It is about 6:40am, the sun has risen and the valley is quiet all except for the quiet background susurration of the river, the twittering (in the true, non-digital sense of the word) of the birds, and the occasional barking dog. At this time of day there are also a few cars going past, tourists on the road up to the resorts of Teberda and Dombai, or locals starting work somewhere.
Generally speaking, just looking out of the windows the world seems deserted. But as I listen the birds become more differentiated, with song birds standing out from the plain “cheeps” of the house martins and the “cawing” of the grey and black hooded crows.
As I look out of the window the sounds of the morning become overlaid and suffused with the thick, golden syrup coloured light of the new sun welcoming in the day.