Meh. DCS needs glaciers. And realistic seasonal melting patterns and long-term glacier retreat. Can't fly comfortably with this game-breaking absence of realism.
The slopes of Tetnuldi (4500) from the same spot
We're moving on to Kazbegi, where Kazbek, a prominent dormant stratovolcano towers over everything on this side of Georgia (and Russia). This is where the famous Trinity Church is that features on every other photo of Georgia ever. The town is also called Kazbegi although its official name is Stepantsminda.
Not good, not terrible, no church, hardly even its mountain. Stepantsminda is underwhelming, but considering what it looks like in real life, it's probably for the best.
Stepantsminda looking the other way, towards Mt. Kuro which towers closely over it with its 4000m.
There are no forests, part of a slope far to the south/right is forested, but that's kilometers away.
Looking down all the way to Stepantsminda from the slopes of Mount Ortsveri 20 kilometers away and 2200m higher.
Not bad geographically. You can see a wisp of the Gergeti glacier to the left on the photo above, obviously not featured in DCS.
That's it for now. Might have more in August. I'm taking requests! I tried to get the Enguri dam but you never actually get to see it from the road up the valley.