Tag Archives: Batumi

Batumi to Tbilisi, Georgia

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the west behind
The Moscow girls make me sing and shout
And Georgia’s always on my my my my my my my my my mind

2/7 – another train ride day. We left our lovely room at My Warm Guest House in Batumi, and took a taxi back to the train station. At 7:30 it was still pitch dark, and the waterfront was lit up prettily. Lots of casinos.

The 8:05 train to Tbilisi was modern and spacious. We sat in first class, as the tickets were only $2.00 more than coach. I was struck to see that the conductor checking tickets was a female – the whole time we were in Türkiye, it was very unusual to see women in any role other than mother or grandmother, shopping or minding children.image

Here’s our sunrise from the train window.image


At one station, we could look right in a barbershop window. I like how the barbers wear white coats like doctors.image

The scenery rolled by.image





The only remarkable feature of the ride was the number of liquor bottles in open use so early in the morning. Here’s a sign that captures the sentiment.image

We arrived in Tbilisi by 2pm. This is a big, spread-out city, and our hotel is several miles from the train station. We asked at the Information desk,and was told that the taxi ride shouldn’t cost more than 5 lari ($2.50). We got into a cab, and the driver said it would be 20 lari. We got back out, and he agreed to 10, but wouldn’t agree to 5. The next cab had no problem with 5. We were at our hotel in 15 minutes. Here is an interesting statue on the corner of our street.image

Tomorrow, we will explore.

Erzurum to Hopa, Türkiye to Batumi, Georgia

2/6 – Got up early this morning to catch a bus – it is 3 degrees F! That’s mighty cold for a southern belle like me… We bought tickets on the 7:30am bus to Hopa, Türkiye, the last town before the Georgian border.

Based on our experience with Turkish buses, we did not wear our long johns despite the cold, as buses usually have the heat cranked up to 80. Just our luck, this bus had no heater! We sat and shivered for the first hour, until the sun started to warm things up. Of greater concern was the driver, who, without a defroster, kept splashing lemon cologne on the windshield and rubbing a little circle to see out of!

Once the windows cleared, we were treated to some great mountain scenery, reminiscent of Nevada or Arizona.





We also got to see some of the strange sandstone formations for which Cappadocia is famous.




We rode for a while along the river.



We arrived in Hopa by 12:30, and took a cab to the border, where Türkiye bade us farewell.


And Georgia welcomed us in!



As we waited to get through passport control, I noticed that these folks don’t adhere to the western concept of orderly queuing – there was a knot of people in front of each border inspector, and they jostled for position, trying to cut in front of others without making eye contact. You know this New Yorker wasn’t having any of that! Today was good practice as we move into Asia.

I was struck with the things people were carrying over the border – big bottles of laundry detergent and all sorts of household goods in plastic bags. Is Türkiye that much more prosperous than Georgia?

A half hour minibus ride got us to Batumi, where the weather is 65 and sunny. Hallelujah! We can put away the long johns for a while! A former Soviet city, Batumi looks like it is gearing up to be a Black Sea beach destination. Lots of new construction on the waterfront.






When we checked our iPads, we discovered we’d lost two hours of time instead of the one we expected when we crossed the border. We are now 9 hours ahead of home. Solution? Go out for supper, instead of lunch!

We had supper in a Ukranian restaurant right across from My Warm Guest House (yes, that’s the name of our hotel!), where the menu was printed in Russian, Georgian and English. Thank goodness, as I don’t expect to get the hang of reading Georgian anytime soon. It all looks like Ms and 3s to me!image