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Published: August 17th 2009
After a long time with no views of the sea, unless you count the Caspian of course but that's really a lake (!), Batumi was a breath of sea-breeze fresh air. It's just a shame about the hotel we chose. If you choose the cheapest room in a hotel, it's usually the cheapest room for a reason, and we paid up front for 2 nights!! It was stuffy, damp (our hand-washed clothes didn't dry in almost 2 days!), noisy (overlooking the courtyard which is used as a car park and backgammon room for the owners) and smoky because the window didn't close properly so anyone smoking in the courtyard was polluting our musky air!! We are sure if we had chosen a different room at the Hotel Iliko, and paid more, our view might have been different!
Even so, we really enjoyed our couple of days in this resort city. The Boulevard is lovely and the musical fountains are spectacular at night. Even the open air nightclubs seemed tastefully done but the thumping music suggested we are getting old!!!!!!! We nearly went on the Big Wheel but forgot all about it after walking past on our first day, but we
did get an afternoon sunbathing on the rather stony beach. We walked a long way out though as it is very crowded close to the centre. Swimming in the Black Sea was great. How we have missed such pleasures!
Another delight was the restaurant we went t on both nights. The Sanapiro overlooks the waterside and you can see the locals fishing for their supper. The view over towards the docks would also excite certain members of our family!! We feasted on fish and we're not really sure exactly what we had but it was perfect, especially when washed down with a bottle of red wine. Heaven indeed!!
Our second day was not so nice. The sun didn't come out all day and you could see lots of tourists just wandering aimlessly around not knowing what to do! We had a plan B though, Batumi's Stalin museum. Stalin spent 6 weeks (or was it months?) here in his youth as he was discovering the joys of communism, although it was probably called socialism back then! The small museum houses a wonderful collection of paintings, photos and memorabilia and the guide spoke in Russian which Trish was able to
translate for Russ!
So that was Georgia. All we had to do now was hope we hadn't developed any breathing problems from sleeping in a damp room and get down to the Turkish border. It proved to be a very easy thing to do as the bus went from just 5 minutes walk from the hotel. It was good for something in the end!!
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