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Published: April 5th 2007
SUNSET AT THE BORDER
TURKEY-GEORGIA FRONTIER ON THE BLACK SEA
It took us total of about 2 hours to get through Turkish border at Sarpi eventually we made it to Georgia but the truck was stuck in traffic, and perhaps bureaucracy, so after hanging around on the Georgian side we were bussed to the hotel in Batumi and hoping Claire and Toni make it out soon, Jess though taking a taxi with Claire to the border caught up with us so we are all complete again. The truck came out of customs 4 hours later.We made our way to a restaurant the shape of a boat, like a Noah's ark actually. We sampled some local cuisine, good entertainment apart from the fat guy singing Georgian songs one decibel too loud for our liking, it was odd we noticed two bodyguards standing next to the singer only later on we found out why, because when one gets drunk here they tend to storm the stage and try to kick the hell out of the poor guy singing pathetic songs. The bill was enormous but does not represent the actual meal prices here, it is much cheaper than Turkey for sure and for some of us a nice relief as most of
DINNER IN BATUMI
BELLY DANCER FOR ENTERTAINMENT
us have overspent their budgets so far since the Dover crossing. The next day me and Geoff whom I was rooming with went for a walk around Batumi, as LP describes it it's a sultry unpredictable place in the Black Sea coast with architecture and a climate that make it more akin to a capital of a Caribbean banana republic than a Caucasian provincial city. It has a busy port and a chaotic market but the backdrop is a beautiful mountain range.Some parts are nice most of it is a run down looking area, my very first impression of Georgia is it is poor and struggling. To me it is a typical Russian state I see on TV that is falling apart at the seams after independence. It looks as if Philippines or any SEAsian country is more developed.I heard so much about the beauty of this country and hope to disprove myself, and hopefully it makes up it's mind whether it wants to be part of Europe or Asia, my concensus was it is leaning towards becoming an EU country.
Then off to another long drive to our first homestay in Kutaisi, along the way we ran
DINNER IN BATUMI
STEVE'S BELLY DANCING ATTEMPT
over a poor pig who crossed the road at the wrong time, the countryside is interesting, the houses are rural looking, with grapevines on almost every yard, they have a history of wine production after all. We went to visit the Bagrati Cathedral which has cobble streets lined with houses gardens and ruins, this 11th century church is perfectly sited on a promontory above the river giving fine views of the city below. We had a fine dinner that night at our homestay, there was another person staying there apart from our group, a young American dude just off from college, seems to be well versed in geography we had a nice chat but some in my group didnt like his cockiness, but i thought he's an alright chap. This is the second time in the trip I got really drunk, 1st being Salzburg, anyway the copious homemade wines we knocked back that night made me so drunk I have to nap half an hour then came back and drank some more, not the best wine but did the job. The toilet was upstairs we were on the 1st level so the palnts in the garden got some needed watering
DINNER IN BATUMI
CLIVE HAVING A GO AT BELLY DANCING
sorry to say. Next day we visited the Gelati Monastery situated on a wooded hill, really nothing to see on this 12th century church the icons are nice but other than that for me it was a waste of time. Then we have a look aorung the town of Kutaisi, an economically depressed town les lively than Batumi, the markets are crowded and people line up for bread, it was so crowded in the market a few of us got shoved to move aside, but i liked the fact of seeing how the locals live and go about their business.
Georgian seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. It has a population of 121,806 (2002 census).
Batumi, with its large port and commercial center, is also the last stop of the Transcaucasian railroad and the Baku oil pipeline. It is situated some 20 km (12 mi) from the Turkish border, in a subtropical zone, rich in citrus fruit and tea. Industries include oil refineries, shipbuilding, food processing, and light manufacturing.
Batumi today is the main port of Georgia. It has the capacity
for 80,000-Tonne Tankers to deposit materials such as oil. This oil originates from Azerbaijan and is refined near the port and shipped across all world. Smaller oil exports also come from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Additionally the city exports regional agricultural products. Since 1995 the freight conversion of the port has constantly risen, with an appoximate 8 million tons in 2001. The annual revenue from the port is an estimated 200 to 300 million US dollar.
Since the change of power in Ajaria, Batumi has attracted several international investors with real estate prices in the city trebling themselves since 2001. Kazakh investors have reportedly invested USD 100 million to purchase over 20 hotels in the Ajaria Autonomous Republic. Construction of new hotels will be launched in Ajaria’s Black Sea resorts starting from 2007.
Batumi is also host to 12 Russian Military bases. Following the Rose Revolution, the central government has pushed for the removal of these forces, and in 2005 an agreement with Moscow was reached. Under the terms of the agreement, all equipment and personnel must be removed by 2008.
The climate in Batumi is subtropical. Palm trees, lemon and orange trees all grow in
RETRO CONDOS (AS GEOFF CALLS IT)
Kutaisi is located along both banks of the Rioni River. The city lies at an elevation of 125-300 meters (410-984 feet) above sea level. To the east and north-east, Kutaisi is bounded by the Northern Imereti Foothills, to the north by the Samgurali Range, and to the west and the south by the Colchis Plain.
Kutaisi is surrounded by deciduous forests to the northeast and the northwest. The low-lying outskirts of the city have a largely agricultural landscape. Because of the many gardens in the city centre and the high leafy trees alongside the sidewalks of its streets and boulevards, Kutaisi is painted in bright green in the spring and in yellow-red in the autumn. In the springtime, when the snow starts to melt in the nearby mountains, the storming Rioni River in the middle of the city is heard far beyond its banks.
Info courtesy of Wikipedia.
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