Sunday, 08 September 2019


We had a long drive today from Erzurum back to the Black Sea coast and on to the border crossing into Georgia.  Apart from the modest Totum waterfall and some stark mountainous scenery there was not much to see along the way other than a huge amount of civil works along the river where a number of dams are being constructed.  The road has been relocated along a new route with about twenty or more tunnels, some up to 1.5 km long.  Turkey does seem to be spending a huge amount of money on infrastructure projects.

Our Turkish guide left us at the border and we made our way unaccompanied through the huge new border crossing building along with all the returning Georgians.  You get some idea about a country when you make your way into it on foot, with the locals returning home with bags of potatoes and toilet paper.  Surely they have potatoes and toilet paper in Georgia.

Our Georgian guide is a young lady, Nino, and she was there to meet us as we emerged on the Georgian side of the border.  First impressions so far are that Georgia is less affluent than Turkey.  No more wide motorways – back to old two lane with wandering stray dogs.

Batumi is the big city near the border where we are staying tonight.  It has some flash sky scrapers along the sea front but the main market which we visited was very “third world”.

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We are staying in a very nice hotel in the touristy part of the city.

We were about to head out for a stroll around town before dinner but it was pouring with rain so we settled for an early dinner instead.  We had passed a “Bavarian” restaurant and decided “Why not, we’ll get enough Georgian food over the coming days”, but it was not to be.  The service was slow appearing, there was a screaming brat at the next table and of the first three tries at ordering the selections were not available, at which point we gave up, left, and tried the “Italian” restaurant next door.  “Italian” might have been a bit optimistic a description – like no other we’ve experienced before.

Our hotel in Batumi

© Cheryl & Clive Miller 2019-20